Have you ever had someone ask you what’s wrong when you were worried about something, even though you didn’t think your expression was revealing inner turmoil? The other person was using subtle clues in your face to pick up on your emotions.
It’s quite common for people to do this type of facial reading without realizing that’s what they’re doing. In fact, you’ve probably done it yourself without being aware of it.
Going much deeper into face reading, mien shiang is an ancient Chinese technique utilized for thousands of years to uncover information concealed in the subtleties of your facial features.
What is Face Reading?
Translated as face (mien) reading (shiang), the Chinese medicine diagnostic technique of facial physiognomy can determine many aspects of not only current health, but past illness and trauma. This system allows the Chinese medicine expert to read and interpret your congenital, present, and future health predispositions. Mien shiang also detects your tendencies in predominating emotions, character traits, and patterns of behavior.
Mien shiang breaks down the face in several different ways to make determinations about your physical and mental health. A face reader will examine the two sides of your face in relation to each other, determine your face shape and what that reveals about you, and evaluate the three primary zones of your face and your 12 facial features.
How Chinese Face Readers Evaluate Your Health
Here’s how mien shiang is used to determine characteristics about your health.
Two Sides to Every Story
Imagine a line down the middle of your face, dividing it into left and right. Though most people would like these two sides to be symmetrical, they are dissimilar, though typically only slightly. In Chinese face reading, this is believed to be due to the control of the face by the brain, which is actually divided into two sections, the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere.
But what does this mean when reading the face?
Your left brain controls logic and reasoning, as well as the left side of your face. Logically, logic and reasoning are represented on this side of your face, as is how you associate with your inner self. It also represents the influence your father had on you.
Your right brain, the intuitive and creative side, is reflected on the right side of your face. This is your outer side that shows how you respond to the world, as well as your mother’s influence.
A Chinese face reader will compare the two sides and make determinations about your personality based on appearances. These traits give awareness into previous and current health and help determine how your future health can be improved by making changes.
The Five Elements and Face Shapes
In Chinese metaphysics, there are five elements – water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. Chinese Medicine uses these elemental cycles and correspondences to understand the nature of disease as well as understand disease progressions and best course for treatment. These elements also are represented on the face in an overall shape, a regional way, and in facial landmarks.
In relation to the face shape, the elements are associated with the five face shapes – round (water), wider at the jawline (earth), or rectangular or long (metal), wider at the top of the head and tapering town (wood), and heart-shaped with a pointed chin (fire).
The three facial zones are read from top to bottom – the upper, middle, and lower zones. The upper zone, which goes from your hairline to the top of your eyebrows, represents your early life. This is often where your signs of aging first start showing, especially if you had a difficult childhood.
The middle zone, from your eyebrows to your nose’s tip, corresponds to your health in the middle stages of life. A large middle zone can indicate that your middle age will be the best stage of your life.
The lower zone, from the bottom of your nose down, holds key information about your senior years in life. People with larger lower zones may experience true health and happiness as they advance into the later stages of life.
There are 12 prominent facial features evaluated to determine many personality traits and the experiences you’ve been through in the past that have affected who you are today. They include:
• Brow bones
Evaluation of these features, from the color to shape and size, allows your practitioner to delve even deeper into your true health and temperament. Discoloration, spots, or horizontal creases can be indicators of past, present, or future physical health concerns. They also reveal much about your individual nature, as well as how difficult or easy life has been and will be for you, based on the nine palaces.
How an Acupuncturist uses Face Reading / Chinese Medicine for Your Health
An experienced acupuncturist studied in mien shiang utilizes this method to thoroughly evaluate all areas of your face to better understand who you are, your life experiences, personality traits, and how all of this corresponds to your health.
Then, the acupuncturist uses Chinese face reading to develop a personalized holistic wellness plan just for you, that addresses the mental, spiritual, and physical signs of imbalance causing ill health. Chinese face reading allows your acupuncture to be customized for your personal health. No two people receive the exact same healing plans, as no two people have experienced the same circumstances and health afflictions in life.
Is Chinese Face Reading Accurate?
If you’re looking for studies that prove the science behind Chinese face reading, you may not find any. However, that isn’t to say that it doesn’t work. In fact, science is only now beginning to demonstrate the effectiveness of many ancient Eastern treatments.
Being as it has survived the test of time and that many people have used it to enjoy better health, we can say that it is an effective analytical tool.
And, one of the really neat things about face reading is that Western medicine also utilizes subtle (or sometimes not-so-subtle) clues on your face to make a diagnosis. When your doctor walks into your exam room, the first thing they do is evaluate your appearance, searching for clues that will help them diagnose you properly.
If you’re complaining about feeling tired and sluggish all the time and are prematurely gray, your doctor could suggest testing for an underactive thyroid to confirm hypothyroidism. This is because your verbal clues, combined with a visual sign, led them to believe you suffer from hypothyroidism. Diagnostic testing is not always necessary for an accurate identification of your ailment, but it does help to confirm what the doctor sees as obvious symptoms based simply on observation.
Most people, especially anyone who has ever had a baby, are aware that a yellow appearance to the skin is a sign of jaundice. But there are many other signs of serious diseases that present in your skin, though you’re often unaware of them. In fact, the first signs of disease often display in your skin before you experience symptoms unpleasant enough to send you to the doctor.
For instance, dull skin that appears nearly lifeless is often a sign of dehydration. Facial rashes on the cheekbones that spread across the bridge of your nose may indicate lupus, and eczema on your face may be a sign of celiac disease.
Physicians are often able to determine whether their patients are suffering from high cholesterol, diabetes, and other serious afflictions based on a simple visual check of the eyes and the skin surrounding the eyes. Even allergies can be accurately diagnosed without invasive testing based on questioning the patient and also noticing the area around the eyes for leaking blood vessels, dark circles, and puffiness.
And your dentist, well, they are also checking for visible signs of disease during every dental exam. Bleeding gums and mouth ulcers are signs you might be suffering from a dental condition, but sometimes these clues point to something more systemic. It has been proven that there are definite relationships between periodontal disease and heart disease and stroke.
So, you can see that visual inspection has always been an important part of all medical systems. Not only are these sensory clues telling us about pathology, but they can also change for the better with self care. We all know when we are adequately rested, eating nutritious food, and working to eliminate excess stress how we appear more alert, engaged in life, and vibrant.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has much to offer when it comes to diagnostic and healing methods. Mien shiang is an invaluable tool within Chinese medicine that allows a skilled face reader to uncover precious insights into a patient’s health, so that acupuncture and other effective healing modalities can be used to optimize and balance health. It could even be considered a facial version of feng shui!
Since many doctors also assess the appearance of your face before making a diagnosis, there is no doubt that your face holds evidence about your health that otherwise goes unnoticed. I recommend seeking out an experienced practitioner that utilizes Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and other therapeutic options for those who desire both internal and external health.
Your face is an open book to the story of your health, but you need someone who knows how to read the language in which your story is written.