Face Value

Yesterday as I approached the beach for my evening stroll, I saw a quiet group of locals gathered around a small Chinese lady. This was unusual! Most locals visit the beach to party and ‘lime’ not to listen silently to a ‘stranger’. She was pointing to the redness above the mouth of a young man in front of her.

The Chinese lady, called Ling, told the man that he may have inflammation in his urinary tract, probably his prostate. The man, Lenny blurted: ‘How did you know?” As she told me later, she knew because for generations her family of health practitioners practiced the ancient art of Face Reading.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic medicine, face reading originated as a diagnostic tool for health purposes. It provides information about a person’s health, lifestyle and personality through examining the shape, markings, features, and expressions of the face.

Specifically, different parts of your face mirror the health of different organ systems. According to TCM, for example, your cheeks correlate to your lungs, your brows correspond to your liver, and your lips show the status of your digestive organs.

Lines, blemishes, and colour in these areas give further clues. Likewise, certain areas of your face can illustrate aspects of your personality. "Your face becomes a map of your life," says Lillian Gamier Bridges, an expert in Oriental medicine, face reading and author of the book: Face Reading in Chinese Medicine.

Back to my beach visit, I thought you may be interested if I shared what I heard and learnt...After Ling had finished ‘diagnosing’ Lenny, many of the onlookers were asking her to do the same for them. She gladly obliged.

For one man Ling explained how his thin upper lip, which correlates to his stomach, could indicate that he is repressing his emotions. Ling suggested that this may cause digestive disorders, particularly stress-based ones like ulcers.

Surprised, he admitted he was on Pepto-Bismol and “some proton thingy” (proton pump inhibitors). A young woman was told that the pale top of the bridge of her nose (which corresponds to her spleen and pancreas) suggests that she is prone to blood sugar irregularities.

Ling also suggested that her wide-set eyebrows may signal a ‘do-it-yourself personality’ and gall-bladder insufficiency. The latter might limit her digestion of fats and cause nausea or headaches. Her upper lip is also pale, which possibly indicates what TCM calls "frozen stomach," caused by consuming too many cold beverages or raw foods. Frozen stomach can result in constipation, gas, and stomach aches. Constipation is also shown in her puffy lower lip.

The woman was amazed. She laughing admitted her preference for cold foods, especially ice cream. And her doctor had recently warned her about high blood sugar and pre-diabetes. Then Sammy the popular fisherman stepped forward with a big grin on his weathered face. Every one clapped and waited...

Ling smiled and immediately pointed to the cleft in Sammy’s chin (called the "performer's chin"), which shows that Sammy is by nature the Joker. We all clapped again. Then Ling gently touched Sammy’s thick bushy eyebrows and said how this shows good qi, or energy, in his liver. A strong liver, according to TCM, wards off the ill effects of anger, overwork, and even toxic chemicals.

Sammy grinned broadly and patted his belly proclaiming how “me like he food”. Ling nodded and pointed to his tight, pale upper lip possibly signifying digestive problems, especially emotional ones. Additionally, the multicoloured hue of his lips signals possible food sensitivities, which can occur when food isn’t properly digested. Food sensitivities are tied to arthritis (especially sensitivities to nightshade vegetables like potatoes and eggplants) and could cause migraines.

Sammy’s smile faded. We knew that his wife had died recently. He admitted that he was reacting to foods that used to be OK for him. He also pointed to his knee which he said was troubling him.

By that time quite a crowd had gathered, and I needed to get my exercise in before the approaching storm clouds burst. Of course I was also eager to know how Ling would ‘diagnose’ me....though not so publically! So I asked for her number and scooted.

I’ll see her next week. Can’t wait!

Perhaps before you seriously think about having plastic surgery, consider the wisdom of your face: The ‘real untouched you’, wrinkles, warts and all is far more beautiful and revealing than an ‘enhanced’ but fake version!

Or, if you would like to ‘de-age’ your appearance naturally and safely, why not try our outstanding Skin Care range.

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