I looked at myself in the mirror just now and realized how long it’s been since I looked into my own eyes to say ‘Hi, thank you, I’m sorry I’m not taking better care of you right now.  I can do better.’

When was the last time you took a minute to really look at your face?  I’m not talking about checking your mascara, or if you missed an errant chin whisker, but really sat with who is looking back at you?  Most people would say never or rarely.  I say your body never lies, it is what it is.  Stress can begin to breakdown your body systems quickly and in the background, until bam, suddenly you become sick ‘out of nowhere’ or so it seems.

The body is actually trying very hard to give you some clues, but if you don’t make the time to actually look, you will miss a multitude of opportunities to prevent illness from coming to visit.

Your Face Never Lies

Just as visiting your health care provider can give you some insights to what your body is doing, are you aware that your face can give you some clues about what might be going on with your body too? In his 1983 book “Your Face Never Lies” Michio Kushi used Oriental Diagnosis Methods to bring to the Western World details of how to look at our face for those hints. Billed as an Introduction to Oriental Diagnosis, Mr. Kushi’s book has been a staple of many wellness training programs through the ensuing years.

In 2006 he published “Your Body Never Lies” as a full introduction into Oriental Medicine.  Both are available in Kindle format, which I recommend since it is out of print in most places.

Using the principles of yin/yang he explains that everything in the universe exists in a continual state of change. Without cold there would be no heat, without up there is no down, without this pulse of life that governs all things, there would be no “us”.

  • According to Chinese medicine theory, there are seven principles that order the Universe:
    1. All things are the differentiation of One
    2. Everything changes
    3. All antagonisms are complementary
    4. There is nothing identical
    5. That which has a front has a back
    6. The bigger the front, the bigger the back
    7. Whatever has a beginning has an end

This develops into a unifying principle , much like the earth has a north and south magnetic pole, all things have a yin/yang. Together yin/yang create energy and they can both attract and repel the other at different times. According to this principle, there can be no neutral, and we find this with the body as it addresses how it responds to it’s unique stress triggers. That is to say that following the principles of Quantum Physics, there exists only one state…it is either health or non-health, diseased or non-diseased, happy or sad, relaxed or tense, stressed or eustressed. In essence the same type of principle as yin or yang.

This is important to understand so that when you begin to read your face, you can begin to understand how the Asian theory of medicine utilizes yin/yang as a measure of wellness of specific body parts and functions. For example, in Chinese Acupuncture, if a problem happens in one organ, there will be a problem with the complementary organ as well….yin/yang.  An imbalance in one, will always create an imbalance in the other.

As with any wellness modality, we all come to realize that proper diet and nutritional absorption is the key to our vitality while a poor diet and inability to absorb nutrients is a leading cause of illness. One only has to look at the obesity epidemic and the startling rise of heart disease and diabetes as confirmation of that theory. These diseases are reversible if caught early enough and are directly linked to impaired digestion.

Learn The Three Facial Sections

To start to read the face, you must first understand the three sections:

  • Upper face from eyebrows to top of head are linked to the Nervous System;
  • Eyes to below the nose and down the cheeks relate to Circulation
  • The mouth and chin relate to Digestion.

The shape of the head relates to seasons while specific facial features relates to specific body functions. There is much more detail than I have space to go into in this blog, but I do want to point out some areas that you may want to pay close attention to.   Feel free to use them as clues to monitor your health and seek medical or wellness care if it is a concern. Bear in mind, this information is not to be construed as medical diagnosis, and I am not healing, treating or curing anything by sharing this information with you.

According to Mr. Kushi, the deeper the lines on the face, the more likely it indicates a problem with that area of the body the facial area links to. For example, puffiness under eyes might indicate allergies, challenged kidney function (ever notice they get puffy after a night on the town or an allergy attack?); or know someone who has a dent at the end of their nose? This could relate to a heart condition, especially if this dent recently developed and the person was not born with it.

A red bulbous nose might indicate an enlarged heart and overburdened circulation. Think of former President Bill Clinton’s face and his recent medical news. Liver congestion might show up as an increase in the frown lines between the eyes while a problem with the intestines might show up as deep creases across the forehead.

If you don’t spend a few minutes every so often really looking and examining your face, you would miss the signs.

Ever have your medical doctor pull your lower eyelid down and not know why? This reflects the circulatory system, a white color might indicate anemia, red might mean infection or inflammation. For people who eat excess meat, fruits and sugar might have this area be bright red. An issue digesting cheese, fish and milk shows up as spots in this area. The swelling under the eyes if soft, might mean the kidneys are being challenged to filter toxins, if the swelling is firm to touch, it could indicate excess fat, stones or cysts on the corresponding side according to Mr. Kushi.

The mouth can help you understand your digestion. A very large mouth might indicate the digestive system losing vitality. The upper lip relates to upper stomach, the lower lip to intestines. Swelling of the lower lip might indicate constipation.

Now that you know this, you’re going to start looking at other people and seeing how it correlates to their health issues, you won’t be able to help it.

Brown spots that show up on the skin might indicate blockages in the liver or gall bladder or from an over consumption of white rice or MSG. Now that I think of it, ever since I had to have my gall bladder removed, I seem to realize new brown spots all over my body…..white rice is linked to high arsenic levels and MSG is linked to neurotoxicity and can trigger migraines by causing constriction in the blood vessels in the brain.  Can you see how a migraine can now be traced back to a digestive concern, even though the pain is in your head?

While Mr. Kushi’s book may be old, the information is still relevant. He discusses reading the hands, handwriting, the voice and the pulse of the meridians of the body. It is a wealth of knowledge in a small book and well worth having on your wellness bookshelf for reference.

I have found my face reflects back to me what is going on in my body and it helps me to stay on top of making changes to ensure I stay healthy. When my kidneys started having trouble, even before my doctor figured out what was wrong, my face was telling me there was a problem. It was through my determination to figure out what was going on that I was able to push my doctors to test and discover kidney damage from a blocked ureter….but that’s another story on how that happened.

Suffice to say, reading my face, saved my kidney from further destruction. That alone makes this book worth hanging onto and using.

Face Reading

General Physical Links to Facial Areas