Palm Reading Perspectives

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

Posts Tagged ‘body

Learn how Your Hands may guide Your Brains to solve a Problem!

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CHICAGO, JUNE 2011 – New psychology research suggests that hand gestures unconsciously influence people’s problem solving strategy! Two experiments have shown that when people are confronted with a problem to solve, they don’t just use their brains but the rest of their bodies, too. “Being able to use your body in problem solving alters the way you solve the problems,” says University of Wisconsin psychology professor Martha Alibali. “Body movements are one of the resources we bring to cognitive processes.”

These conclusions, of a new study by Alibali and colleagues—Robert C. Spencer, also at the University of Wisconsin, and Lucy Knox and Sotaro Kita of the University of Birmingham—are augmented by another, counter-intuitive one – even when we are solving problems that have to do with motion and space, the inability to use the body may force us to come up with other strategies, and these may be more efficient.

The findings will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.


The study involved two experiments. The first recruited 86 American undergraduates, half of whom were prevented from moving their hands using Velcro gloves that attached to a board. The others were prevented from moving their feet, using Velcro straps attached to another board. The latter thus experienced the strangeness of being restricted, but also had their hands free.  From the other side of an opaque screen, the experimenter asked questions about gears in relation to each other—e.g., “If five gears are arranged in a line, and you move the first gear clockwise, what will the final gear do?” The participants solved the problems aloud and were videotaped.

The videotapes were then analyzed for the number of hand gestures the participants used (hand rotations or “ticking” movements, indicating counting); verbal explanations indicating the subject was visualizing those physical movements; or the use of more abstract mathematical rules, without reference to perceptual-motor processes.

Psychologist dr. Martha Alibali.

The results: The people who were allowed to gesture usually did so—and they also commonly used perceptual-motor strategies in solving the puzzles. The people whose hands were restrained, as well as those who chose not to gesture (even when allowed), used abstract, mathematical strategies much more often.

The findings evince deeper questions about the relationship of mind and body and their relationship to space, says Alibali. “As human thinkers, we use visual-spatial metaphors all the time to solve problems and conceptualize things—even in domains that don’t seem physical on their face. Adding is ‘up,’ subtracting is ‘down.’ A good mood is ‘high,’ a bad one is ‘low.’ This is the metaphoric structuring of our conceptual landscape.”

Alibali, who is also an educational psychologist, asks: “How we can harness the power of action and perception in learning?” Or, conversely: What about the cognitive strategies of people who cannot use their bodies? “They may focus on different aspects of problems,” she says. And, it turns out, they may be onto something the rest of us could learn from.

Obviously, by controling- or using your hands… you can stimulate your brains to find another strategy (in respective: an abstract- or verbal explanation) to solve a problem

More studies related to the connection between hand gestures & palm reading:

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

June 10, 2011 at 4:40 am

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

The Skin of Your Hands provides another Window to Your (future) Health!

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Your skin can be a window to your underlying health, says Joseph Jorizzo, MD, one of the experts who wrote the book ‘Dermatological Signs of Internal Disease‘. Many underlying health conditions — some very serious — first appear as skin problems.

In an earlier post you were able to read how your fingernails can be used as a barometer for your (past) health – during the past sixe months. As a matter of fact, medical science classifies the fingernails as a part of your outer skin systems which surrounds your body. So it should not be surprizing that your skin can provide clues about your health as well. 

But first of all: not all skin conditions are scary!  Many skin conditions do not indicate that anything else is wrong with you. For example, granuloma annulare is raised, reddish or flesh-colored bumps forming ring patterns on the hands and feet. They usually go away within two years, and don’t mean anything is wrong with you.

The difference betwen ‘harmless’ hand skin conditions & ‘worrisome’ hand skin conditions will be discussed in the next series of posts.

Read more about the role of skin conditions in Multiple-Perspective Palm Reading:

Palm Reading & Skin Quality

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

May 14, 2011 at 1:57 am

HAND SHAPE – Male vs. female differences, racial differences & IQ!

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A male hand + a female hand.

Hand shape varies between the sexes: males typically haver larger + relatively broader hands. Hand shape also varies among the races: in Asia the avarage hand shape is relatively narrower than in European & North American countries. And there is even a link between hand shape & intelligence!

But in order to understand these patterns properly, one first has to understand the relations ship between hand shape & body length. Because in general, all longer populations in the world (males, Europeans & North Americans) typically display a relatively broad hand shape, while all small populations (females, Asians) typically display a relatively narrow hand shape.


A good measure to describe the shape of the hand is the so-called ‘hand index’, which is defined as the ratio between the ‘hand width’ (= palm width measured at the metacapals) vs. the ‘hand length’ (= the distance between the tip of the middle finger and the distal wrist crease).

The average ‘hand index’ in human kind is close to 0.44, and is typically much higher than the ‘hand index’ seen in primates, which is typically (far) below 0.40 (though in gorillas – the largest of all primate species – the ‘hand index’ is higher than 0.40).

