PSEUDO GYPSIES and conmen have given palmistry a bad name over the years. Anyone who studies the palm of your hand and then announces that you have a long life line so therefore you will have a long life is having you on. Likewise, be wary of the person who reads your palm and says they see a tall, dark and handsome man in your future - just so long as you cross that palm with silver. But get a professional palm reader and it is a completely different story. Acushla Anne Hassett is one such reader. She has been clairvoyant since childhood and uses palm reading - along with tarot cards - to give people advice. It's not all about telling people what the future holds - palm reading can make people aware of their strengths and weaknesses to help them get the most out of life. 'The lines you have on your hands are the ones you are born with. They don't change that much. They are your CV, a bar code. Hand readings give a personality profile and in some parts of the world they are used by employers to make sure a candidate has the right personality for the job,' says Acushla. Acushla doesn't like to give full readings to those under 16, but she gives a career-focused reading for 10- to 15-year-olds, so they can see what they are good at and can be steered in the right direction. Acushla read my palm and was spot on about all my abilities. If I had had that reading before I had to choose my A-levels, it would have made the decision a lot easier. There is something therapeutic about having someone tell you all your good points. By reading my hand, Acushla accurately recounted events from my past - which makes me confident that her predictions will be just as accurate. I hope so. Acushla uses her clairvoyancy for details that she cannot read on the palm. I came out of the reading feeling great. As for the life line - it has nothing to do with the length of life, but it tells all about the quality of life. The angle is the important thing: the wider the angle, the greater your appetite for life. Acushla will be at the New Age Shop from July 4 to 24. For an appointment, call 2810 8694. HAND FACTS FROM ACUIHLA: * Almost everyone has three main lines on their palm: the life line, head line and heart line. But people with Down Syndrome don't have a separate head and heart line - instead they have one big line across the middle called a Simian line. 'There is also the odd person who doesn't have Down Syndrome, but who has a Simian line. These people are highly intelligent, single-minded and have a ruthless streak. Tony Blair apparently has this line,' says Acushla. If you have any extra lines on your left hand that are not on your right, this could show unexpressed aspects of yourself - anything from fears and phobias to talents and gifts you are not using.