Your palm, your thumb and your fingernails can tell a lot about your heart, your digestion and reproductive system.
Palm readers claim they can read your future through the heart-line, while traditional Chinese medicine doctors say they can study your palm and learn about the state of your heart, healthwise.
The color (pink is healthy), appearance of blue veins and lunula (white crescent at the base of the fingernail) all are indicators of health in TCM.
Health problems can show up in your hands, palms and fingernails and if you read the warning signs, you can improve your constitution.
Wang (observation), wen (smelling and hearing), wen (inquiry) and qie (touching) are the principal methods for TCM diagnosis. Qise (literally "energy color") or complexion and the color and coating of the tongue are commonly checked to make a diagnosis.
But the hands, too, tell the tale, according to Dr Ma Xueling, a TCM folk doctor and author of the best-selling "Wisdom of No Illness" published in 2007.
The color of the palm, says Ma, reveals the general health condition, just like qise of the face. It reflects blood circulation. A healthy palm should be elastic, smooth and light pink. White indicates poor circulation or "pathogenic cold," while red means "pathogenic heat."
A dry and wrinkly palm that is either yellow or white color usually is a sign of malnutrition - insufficient energy and blood.
If the center of the palm is very white, then pathogenic cold energy has accumulated in your system. Stop eating too much "cold" (yin energy or literally low-temperature) foods.
If the center of the palm is red, that means there's excessive yang energy or internal heat. It often goes with a short temper. Eat foods that nourish the cold yin energy while dispelling pathogenic heat, such as white fungus.
If the palm is only red occasionally, it may mean you have eating too much reinforcing foods recently, so switch to a plainer diet temporarily.
If the thenar (fleshy mass at the base of the thumb) is red, it's usually a sign of excessive internal heat in the head, lungs and heart. It's often a sign of high blood pressure, heart ailments and a bad temper.
If the thenar at the little-finger side is red, then there's usually excessive internal heat in the digestive system. It can be a sign of metabolism problems or diabetes.
Stretch your palm and keep it still for a while. If the fingers turn darker in color than the palm, or show purple, it may be a sign of serious pathogenic cold. This slows blood circulation and makes the blood thicker.
Blue veins also signify the internal energy. Generally, the fewer blue veins that are visible at the palms and fingers, the better the health. People with several obvious blues veins at the palm and fingers often suffer from constipation.