Fox News is reporting that a plastic surgeon named Takaaki Matsuoka is charging $1100 for a surgical procedure that can alter the lines of the human palm. Deciphering these lines and markings is a form of divination known as Chiromancy and persons desiring to change their destiny believe they can do so by submitting to this 15 minute procedure that takes about a month to heal.
As this article explains, the surgery "is not about beauty, but rather something much deeper: destiny. In a society in which many people value palm reading as a method of fortunetelling, some Japanese think that medically altering their palm lines can change their futures."
According to Matsuoka, men tend to want to change palm lines related business success while women are more concerned with improving their romantic fortunes.
At the time of the article's publication, 20 persons reported a positive change in their fortunes after receiving the surgery.
"Basically, if you think positively enough about your future and are willing to go to such extremes to make it better, there’s a good chance good things will happen," the article states. "But as long as palm surgery exists, there will be plenty of Japanese people who aren’t willing to leave it to chance."
The Japanese aren't the only people in the world who believe the secret to their future lies in the lines of their palm. Believers in chiromancy are found the world over and there is no lack in then number of "readers' willing to accommodate their desire to see into the future. During a reading, the palmist will look at person's life line (the line extending around the thumb). If it is deep and clear, the person should expect to live a long and healthy life. If there are splits in the life line, the person is prone to illness and misfortune. The presence of smaller lines that jut up and out from the lifeline (known as effort lines) mean the person puts a great deal of effort into what they do.
However, palmistry is not something you should stake your life upon.
For example, the shape and texture of the hand is said to contain secrets. If the texture is smooth and silky, this denotes a person who loves luxury and is given to excess. (I have a smooth and silky hand and am a Carmelite - which is a person whose lifestyle is the antithesis of luxury.) Short fingernails mean you don't stay at anything for long and frequently change partners, jobs, etc. (I keep my fingernails short because I'm a journalist whose nails wear out keyboards at a rate of 2 per year if not kept short.)
No one really knows where chiromancy came from but proponents like to say it originated in ancient times, somewhere around 3,000 BC in China. We do know that it was suppressed by the Church in the Middle Ages, but made a comeback sometime during the 18th century.
The Church forbids the use of palmistry or any other form of divination.
"All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to 'unveil' the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone" (No. 2116).
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