How Chinese Palmistry Works

How Chinese Palmistry Works

Chinese palm reading is a very old technique of studying the lines on the palm in an attempt to interpret someone’s personality and predict his/her fortune. It is regarded as one of the very basic techniques of Chinese fortune telling.

An important branch of Chinese palm reading is medical palmistry. Based on the traditional Chinese medicine philosophy “If something happens on the interior of the body, it must be reflected on the exterior of the body.” It is used to diagnose a variety of diseases.

Video Guide on Understanding Chinese Palm Reading

This video introduces the basic knowledge and methods of Chinese palmistry, such as palm lines and palm loops, and explains how to analyze one's personality and destiny from the lines and mountain and river patterns on the palms.

Which palm to read? Which hand to read for male and female in palmistry?

Palm Lines Meaning Palm Lines Meaning

For many people, the first problem encountered in palm reading is knowing which hand to read, left or right, and what difference it makes.

There is a general clash between the traditional and modern forms of palmistry, which are split on which palm to read and which to exclude. In some cultures, palmists choose to read the right hand for a male and the left hand for a female. 

According to Chinese palm reading, for a male below 30 years of age, the left palm is used for the primary reading and the right one for a supplementary analysis. 

For a male over 30 years of age, the right palm is used for the primary reading and the left one as a supplement. 

For a female aged below 30, the right palm is used for the primary reading and the left one for a supplementary analysis. And for a female aged above 30, the left palm is read for the primary analysis and the right one for a supplementary analysis.

Main lines and meanings in Chinese Palmistry

In Chinese palmistry, there are three major lines:Life Line, Wisdom Line (also Head Line) and Love Line (also Heart Line).

Life Line

Life Line Life Line

This starts from the palm edge between the thumb and index finger and goes to the base of the thumb. You can find its exact location from the picture on the right.

Wisdom line (Head Line)

Wisdom line Head Line

The wisdom line (also head line or intelligence line) is the second important line in palm reading. It starts from the palm edge between the thumb and index finger, and extends across the palm in the middle part with the life line below and the heart line above. It is considered ideal if it ends below where the pinkie finger and ring finger join. Please refer to the picture below.

The Love line (Heart line)

Love line Heart line

The love line is one of the three major lines in palm reading. It's just above the wisdom line starting from the edge of the palm under the pinkie finger, runs across the palm and ends below the area between the middle finger and index finger.

Here are the 16 common types of love lines in palm reading, with explanations:

long love line
The person places a high value on their emotional relationships, especially their marriage and family. They work hard to maintain a harmonious home life, and this dedication will allow them to achieve a happy and fulfilling personal life. They are an idealistic person who is determined to accomplish their goals.
love line example
The person is very cautious and rational when it comes to their love life. They have a good sense of right and wrong, and can make sound judgments. However, they need to be careful not to be too stubborn or to get overly involved in other people's affairs. They also need to pay attention to financial matters.
love line example long line
The person has a strong sense of responsibility, values their relationships, but needs to be mindful of not developing jealousy.
love line
The person can be rather capricious or impulsive when it comes to love. They need to be mindful that successful relationships require effort and compromise from both partners.
heart line
The person does not place a high priority on their emotional relationships. They can be somewhat self-centered and need to be more committed to their romantic partnerships. Successful relationships require dedication and selflessness, rather than constant calculation and comparison.
heart line example
The person has a strong, distinctive personality. However, they should be mindful that sometimes heeding the advice of others can actually be helpful for them as well.
heart line example
There are many branch lines from the starting point, indicating that there are more children.
love line
The person can sometimes be inconsistent or fickle in how they approach things. Their emotions may also veer towards extremes at times. They need to focus on cultivating their emotional intelligence and interpersonal relationships, as healthy connections with others can greatly benefit both their personal life and their career.
love line image
For this person's romantic relationships, open communication between partners is very important. If a relationship becomes truly unsustainable, separation may actually provide a sense of relief.
love line image and explanation
The person's emotional life tends to be quite rich and abundant. They are very optimistic.
love line palm reading
The person has a very strong personal charisma.
love line example reading
The person has an exceptionally strong personal charisma and appeal, especially towards the opposite sex. However, they need to be mindful of their behavior and maintaining emotional fidelity.
love line palm reading
The person's romantic relationships may tend to have a somewhat dramatic or tumultuous quality to them.
heart line palm reading
The person is generally honest and sincere in their approach to love. They tend to be devoted and committed in their romantic relationships. However, they need to be cautious and discerning when it comes to making new friends.
love line chain type
This person needs to be especially mindful of their words and actions. There is a Chinese proverb that says "those who do many unrighteous deeds will ultimately self-destruct.
love line island type
Relationships, whether romantic or platonic, require effort and nurturing. This person needs to strive for loyalty and faithfulness in both their love life and their friendships.

