WHAT THE HAND AND FACE TELL IN DISEASE AND HEALTH
By Dr. J. E. Lydon.
The most important thing is our health, both physical
and mental. By knowing that the lungs, throat, kidneys and other
organs of the body are weak, we can take care of them. We can
take proper measures to strengthen them and thus prevent disease.
The hand is the active servant of the system; therefore, it must
be aware of all that affects the system. Medical science has demonstrated
that there are more nerves in the hand than any other part of
the body. The pulse can be felt only by the fingers; not even
by the tip of the tongue, which is a very sensitive point. Scientists,
and men of learning in all ages, have acknowledged that the hand
plays the most important part of any member of the body. The medical
professors have recognized a thumb center in the brain. In my
own experience I find that when I am taking the pulse, I can read
very correctly from the nails, skin and facial condition the patient's
state of health, and know at once what particular treatment he
Finger-Nail Points to Bear in Mind.
The finger nails reveal the person's condition of
health, and the health as it has been for the past four months.
The nails upon the right hand of the average adult, require about
132 days for their complete renewal in cold weather, while the
nails upon the left hand require from 8 to 10 days longer. In
the case of children the growth is usually a little more rapid.
The thumb nail requires about six months for its complete renewal.
So in this nail we can read the condition of health for about
six months back. The care of the nails does not affect the type.
The man of ease may have short nails, while the man of labor may
have long. The length of the nail is measured by the distance
from where the flesh joins the nail to the end of the finger.
People with long nails are not as strong physically as people
with short nails. People with very long nails are apt to suffer
with diseases of the respiratory system - head, throat and lungs.
People with very short nails are more liable to suffer from heart
disease, and diseases affecting the lower part of the body - kidney,
bladder and lower limbs. If, on close examination, you find that
the nails are very long, from 3/4 to an inch, also curved from
side to side, that person will have weakness of the respiratory
organs, usually in the lungs or bronchial tubes. If the nails,
in addition to being curved, are also ridged or fluted, the condition
is aggravated, and it is almost a positive indication of consumption
of the lungs.
Take special notice of the nail of the first finger.
If this nail is bent inward at the base, is long, curved and pointed
from the end of the finger, it is an unfailing sign of scrofula,
or consumption. When these nails are found, you usually find,
also, that the palm of the hand will often be very warm and feverish.
The tips or ends of the fingers seem to be enlarged or swollen
on the inside. When you observe any disease of the respiratory
system, it is your duty to advise the person to take deep breathing
exercises. He needs plenty of fresh air, inhaled through the nostrils.
The vitality depends upon the respiration and the amount of pure
oxygen taken into the lungs.
If you find that your patient has nails that are
only moderately long, possibly 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch, but are
curved and fluted, that person will suffer from throat and head
troubles, such as catarrh, asthma and bronchial affections. If
you find that the patient has nails that are long, not much curved,
wide at the top, contracted toward the base, and bluish in color,
with very little of the white crescent showing above the flesh,
that person has poor circulation of the blood throughout the system,
resulting from past ill health, nervous prostration or apoplexy.
This type of nail is very frequently noticed on the hands of ladies
between the ages of 14 and 21; also 42 and 49, this being the
period of special nervous strain in a woman's life. If your patient
has very narrow - 1/4 inch wide - 3/4 to 1 inch long and highly
curved nails, the spine is not strong, and often diseases of the
If your patient has nails that are short, flat and
having little or no white crescent showing itself, it is sure
indication of weak action of the heart, poor circulation of the
blood, and often torpid liver. Large white crescents at the base
of the nails indicate a strong action of the heart and a good
circulation of the blood. If you find short nails that are flat
and triangular in shape, showing an inclination to lift up or
turn back at the edges, and in some cases being concave in shape,
the person is threatened with paralysis, progressive in its nature;
as the disease advances the nails become quite purple and checked.
It is quite possible for people to have paralysis, better known
as apoplexy, as the result of some great physical or mental strain
without having this type of nails. Diseases are indicated by short
nails that are very flat and deeply sunken into the flesh at the
base, and also by nails that are shortened through the habit of
biting them off. Nervousness, as a result of impoverished blood,
is indicated by nails that are covered with white specks or spots.
These spots will disappear as soon as the system is toned up and
put in good working order. Nervousness will also disappear. Black
and blue spots are usually found under the nail or nails just
preceding a case of typhoid or yellow fever, diphtheria or smallpox;
these spots indicate the poison in the system.
When you observe that the nails are yellow, or flaked
with yellow and white, it indicates a torpid liver, biliousness,
and possibly jaundice. The healthy color of all nails is pink.
Very red nails show an excess of blood in the system. Nails very
white in color with pale skin, indicate an anemic condition of
the blood. If your patient has many blue veins in the hands it
does not indicate that he is attached to Royalty and has blue
blood in his veins. It, however, indicates that there is an excessive
amount of carbon dioxide in the system; he needs more fresh air.
When the skin is very pale in color it shows an
anemic condition of the blood. When it is yellow in color, it
indicates biliousness and liver trouble. When the skin of the
hand has a pink and white mottled appearance, it is a sign of
a well-balanced constitution and healthy blood. When the hand
is very red in color it indicates that there is a superabundance
of blood in the system and danger of apopyexy. When the texture
of the skin is smooth and satiny-like, it indicates a tendency
to gout and rheumatism. A rough, dry skin indicates a tendency
to fever and skin disease through insufficient perspiration.
When you see dark circles under the eyes, it tells
of the condition of the kidneys, and indicates that they are overworked.
A mottled or blotched complexion, especially around the chin,
indicates that the bowels are very sluggish, and the person constipated.
Styes on the eyelids indicate stomach trouble, due to mental disturbances.
When the whites of the eyes are bloodshot, it indicates that the
person has not had sufficient sleep, but is living in such a way
as to cause an over-strain on the nervous system. When the lips
are blue, or have a purple color, it indicates serious trouble
with the heart, and a tendency to apoplexy, or serious heart disturbance,
or blood stasis. When the eyes are becoming glassy in appearance,
nature is giving warning that disintegration of the functioning
of the system is taking place.