Fear Of Hands

This unusual phobia may surface for a variety of reasons…the hands can be be tools that create, caress, or nurture: however, they can also be used as weapons that injure and kill. When someone is afraid of hands, they suffer from Chirophobia.

All About Chirophobia

Chirophobia, like most phobias, generally occurs in response to some trauma in a person’s past. For example, an injury to the hands, or a severe bout of arthritis in that part of the body, may make someone overly conscious of the hands and their importance. Pain and suffering in the palms and fingers will cause a negative attitude towards hands.

In other cases, hands may represent violence. Someone who has been beaten, or read about terrible crimes such as strangling, may become wary of certain, or all, hands.

Often, this fear may be focused on certain types of hands. The strong, rough hands of a man may be the focus of fears for a woman who has endured punching or other injuries from a man.

The soft, smooth hands of women and children may provoke envy and agitation in those whose hands are gnarled by arthritis or other health disorders.

The Importance Of Hands

Hands are miraculous and sensitive instruments. With our manual dexterity, we can create masterworks of art, delicate jewelry and metal works, and perform scientific experiments that assist mankind. Without our manual dexterity, life would be very different.

Every day, we use our hands to cope with a dizzying array of tasks, from cooking and cleaning, to office work or manufacturing. We also use our hands to show love, or even hate.

The differences between people and animals can also be traced to our hands and fingers and what they can do. Other large-brained mammals may be very intelligent, but they lack the ability to create that comes with opposable thumbs. Primates, such as apes, may also have opposable thumbs, but most animals do not share this trait with the human species. Therefore, our superior abilities, to craft tools and conquer nature have become one reason why human beings are able to control their environment in a heightened sense.

From cavemen who used stone arrows to kill animals for food, to today’s surgeons who prolong life with the use of their hands – we have much to marvel at when we consider how important these appendages really are. However, fearing the hands may inhibit the sufferer from creating and experiencing things in their lifetime.


People who feel clumsy with regard to manual dexterity may be more prone to this phobia. If there is not some incidence of violence or trauma related to the hands, they may simply feel ill-equipped to use their own hands effectively. People with disorders like Parkinson’s may feel incredibly (and justifiably) frustrated with loss of muscles control in their hands and fingers. And people who have little success using their hands to type, cook, or create will also become irritated and perhaps ashamed.

Coping Strategies

There are some ways to combat this phobia through muscle-strengthening exercises and hand exercisers. Taking typing lessons and other instruction that assists with fine motor skills will also be beneficial. Gaining control is the key to resolving phobias, so learning to use the hands more effectively may go a long way toward easing symptoms.

However, if the source of Chirophobia is some past trauma, it may be necessary to deal with the panic and fear that surface around triggers (reminders of the original event). Panic attacks can often strike those with phobias, and they cause all manner of physical symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, and acute worry. Treating panic can be a great way to get at the root of fears and release them.

The fear of hands is also referred to as:

  • afraid of hands
  • hand fear
  • hands phobia
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