Palm Reading Perspectives

Multi-Perspective Palm Reading: About Hands & how to make a Hand-Diagnosis

Archive for May 2011

How to diagnose Down syndrome from the hands only?

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Physical characteristics in Down syndrome.

Down syndrome (trisomy 21) is known as a genetic condition in which the person has 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. Down syndrome symptoms vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe (often featured with medical problems). However, children with Down syndrome have a widely recognized physical appearance. The hand characteristics in Down syndrome are very typical, and it is even possible to make a very reliable hand-diagnosis (with an accuracy beyond 99%).

Pregnant women can be screened for various complications during pregnancy. Many standard prenatal screens can discover Down syndrome, so sometimes the condition is already known before birth.

But when the condition has not yet been identified before birth, in most cases the typical physical characteristics are recognized shortly after birth through the face. And then doctors will make a quick inspection of the hands & feet in order to find out if further diagnostic tests are required.


The hand in Down’s syndrome varies significantly from the common hand. The most significant features manifest in a combination of the dermatoglyphics, the hand shape & the finger morphology. Some of the typical hand characteristics in Down’s syndrome are summarized in the picture below – many more details are summarized in the article: how to make a hand diagnosis for Down syndrome?


The hands of people who have Down syndrome are typically smaller than the common hand and they are featured with uncommon fingerprint distributions & palmar dermatoglyphics.

Usually the palms of these people are short, featured with a high positioned ‘axial triradius’ (the delta in the dermatoglyphics of the hypothenar – in palmistry / palm reading known as the mount of moon), and a majority also has a simian line or Sydney line.

The fingers are typically featured with ulnar loop fingerprints (possibly a radial loop on the ring finger and or pinky), short fingernails, thumb & pinky are typically very short, and especially the pinky finger can be featured with other minor physical anomalies (such as: clinodactlyly or a missing interphalangeal crease).

Read more about other hand characteristics in other themes:

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

May 30, 2011 at 2:34 pm

HAND ANTHROPOMETRY – From Leonardo Da Vinci to NASA & US army!

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Historically, Leonardo da Vinici’s ‘Vitruvian Man’ can be described as one of the earliest examples of anthropometry. The drawing was created by Leonardo da Vinci around the year 1487, and is accompanied by notes based on the work of the famed architect, Vitruvius.

The drawing, which is in pen and ink on paper, depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, Proportions of Man.

Interestingly, Leonardo’s comments for the proportions of th e ‘Vitruvian Man‘ includes a few passage where the hands and fingers are mentioned, quote:

“For the human body is so designed by nature that the face, from the chin to the top of the forehead and the lowest roots of the hair, is a tenth part of the whole height; the open hand from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger is just the same; the head from the chin to the crown is an eighth, and with the neck and shoulder from the top of the breast to the lowest roots of the hair is a sixth; from the middle of the breast to the summit of the crown is a fourth. If we take the height of the face itself, the distance from the bottom of the chin to the under side of the nostrils is one third of it; the nose from the under side of the nostrils to a line between the eyebrows is the same; from there to the lowest roots of the hair is also a third, comprising the forehead. The length of the foot is one sixth of the height of the body; of the forearm, one fourth; and the breadth of the breast is also one fourth. The other members, too, have their own symmetrical proportions, and it was by employing them that the famous painters and sculptors of antiquity attained to great and endless renown. Similarly, in the members of a temple there ought to be the greatest harmony in the symmetrical relations of the different parts to the general magnitude of the whole. Then again, in the human body the central point is naturally the navel. For if a man be placed flat on his back, with his hands and feet extended, and a pair of compasses centred at his navel, the fingers and toes of his two hands and feet will touch the circumference of a circle described therefrom. And just as the human body yields a circular outline, so too a square figure may be found from it. For if we measure the distance from the soles of the feet to the top of the head, and then apply that measure to the outstretched arms, the breadth will be found to be the same as the height, as in the case of plane surfaces which are perfectly square.”

Leonardo da Vinci’s comment about the proportion of the average hand was quite right, but the field of anthropometry has later developed more precise methods in order to describe the most important individual variations concerning the human body. Various sources of anthropometric hand data indicate the average hand length is close to 11% of body height (usually slightly smaller).


Today, anthropometry plays an important role in industrial design, clothing design, ergonomics and architecture where statistical data about the distribution of body dimensions in the population are used to optimize products.


