Scientific Chirology

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Scientific Chirology by Jennifer Hirsch

Centuries ago astrology, palmistry and other divinatory arts were revered as tools for diagnosis, healing and self-knowledge, but during the European Renaissance the powerful stance adopted by the church branded hand reading as being rooted in paganism and the hand readers’ reputation dwindled.

Today some traces of antiquated and suspicious attitudes towards the hand reading craft still exist. Mention that chirology (from Gr kheri - hand, and logos -reason) involves reading hands and some people envisage a charlatan ‘fortune teller’ gazing at you over a crystal ball and offering to foretell your future for an exorbitant fee. Unfortunately there do exist unscrupulous palm readers who corrupt the craft with ‘predictions’ that can literally endanger the emotional well being of their clients. Nonetheless, since the late 1800’s there has been a resurge and a revival of the original, ethical and noble tradition.

Both the scientific and the intuitive aspects of hand reading have always been an accepted part of ancient eastern traditional healing systems. In the west, growing numbers of medical doctors and psychologists in Germany, Switzerland, Israel, the US and the UK, are using chirology to diagnose physical and psychological imbalances. Medical diagnostic application of hand analysis receives ever increasing recognition and professionals in the behavioural sciences endorse chirology as a scientific discipline of enormous clinical value for self enquiry.

The term ‘chirology’ describes the collective global body, both ancient and modern, of all facets of the knowledge and study of the forms and markings of the human hand. Consequently, there exist today various systems of chirological hand analysis. Patterns in our hands show our physical and psychological selves and people visit chirologists for guidance on a wide range of life issues, such as to discover their inherent talents, for career guidance, relationship compatibility and health, to name but a few. Medical diagnostic application of hand analysis receives ever increasing recognition and professionals in the behavioural sciences endorse chirology as a scientific discipline of enormous clinical value for self enquiry into the nature and dynamics of our personality.

Wholly unrelated to prediction or divination, dermatoglyphic (papillary ridge patterns) research proves that illnesses produce minute malformations of structure in the ridges of palmar skin, known as the ‘string of pearls’ effect. Although our basic fingerprint patterns never alter through our lifetime, our skin ridges gradually break down, perhaps even long before any disease actually manifests.

According to scientific and genetic studies, diagnosis of many congenital abnormalities and disease conditions can be accurately determined in the hands. Conditions that are potentially diagnosed from the markings on the lines and the dermatoglyphics of the fingers and palms are Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and other behavioural disorders, autism, leukaemia and other cancers, diabetes, vascular diseases, congenital or acquired heart disease, endocrine imbalances and lung and digestive disorders. It is also commonly known that many (not all) people with Down’s Syndrome have what is commonly known as the Simian line (this appears as one horizontal line across the palm, instead of two), although it must be mentioned many people with Simian lines have perfectly normal chromosomes.

The appearance, forms and colours of our nails have long been medically recognised as indicators of certain diseases, such as ‘wrapped’ nails which show respiratory conditions, corrugated nails with vertical lines which aspect thyroid imbalance, white nails could show anaemia and yellow nails might suggest liver disorder.

Emotional stress shows very evidently and clearly on a set of hands. Cold clammy moist hands indicate emotional trauma and anxiety. Anxiety is also reflected in horizontal (bar) lines on the tip phalanges of the fingers and thumbs. Exhaustion and depletion shows in pale skin and faint lines. Thin hands that are concave in the middle are also a sign of low energy levels. A palm that is ‘full’ with very many lines indicate that the owner is emotionally sensitive and trembling hands or wringing of hands or even very red hands are signs of stress.

Depression is very clearly evidenced in an array of related markers on our hands. In traditional palmistry there exists the so called ‘suicide line’, which is a very steeply sloping air (head) line. Even the most scientific of handreaders will take a steep slope into consideration when assessing the mental/emotional wellness of their client.

Allergies too are indicated by the presence of the ‘allergy line’ (lower minor water line in curved form). Lower back conditions may be aspected at the bottom of the earth (life) and minor earth (fate) lines.

The science of the study of the human hand appeals to the intellect but does not enrich or satisfy the spirit. Just as you cannot become a surgeon without years of experience or master its intricacies by pure study alone, so it is that with practice the hand reader develops intuitive mastery. In our following article we will explore the psychic aspects of the hand reading craft.

Jennifer Hirsch runs The Chirology Centre for the Study of Hand Reading in Cape Town.
For more about readings, courses and Jennifer’s book 'God Given Glyphs - Decoding Fingerprints - Chirology - The How-to of Hand Reading' please call Jennifer 021 712 2628 or 082 415 065 or e-mail:

Visit  for lots more about chirology including look inside free sample pages of God Given Glyphs plus Jennifer’s two e-books ‘5 Element Cheirology - The Healing Craft of Hand Reading’ and ‘5 Element Cheirology - Traits of Being - A to Z’


Author - Jennifer Hirsch

Published - 0000-00-00