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Face Diagnosis

Updated: Sep 7

If a face could launch a thousand ships I don’t think mine would be in the running. As the saying goes beauty is skin deep and I’m happy with that.


But did you know that in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) observing the face can be used as a diagnostic tool? There is some truth in the saying that the eyes are the window to the soul. The Shen or spirit implies our consciousness it gives vital information about vitality, and mental, emotional, and spiritual well being. The Shen is reflected in the eyes, complexion, and state of mind. When the Shen is healthy the eyes are bright. The face can mirror to the outer world what is going on internally. Early TCM texts show drawings of the face depicting different zones. The drawings mapped out the corresponding internal organs related to specific areas of the face. Therefore when we notice rashes, spots, pigmentation, or redness we can relate the area to the corresponding organ or meridian. Observation is an important part of understanding illness in TCM. Often subtle indications can give a lot of information guiding a practitioner to where an imbalance lies. Sometimes that which is not being said or aware of can also be revealed through various TCM diagnostics. Other diagnostic tools used by TCM practitioners are observation of the tongue, feeling the pulse, and palpation.

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