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Hand it over- TCM reads your palm
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Blue veins in the thumb or middle finger reflect insufficient blood in the head, often causing headache and dizziness. Blue veins at the base of the thumb may indicate hardening of the brain arteries. The thicker the vein, the more severe the problem, in general.

Blue veins at the thumb-side of the forefinger indicate a poor digestive system, which leads to weakness and poor immunity. Blue veins at the outside of the little finger indicate insufficient kidney energy. Kidneys also indicate the reproductive and urinary tract systems.

People with blue veins at the thenar mass of the thumb have a delicate constitution. They tend to be allergic to certain medicines or foods and tend to get skin ailments like eczema and psoriasis.

Blue veins at thenar mass can indicate a heart condition; prominent veins in different areas indicate different conditions, like irregular or weak heartbeat.

Fingernails, too, can be signals. Healthy nails are pink and smooth with a white lunula, the crescent, at the base of the nail. That's a sign of balanced energy.

The thumb and all fingers should have some lunula, more on the thumbnail. If it's only on the thumb, it's a likely sign of excessive yin or cold energy. If there's no lunula at all, that's a sign of bad circulation due to severe pathogenic cold.

If the thumbnail lunula is very large, more than a quarter of the jail, there's usually too much internal heat. These people are irritable and short-tempered.

Nail ridges are a sign of aging and usually not serious.

Massage your hands

Diabetes and belly troubles

Press the thenar eminence at the little-finger side area and seek the tender spot; it's usually in the upper third. Press and rub hard 100-200 times on both hands. Those with chronic digestion problems and intestinal inflammation should perform this massage three times a day. Avoid eating "cold" foods.

Gall bladder woes

Stomachache troubles some people with gall bladder problems, especially after eating greasy, hard-to-digest foods. In this case, press the upper part of da yu ji (see illustration) between the thumb and forefinger. Rubbing hard 100-200 times on each hand can help relieve the pain.

Asthma and coughing

Ke chuan xue (coughing and labored breathing point, see illustration) is between the fourth finger and little finger on each hand. If you feel like coughing but can't get rid of phlegm, press and rub this point to relieve discomfort and make it easy to cough. Press hard against the little finger and rub about 100 times on each hand.

(Shanghai Daily March 31, 2009)

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