Hand and Finger Diagnosis
Before the proliferation of medical technology, doctors and other diagnosticians had to rely on their own experience and their powers of observation in order to determine the existence and nature of disease. One very old diagnostic technique, the study of the fingers and hands, might appear overly simple or even primitive, yet doctors still recognize the hands as valuable indicators of a person's state of health. A blue cast to the fingers, for example, is widely accepted as a sign of poor circulation; brittle fingernails often signal a nutrient deficiency. Hand and finger diagnosticians rely only on these parts of the body for information on how the body's internal systems are functioning. Mainstream practitioners, however, doubt that a firm diagnosis can be made without medical tests.
To be good at observational diagnosis of the hand, you need to observe , verify and notice the minor things. You should avoid making conclusions too quickly.
· Shape and size of hands and fingers
· Shape and mobility of hand and finger joints
· Size and color of any moles, spots or nodules
· Prominence of veins
· Shape, color and quality of fingernails
· Thickness and dryness of skin
· Color of skin
· Depth of any skin lines
The Diagnosis: Diagnosticians carefully observe the back of the patients' hands, as well as their palms, fingers and nails. They check the mobility of the finger joints and palpate the hands to detect swellings or calcifications. Like other diagnostic techniques, hand and finger exams also include an extensive medical history.
How a Diagnosis is Made: Hand and finger diagnosticians believe that many internal disorders and diseases reveal themselves externally. Practitioners can draw conclusions about a patient's health based on skin pigmentation, nail and finger deformities and the color and size of nodules on the joints.
The Viewpoint of Mainstream Medicine: Physicians know that a proficient practitioner can sometimes diagnose illnesses even before confirmed tests come back form the laboratory. Mainstream medicine, however, doubts the reliability of this diagnostic method when it's used without follow-up laboratory tests.
Take Care! While the hands offer many clues about people's lifestyles - Do they smoke? Do they eat well? Are they tense? - don't judge people by their hands alone.
Clues From the Fingers and Hands
· Spotty Redness On the Palms may indicate a liver ailment, such as hepatitis or cirrhosis; less commonly, it may be a sign of lung disease or of rheumatism.
· Nodules, solid nodes that can be detected by touch, are symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and of gout, a buildup of uric acid.
· Pale, Bluish Fingers may indicate Reynaud's disease, a circulatory disorder that is often precipitated by cold or intense emotions.
· Blue Hands, like blue fingers, are often a symptom of a chronic circulatory disorder, such as acrocyanosis; constricted blood vessels in the extremities will impede blood flow and leave the skin with a bluish cast.
· Edema, swelling caused by fluid buildup, when seen in the hands and wrists is associated with heart and kidney ailments.
· Atrophied Muscles In the Hand indicate paralytic hand ailments.
· Fluid Deposits In Just One Hand may be linked to past injuries.
· Hand Deformities and Swollen Joints may be signs of chronic joint inflammation, one of the primary symptoms of arthritis.
· Contraction of The Hollow of The Hand is generally associated with Dupuytren's contracture, a flexion deformity of the fingers. This problem is due to shortening, thickening and fibrosis of the connective tissue of the hand.
What The Nails Say
An experienced practitioner may uncover clues about the emotional and physical condition of patients by looking at their fingernails. The following characteristics are significant to diagnosticians.
Chewed, Soft Fingernails: Nervousness, restlessness, insecurity and fearfulness.
Brittle, Cracked and Torn Fingernails: Nutrient deficiencies, especially a lack of calcium, zinc or vitamin B.
Dimples in The Fingernails: Psoriasis that is not active or acute.
Thick, Shattered Nails With Tough Tough, Yellow-White Fingernails: Nail fungus.
Yellow Fingernails With Thick Nail Beds: Heavy nicotine consumption and lung disease or respiratory infection.
Hourglass-Shaped Fingernails- Hear defects and lung disease.
Spoon-Shaped Fingernails- Anemia, circulatory disorders and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Horizontal Ridges- Gastrointestinal ailments and infections.
White nails - Liver diseases, such as hepatitis
Yellowish, thickened, slow-growing nails - Lung diseases, such as emphysema
Yellowish nails with a slight blush at the base - Diabetes
Half-white, half-pink nails - Kidney disease
Red nail beds - Heart disease
Pale or white nail beds - Anemia
Pitting or rippling of the nail surface - Psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis
"Clubbing," a painless increase in tissue around the ends of the fingers, or inversion of the nail - Lung diseases
Irregular red lines at the base of the nail fold - Lupus or connective tissue disease
Dark lines beneath the nail - Melanoma
Chinese medicine also has it's theories about the condition of the hands in relation to the health of the body.
•Color of the palm is slightly yellow: liver’s ability is low
•Slightly green palms or green blood vessels: intestine and stomach are not healthy
•A straight line on the thumb: problems with the nerves on the face
•Straight lines on the joint between the back of the thumb and the palm: problems in the spine of the neck
•A straight edge from the little finger to the wrist: less muscle in the hand (little finger represents the kidney, bladder, uterus and ovaries, the straight edge indicates that there is a defect in these organs)
As well as looking at the physical characteristics of the hands for clues to your health, reflexologists use various points on the hands to diagnose and treat certain ailments.
So what are your hands telling you?