The state of your overall health may be as simple to discern as using Chinese face reading to examine your face. So say ancient healing systems such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Face reading (mien shiang or mien xiang, pronounced “myen-shung”) originated in China nearly 3,000 years ago. Originally, this medical art was practiced by Taoist monk healers. Today, Eastern practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) use face reading in their diagnostic practices. But the skill is rarely included in TCM training conducted in the U.S. because we have too few masters here to teach it.
Experts say that in China, good doctors can identify 70% of a person’s health problems by examining the patient’s face. The most wonderful aspect of this diagnostic philosophy is that it can be used to prevent illness. Experts say the health conditions indicated by face readings aren’t set in stone. They’re simply warning signs. You can heed these signs and make adjustments to protect your long-term health.
According to Chinese face reading principles, different parts of your face mirror the health of different organ systems, as follows:
• Cheeks correlate to lungs
• Brows correlate to liver
• Lips correlate to digestive organs
“The difference between psychological and physical is not much in TCM…. Your face becomes a map of your life,” Lillian Gamier Bridges told Natural Health magazine.
Bridges is a professor of Oriental medicine at several universities, including Yo San University of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Los Angeles. She has been teaching facial diagnosis to acupuncturists, homeopaths, doctors, and nurses for 10 years.
What’s in a Face?
As previously mentioned, each part of the face corresponds directly to a part or area of body — but the Chinese face-reading system is much more complex than that.
First, each face represents one of the 5 basic elemental types recognized by traditional Chinese medicine: wood, fire, air, water, and metal. Most people aren’t a pure type but instead a mix of two types, with one more pronounced than the other. Each elemental type has specific physical attributes, personality traits, and health strengths and weaknesses.
Facial coloring can also reveal what’s happening in the body, especially mineral deficiencies. Likewise, facial lines give clues to various health conditions — as do marks, discolorations, spots, creases, and indentations.
The location of various marks on your face is also important. Location can help predict the age at which certain problems will appear. Similarly, the size and darkness of a mark can signify how serious a problem will be. Bigger and darker marks indicate more serious conditions.
How the Face Reveals Clues to the State of Your Health
• Slightly green facial hue: decreased liver function
• Overly red facial hue: heart disease or high blood pressure
• Yellowish facial hue: low function of spleen and stomach
• Darkened facial hue: low kidney function
• Whitened face: low lung function
• “Folding” between eyebrows: low-functioning lymph, weakened immune system
• Red spots or pox around the eyebrows: increased likelihood of flu, or sign of flu in recent past
• Reddened eyebrows: overactive nervous system, lack of quality sleep
• Reddened eye sockets: inflammation in the kidneys or back pain
• Reddened nose: bladder inflammation or back pain
• Swelling veins on the nose: deteriorating function of kidneys and bladder
• Red lips: overactive stomach
• Dark lips: low function of spleen and kidney
• Pox spots or cold sores near lips: stomach ulcer
• Red cheeks: active liver
• Black eyes or black/ brown spots: low kidney function
• Dark skin around eyes: deteriorating kidney function, likelihood of kidney “stones”
• Black moles between nose lips: high levels of acid and toxins in the body
• Darkening of black moles between nose and lips: possible sign of risk of cancer
• Region between chin and ear has depressed scars, pox marks, or other anomalies: poorly functioning intestine (if this region becomes red, possible sign of impending diarrhea)
Reading Your Life Story on Your Face
Some practitioners believe your entire life story can be read in your face — including future events. According to this school of thought, the ears and the top part of your face represent the early part of your life, from preteens to early 20s. As your life progresses, corresponding facial areas move downward from your eyebrows, nose, cheeks, lips, chin, and even your tongue.
Face Reading in Modern Western Science
Not surprisingly, Western clinical research has largely ignored Chinese face reading as a health tool. However, there is one very notable exception to this rule.
Several prestigious Western medical journals, including American Journal of Cardiology, have reported a high correlation between a diagonal earlobe crease and coronary artery disease in people under age 70.
Getting a Face Reading
Finding a highly qualified face reader may require research. Many websites feature this topic, as do a handful of good books. You might locate a reader through your local herbal remedy store or natural foods co-op, or by referral through a trusted natural health practitioner.
Some face readers will provide partial readings long-distance using a high-quality photograph. However, for serious health diagnostics, many face readers will be comfortable only with in-person readings.
While Chinese face reading is a highly respectable, documented, and valuable system for understanding and improving your health, some caution is advised.
Experts say to be especially wary if readers charge unusually high fees, or claim the ability to change your health fortune or cure illnesses, especially long distance! Likewise, use your best judgment if a practitioner claims to “know” things that seem much too specific or worse, irrelevant to holistic health or the science of Chinese face reading.