Other important lines: Marriage line, Fate line, Sun line, Children Line, Health Line

Marriage line

Marriage line Marriage line

The Marriage Line is a small horizontal line on the edge of the palm between the base of the pinkie finger and the Love Line. Some people have more than one line here. It is not significant how many lines there are, because all shallow lines can be ignored if there are one or two prominent lines.

Fate line(Career line)

Fate line Fate line

The fate line is one of the major palmistry lines on hands. It is a vertical line running up the palm towards the base of the middle finger. The starting point can be anywhere from the base of the palm (most people find it begins from the middle part). You can find its location from the picture below.

Sun line

Palm Sun line Sun line

The sun line mainly shows the capability, talent and popularity which may lead to success. So, it's also called the Line of Success. Generally speaking, a long sun line is better than a short one and people with a sun line are better off than those without it. Also, it’s regarded as a sister line to the Fate Line as it could boost the fate line.

Two Sun Lines that appear like a pair indicate the person is famous and renowned. If there are several lines, it indicates too many interests without a particular focus.

Children Line

Children Line Children Line

The children lines are the upright lines below the base of the pinky and above the marriage line. In Chinese palmistry reading, they indicate the number of children a person may have and the life status of the children. The children lines shall be interpreted from the bottom up and the number of lines suggests the number of children a person is likely to have. The deeply marked lines indicate the birth of male children, while the short, narrow and shallow lines suggest the birth of female children. If the lines are extremely short, shallow and interrupted, they indicate an abortion or the loss of children from other causes.

Health Line

Health Line Health Line

The Health Line is a slanted line from the base of the pinkie finger toward the end of the Life Line. The line should be more accurately named “Bad Health Line”, and it is better not to have it at all.

A segmented line indicates problems with the digestion system.

An iron chain shaped line indicates problems with the respiratory system.

If there are circular creases on the beginning of the line, it indicates head, nose or throat problems, or if the creases are on the end of the line, it indicates problems with the urological system.

How to know about your career through palmistry

In Chinese palmistry, the fate line is the career line.

The index finger – when it exceeds the length of ring finger – this demonstrates one is a great leader; he or she is good at management jobs.

The ring finger – if it exceeds the index finger – the individual is creative and likely to cooperate with others in works.

Chinese medical palmistry

For millennia Chinese people believed that there are maps of the entire body on various parts of the body. These maps can be used to diagnose the corresponding body parts and, in some cases, such as with hand and ear acupuncture, to even treat those corresponding parts. The hand is readily available and can be examined painlessly, relatively quickly, and without expensive diagnostic machinery.

Illness is diagnosed by expert practitioners by careful observation of the appearance of the palm, the hand in general and the fingernails. Chinese palmistry tends to identify a propensity for a disease, whereas fingernail diagnosis identifies the actual presence of a disease.

For example:

Migraine: indicated by an upwards slanting line from the upper ulnar edge of the thumbnail.

Dental caries: indicated by an upwards slanting line from the lower radial edge of the thumbnail.

Bronchitis: indicated by an upwards slanting line from the upper radial edge of the index fingernail.

Nearsightedness (myopia): misty or cloud-like shape on the bottom radial edge of the thumbnail.

Diabetes: indicated by a white round dot on the lower radial edge of the ring fingernail.


By Leon Long
China Expert
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