2 min read

Have you read a good face lately? Hmm us either. We struggle to read a book these days.

But in Traditional Chinese Medicine (let’s call it TCM) there are people who can read your face better than Karen Morgold can read your star sign.

We know that this may sound a little “woo woo” but sometimes these ancient healing practices do have a place in our modern times.

Face reading (or “Mien Shiang”) has been around since Confucius and it was used to get an insight into a person’s character, personality, health, spirituality, energy, ambition and even wealth.

It’s not to be confused with reading facial expressions. Instead, Mien Shiang looks at the colour, shape, structure, placement and markings on your face to get an insight into what is going on.

The basics of it are that there are 5 elements - earth, water, fire, wood and metal - and different areas of your face reflect the health of certain internal organs. A practitioner will not only look at your face but also touch, ask and listen.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Five Element Theory

Here is a little bit of what they look for:

Your Eyes

Your eyes are part of the wood element. They are the windows to your soul and in Traditional Chinese Medicine they reflect your spirit. Clear and bright eyes are a sign that your spirit is strong. Dull and cloudy eyes are signs your spirit is low or out of balance. Your eyes also give an insight to your liver. If you have yellow eyes you should see a medical professional.

Your Cheeks

Your cheeks are related to your lungs. Dry, dehydrated cheeks are sign of having a cold. If you notice a difference in the hollowing of your cheeks it might be a sign you are not breathing properly. If they are regularly red and spongy it could be due to sinus congestion, hay fever or asthma.

Your Lips

Your lips are part of the earth element and it might not be the wind making them dry and chapped. It could be a sign of a diet change or stress causing some gastric distress.

Your Nose

Your nose is part of the metal element and is related to your heart. A very red nose is a might be a sign of high blood pressure or heart disease.

Your Skin Color

In TCM, red means heat and white means cold but the 5 elements also have colour meanings. Green is wood (liver), yellow is earth (stomach), white is metal (lungs), water is black (kidneys) and red is fire (heart). We know good health results in glowing skin and TCM agrees.

Clear, glowing skin is a sign that your energy, blood and spirit are in balance and good health. Dull, lifeless skin is a sign that something is out of whack and that you might be exhausted.

Even if the effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine is still under scientific debate, we find it fascinating and this article has only scratched the surface.

TCM is such a complex modality which covers physical, energy (Qi), spiritual (Shen), emotional and balance (ying/yang) aspects of health. It’s easy to see why it takes a lifetime of learning to master it!



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