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5 things your handshake says about your health

While a handshake may seem like a simple social nicety, it can also give some insights into a person’s health.

What does your handshake say about your health? [Freepik]

Handshakes are a common form of greeting, especially when people are being introduced to one another.

While it is commonly accepted as a way of greeting, handshakes can also convey a message about you.

Here are five things that can be revealed with just a handshake:

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The strength of your handshake is often correlated with your muscle strength and fitness levels. According to research, a weak handshake could be a sign of muscle weakness, frailty, or other health conditions such as arthritis, neurological disorders, or cardiovascular issues.

On the other hand, a firm handshake could indicate the person has good muscle tone and general vitality.

Your handshake can also give a glimpse into early death. Research has shown that people who had lower hand-grip strength also had links with higher all-cause mortality. In addition, people who develop a weak hold in midlife have been reported to have a 20% higher risk of dying from heart and respiratory diseases as well as cancer.

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Grip strength can also give an insight into a person’s risk of having a stroke.

The duration of a handshake can also tell you a lot about the person’s social health. An excessively prolonged handshake might indicate social awkwardness or anxiety, which could be linked to mental health concerns like social anxiety disorder.

On the other hand, a brief but confident handshake is often associated with self-assurance and good mental well-being.

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During handshakes, the temperature and moisture of your hands can reveal clues about your circulatory system and autonomic nervous function. Cold, clammy hands may suggest poor circulation, anxiety, or hormonal imbalances. Warm, dry hands typically indicate normal circulation and a relaxed state.

Chronic cold hands could be a symptom of conditions like Raynaud's Disease or peripheral artery disease.

If you experience pain or discomfort during a handshake, it may be a sign of an underlying musculoskeletal issue such as arthritis, tendonitis, or carpal tunnel syndrome. Joint stiffness, swelling, or inflammation can make handshakes uncomfortable or even unbearable.

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While a handshake may seem like a simple social nicety, it can also give some insights into a person’s health. Being aware of these subtle cues can prompt early detection and intervention for potential health issues. So, the next time you extend your hand for a greeting, remember that it's not just a gesture – it's a window into your health.

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