In the last decade of the 20 century reports became available developed by the NASA & the US army – which include data for at least 20 characteristics of the human hand shape, including e.g. hand length, hand breadth & finger length. The data in the picture above represents static human physical characteristics of the adult hand, presented in 2000 by the Department of Defense Human Factors Engineering Technical Advisory Group.

The picture below presents at the bottom some average data based on German, UK & American populations – which provide useful ‘points of reference’ in the perspective of biometry & Multi-Perspective Palm Reading.

Finally, regarding Leonardo da Vinci it might be interesting to notice here that in 2008 a report was published describing characteristics of his fingerprint:

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

May 29, 2011 at 2:40 am

VIDEO: The Evolution of the Human Hand!

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The Youtube video titled: ‘Evolution of the human hand’ – displays a detailed picture of what modern science knows (based on Darwin’s evolution theory) about how the structure & shape of the human hand changed & developed during the last 1.8 million years in the evolution of human kind.

The video demonstrates how the ‘early’ humanoid hands (and primates) are typically featured with 3 or more ‘complete transverse creases’ (multiple simian lines), which are positioned horizontal in the hand + two major vertical lines. While at the end of the video displays a typical human hand featured with only 2 curved, oblique positioned ‘primary palmar creases’ (heart line and head line) + one major vertical line (life line).

Many other fascinating details about the evolution of the human hand are described in the work of physician John Napier, titled: Hands.

Another important figure in the history of medical science was the Scottish surgeon John Hunter, who turned the attention of science from the structure of hands to it’s function:

“Structure is the intimate expression of function”

– John Hunter, Scottish surgeon (1728-1793) –

More details about the evolution of other features of the human hand are presented in the articles:

1) The evolution & mystery of the five fingers

2) The history & evolution of the palmar lines

The hand of early hominids (30.000 years old).

The hand of Neanderthals (300.000 years old).

The hand of 'Ardi' (4.4 million years old).

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

May 27, 2011 at 4:45 am

How to classify the palmar lines: the simian line, Sydney line & the Suwon crease!

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The study of the palmar lines [folding creases] traces back to the ancient civilisations of the Chinese and Indians as early as 3,000 years B.C. Historically the palmar lines have been adopted as the most important ‘tool’ of the classic Indian palmist with the purpose for ‘the guidance of humanity’. This explains why in all regions of the world the palmar lines became synonymous with the stigma of fortune telling (advocated by so-called ‘predictive palmistry’) – and subsequently debarring the hand lines from the scientific courts.

However, since the end of the 19th century the hand lines have been adopted by scientific researchers for other purposes, including: anthropological classification, personal identification (though the fingerprints are more well-known for this purpose), and hand lines also have a diagnostic purpose!

The combination of the heart line (distal transverse crease) & head line (proximal transverse crease) could be described as representing the most important aspect of the palm lines. The typical characteristics of these two so-called ‘transverse creases‘ (= heart line + head line) can be described as follows (see also the picture above):

• COMMON LINES: The heart line & the head line typically manifest as 2 unconnected lines, and only in human hands these lines typically do not cross the full palm (in the primate palm there are usually mulitiple horizontal lines which cross the full palm).

• SYDNEY LINE: The Sydney line can be recognized by the presence of an extended head line which crosses the full palm, combined with the presence of a normal heart line (both lines are required not to connect/fuse with eachother). NOTICE: From a scientific point, in medical science the Sydney line has been recognized in medical science as a ‘minor physical anomaly’ (MPA), and it became also known as a typical marker for e.g. the hand in Down syndrome, the hand in fragile-X syndrome, the hand in psoriasis & the hand in Schizophrenia. The name‘Sydney line’ was introduced in 1968 by Australian researcher S.G. Purvis-Smith who reported a high prevalance of Sydney lines in patients with congenital rubella. 

• EXTENDED HEART LINE: The extended heart line can be recognized by the presence of a very long heart line which crosses the full palm, combined with the presence of a normal head line (both lines are required not to connect/fuse with eachother). NOTICE: From a scientific point of view there is not much know about the extended heart line.

• SIMIAN CREASE: The simian crease can be recognized by the presence of a fusion between the head line and the heart line – resulting in the impression that one of both lines is missing. NOTICE: From a scientific point, in medical science the simian line has been recognized as a ‘minor physical anomaly’ (MPA), and it became also known as a typical marker for e.g. many syndromes (including Down syndrome) and many diseases such as the hand diabetes mellitusthe hand in rheumatoid arthritis. The name simian line was introduced in 1877 by French physician Paul Broca who described it as an unusual characteristic for the human hand.