NOTICE: Finger length can also be measured relative to ‘hand length’ & ‘hand width’, but that topic will be discussed later.


In males the ‘hand index’ is typically higher than 0.44, and measures above 0.45 are often seen. While in females the ‘hand index’ is typically lower than 0.44, and measures below 0.43 are not rare at all. These sexe differences are for a large part the result of the body height differences between males and females.


The average ‘hand index’ among the various races differs significantly, and is typically lower among asians. In people from China does not vary a lot from the average of human kind, but among for example people from Japan & India the ‘hand index’ is typically close to 0.43 or even lower. At least partly these differences are explained by racial differences in body height.


A high hand index typically correlates with a low IQ. And this link between hand shape & IQ has been confirmed in quite a few studies among various types of populations.

In a 1980 study in the former Yugoslavia reported among 540 men a negative correlation between hand index & all 10 measures for IQ.

And the two most common causes for mental retardation (Down syndrome & fragile-X syndrome) are known for having typically a relatively broad hand (= high hand index).

Regarding the sexe differences, one has to be aware of the earlier mentioned point that tall populations typically have a higher ‘hand index’. The fact that women have a lower ‘hand index’ compared to men, is largely neutralized by the fact that women are smaller than men. And therefore there one should not associate this sexe difference with IQ differences among the sexes (because so far there is no evidence for that at all).

And finally there is evidence that when the ‘hand index’ is corrected for body height, then this appears to explain a significant part of the IQ differences that are typically seen between the nations of the world. Though this issue has not been studied thoroughly.


The above describes patterns for hand shape implicate that regarding the implications of a high or low ‘hand index’ indivuals, one always has to consider sexe & race before jumping into conclusions!

Time for a hand shape palm reading… what is your ‘hand index’?

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

May 3, 2011 at 4:18 am

The History of Palm Reading – How the Indian Vedas relate to the latest Scientific Publications!

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 The earliest known written reference to palm reading in the World literature are found in two writings in the ancient Vedic literature of India: ‘The Laws of Manu’ and in the ‘Vasishtha Rules’ – which include a list of rules given to guide the ascetic in the correct way to lead the religious life. But what are the origins of the ‘idea’ of  palm reading: what is described about how it must have started?

First of all, while the world literature started around 3000 BC (written on clay tablets),  we have to be aware that the printed written literature on paper dates from about 400 years ago. 

Around that time an Indian Sanskrit text, titled: ‘Sariraka Shastra’, was published which includes Vedic stanzas that describe how ‘Hasta Samudrika Shastra’ (translated: ‘body knowledge of the hand’) has evolved in the early days of human kind. The text was translated by an Indian palmist (V.A.K Ayer) and published in 1960 under the title: “Sariraka Sastra – Indian Science of Hand Reading based on Kartikeyan System”. The book describes how long ago when Lord Vishnu was enjoying his ‘yoga nidra’ in the company of his consort Lakshmi, the sea-lord Samudra showed up and began to write down the auspicious marks on the bodies of the divine couple – for the guidance of humanity. This story explains how classic Indian Palmistry became an art of reading signs via the hand!


 The Laws of Manu:

“Manu was the legendary first man, the Adam of the Hindus.”

(Quoted from

Chapter X in “The Laws of Manu” describes as a guidance for the ascetic:

“21. ‘Neither by (explaining) prodigies and omens, nor by skill in astrology and palmistry, nor by casuistry and expositions (of the Sâstras), let him ever seek to obtain alms.'”


Inborn hand markers vs. Indian hand signs:

And in a way, the modern academic science of studying ‘minor physical anomalies’ is basically not really very different from how the Indians used palmistry to speculate about their future.

While the ancient Indians studied body signs to know the future of individuals (with a speculative philosophic purpose of course), is modern science basically interested in studying body signs to understand the etiology of diseases and disorders. And while the Indians formulated theories about ‘dynamic’ signs (which may change or even disappear in time), is modern science more focussed on inborn body markers.

So, while Indian palmists typically focuss on tiny little marks of the hand (lines, spots, moles, etc) – are modern hand researchers much more interested in relatively stable hand markers such as: the fingerprints, palmar dermatoglypics, simian crease and the so-called ‘digit ratio’ (= the finger length ratio between the index finger and the ring finger).

The new Palmistry?

Over the past few years quite a few academic researchers have published interesting studies which suggest that the hand can be used as prognostic marker for certain common diseases.

And the new Multi-Perspective Palm Reading represents a direct result of the many (tousands) studies that have been perfpormed so far on 100+ hand markers – read more about these developments via: What is Multi-Perspective Palm Reading?

But typically, these studies have been welcomed with a considerable dosis of scepticism. A few of recent examples of these reviews are presented below:

• April 2011: The New Palmistry?

• July 2010: Digit ratio: A measure of two hormonally-based temperament dimensions

• June 2010: Reading the Body – Finger Length Ratio predicts Athletic Ability!

• April 2009: Palmistry’s Digital Analgue?

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

April 30, 2011 at 2:11 am

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