The Suwon crease can be recognized by the presence of two complete head lines (not a splitting head line, nor an interrupted head line), and the upper head line fuses/connects with the heart line. NOTICE: The history of the Suwon crease is still very young: it was first described in 2010 by Korean researchers, who found it only in 0.7% of a large Korean sample of 3.532 male hands (in the 1664 female hands it was never observed).

Read more about how hand lines relate to intelligence & personality related characteristics:

An advanced definition of various types of palmar creases.


The Korean researchers have presented in 2010 a new detailed method for classifying the various types of palmar lines, which includes some interesting elements which can be applied in Multi-Perspective Palm Reading:

“Definition of major and minor palm creases. Major palm creases are defined as follows. Radial longitudinal crease (I) becomes distinct according to the flexion of carpometacarpal joints of the thumb. Proximal (II) and distal transverse creases (III) become distinct according to the flexion of the metacarpophalangeal joints of the second to fifth fingers. Minor palm creases are defined as palm creases which are narrower than the two times of the epidermal groove width in palmprints (1), apart from major palm creases (2), crossing major palm creases (3), or leading to major palm creases by the sharpened end (4).”

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

May 25, 2011 at 10:30 pm

SIMIAN LINE – Can the lines in the palm or your hand predict your health or your future?

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The simian line became known as the most well known ‘uncommon’ palmar line variant, and when it is present in a hand it appears as if one of the normal lines is missing. The simian lines is the result of a fusion between the two major ‘palmar transverse creases’: in the fields of palmistry these are also known as the ‘head line’ (in medical science: distal transverse crease) and the ‘heart line’ (in medical science: proximal transverse crease).  About 3% of Western populations have a simian line in one of both hands, however in populations from Asia this percentage may be up to above 10%.

The word ‘simian line’ has a connotation with the hands of primates (simians), which are often featured with multiple likewise horizontal creases that cross the full palm.

And for this reason people often prefer to use other words to refer to the simian line. The most common simian line synonyms in daily language are: simian crease, simian fold, ape crease or the four finger line. In the scientific literature the simian line is usually named as: single palmar transverse crease or four finger line. 


The simian line is most well-known for it’s significance in Down’s syndrome (40%). However, the truth is that the medical disorders associated with simian line are not only seen in the most common chromosomal disorders including e.g.: fragile-X syndrome (18%), Klinefelter syndrome (12%), Turner syndrome (27%) & Marfan syndrome). But the simian line is also more often seen in the most common medical disorders, such as: diabetes mellitus (10%), psoriasis (12%) & rheumatoid arthritis (18%).


Understanding the nature of palmar creases requires a consideration of the palmar dermatoglyphics as well, which concern the fine ridges & grooves in the skin that can be seen in the  palm or your hand with the bare eye (assuming that you have normal eyesight). Because both the palmar creases & the dermatoglyphics largely develop in the 2nd and 3th month of pregnancy under the influences of growth stress forces in the volar skin.

Dermatoglyphics: AtD-angles in trisomy syndromes (trisomy 21 = Down syndrome).

Few people are aware… that the ‘troublesome’ character of the simian line depends significantly on the dermatoglyphics in the so-called mount of Moon (in medical science: hypothenar). For, the high prevalence of the simian line in diseases & syndromes is typically featured with multiple deltas (triradii) and often a high positioned axial triradius, which results in a high AtD-angle. See the figure on the right: all listed trisomy syndromes are also known for a very high prevalance of the simian crease. Therefor, in order to understand the nature of a simian line in the hand(s) of an individual – an analysis of other hand features is a first requirement: the simian line on it’s own means … nothing!


Scientific research R.S. Bali has presented in his book ‘Anthropology of Crease Morphogenesis‘ a summary of studies which have presented significant results for the simian line in the perspective of criminal behavior, character & temperament. But even quite a few celebrities have a simian line!

The Simian Line (2000)


Can the lines in the palm or your hand predict your health or your future? The impact of the simian line is not only significant in the fields of palm reading & scientific research. For sure, the simian line has for touched the lives of  many individuals, and this has even resulted in a movie titled: ‘ The Simian Line‘ (2000). A short synopsis:

“An eccentric palm reader predicts that one of the couples attending an intimate dinner party will end their relationship before the year is over, sparking confusion and doubt amongst the guests, in the tender romantic comedy SIMIAN LINE. The star studded cast includes Harry Connick Jr., Cindy Crawford, Tyne Daly, William Hurt, Monica Keena, Dylan Bruno, Samantha Mathis, Lynn Redgrave, Jamey Sheridan and Eric Stoltz.”

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

May 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm

40 Common hand characteristics: how many do you have?

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40 Common hand characteristics

How to recognize common hand characteristics from uncommon hand characteristics?

The picture above provides a point of reference: it describes 40 typical hand characteristics that can be described as ‘common’: 20 characteristics for the right hand + 20 characteristics for the left hand.

As a matter of fact, there are quite a few other common hand characteristic. However, the combination presented in the picture above illustrates which hand features (e.g. fingerprint types) are found most commonly in which zone of the hand. As you can seen: there are significant differences between the right- and left hand!

The 40 hand characteristics (32 dermatoglyphic + 8 line features ) include :

 • 10 Fingerprints (5 in each hand): on each finger your can find one of the four basis types of fingerprints (whorl, ulnar loop, radial loop or arch);

10 Palmar deltas – a.k.a. ‘triradii’ (5 in each hand) : one below each of the 8 fingers + the so-called ‘axial triradius’, which is usually found in the zone near the wrist on the hypothenar (mount of moon);

10 Central palmar ridge lines (5 in each hand): starting in the palmar deltas these ridge lines always first progress towards the center of the palm, but they typically exit the palm at specific locations (for example: the ridge line starting in the delta below the pinky finger exits the palm in the right hand typically between the index finger and the middle finger, however in the left hand the same ridge line tends to exit the palm between the middle finger and the ring finger);

2 Palmar loops (1 in each hand): in the right hand the palmar loop is typically found between the middle finger and the ring finger, but in the left hand the palmar loop is typically found between the ring finger and the pinky finger;

6 Major creases – a.k.a. primary hand lines (3 in each hand): which terminate independently somewhere inside the palm (= the life line, head line & heart line);

– 2 Line connections (1 in each hand): at the starting point of the life line and the head line are typically connected.

More details about these common hand characteristics are available here:

Now… how many of these characteristics do you have?

Though each of these 40 hand characteristics is quite common, nobody in the world has all these 40 characteristics!

Especially this specific combination of 10 fingerprints is actually extremely rare; because the combination seen in the left hand: one arch combined in the same hand with 2 whorls is extremely rare on itself!

 Combining this extremely rare with e.g. the radial loop + the other specific patterns on the right hand (which is seen in about 1% of all people) makes it quite unlikely that these 10 fingerprints will be observed in any person.

Finally, the anthropometric hand data presented in the picture are taken from e.g. the German BAuA, UK data from the ‘Handbook of normal physical measurements’ + 3 sources which represent large US populations. And these 40 hand characteristics together provide a new helpfull ‘point of reference’ in the perspective of Multi-Perspective Palm Reading. Especially regarding the study of hand characteristics in the so-called ‘phantom pictures’!

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

May 22, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Hands signs in Marfan syndrome: thin fingers, long hand shape & hypermobility!

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Marfan syndrome is a connective tissue disorder characterised by a tall, slender body featured with long limbs & long thin fingers. The most serious complications are the defects of the heart valves and the aorta, which could lead to an aortic rupture (due to too much stress on the aorta), which is usually fatal. However, many people who have this disorder are not aware of it – partly because Marfan syndrome typically becomes manifest only after the age of 5. But there are hand signs that have a highly reliable diagnostic value!

Marfan syndrome is featured with many typical hand characteristics, however a combination of two specific hands signs related to a long hand shape (hand signs) & hand motorics (joint hypermobility) is often enough to identify the disorder.


This test is used for the clinical evaluation of Marfan patients.

Instruct the patient to fold his thumb into the closed fist. This test is positive if the thumb tip extends from palm of hand (see figure a).


This test is used for the evaluation of patients with Marfan syndrome.

Instruct the patient to grip his wrist with his opposite hand. If thumb and fifth finger of the hand overlap with each other, this represents a positive Walker-Murdoch sign (see figure b).


How to check if a person has hypermobility? You can check this easily by doing the 5 tests that are included in the so-called ‘Beighton score‘:  see figure 1.

A ‘Beighton score’ of 4 or above usually indicates hypermobility.

And if a person has the Sternberg sign + Walker-Murdoch sign + hypermobility, the chances are close to 90% that the person has Marfan syndrome.

The presence of other related hand markers such as: skin quality (hyperextensiblity), a simian crease, extra digital transverse creases, or a high positioned axial triradius provide other hand signs which are indicative for a person to have a medical diagnosis for Marfan syndrome.

Marfan hands.

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

May 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm

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