For most, what we see in the mirror is something that happens to us. When a pimple shows up we often think of it as simply random. Those who are slightly more in tune with their bodies know that they caused it. That pimple showed up for a reason, in that particular spot even! It showed up because that was the weakest spot on your body, not just on the surface but much deeper than that.
Nothing Is Random
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, we are full of small “microcosms” —little miniature networks of our larger existence—that reflect the greater health of the body; our immune system, internal organs and glands. Your face is a map and once you understand the pattern of the microcosm your face is mirroring, you can even access information about an organ system! Other common microcosms’ in Chinese medicine are found in foot, the hand, and the ear. For now, lets start with the face.
Your Face Is A Map
The face is another important microcosm that can reveal what is going on beneath the surface of the skin. When I sit down with clients or friends talking about health issues the first thing I do is check out their face. If you’ve ever been to an acupuncturist you will notice this is the first thing they do too.
Imagine your face as a map with little watchmen sitting around it. When a waring light appears over a particular location, the watchman picks up the hotline and calls headquarters. The watchmen are the skin problems; pimples, rashes, etc, the hotlines are what are called meridian lines and headquarters is YOU. Each area on your face is like a different city on the map.
You have Liver City, Adrenal Nation, Kidney County, Intestinal Park, and so on. If anything is happening in one of these precious places; an invader, then the watchmen sound the alarms (skin problems). This is how the meridian lines work that TCM talks about. When you think about it, we should be really grateful for our skin problems! Instead of covering them up with surgery, creams and pills, trying to hide them in shame and guilt. Our bodies are trying to communicate with us! The more we suppress these signals the worse things get, suppression does not fix the problem.
How To Read The Warning Signals
Now that your body has your attention, learning to decode it’s messages is the next step. Acne is an easy one. That pimple on you forehead can tell you that something is going on in the large intestine. With acne, constipation may soon follow, stinky breath, or even a bacterial infection in the colon.
There is a two-step process to decoding Face Mapping:
- Identify the type of skin problem; acne, swelling, rash, eczema, blackheads, etc.
- Locate the area of face it is on and the associated organ.
This photographic will help this process!
Reading The Face Map
- The lips and around the mouth reflects the digestive system.
- The chin reflects the balance of reproductive hormones and your reproductive organs.
- The tip of the nose is the heart.
- Between the eyebrows, you can find some clues about the liver. In Chinese medicine, anger is the emotion stored in the Liver. Wrinkles between the eyebrows are a sign of too much anger.
General Skin Conditions Matter
- A red and blotchy complexion is a sign of excess heat in the body from toxic buildup, aggressive emotions and too many cooked, spicy foods. It may also mean chronic, low-grade inflammation. This is a sign that you are ready to cleanse the body of waste. **Before beginning any cleanse, always make sure that you are consistently having at least one daily bowel movement. Working with a health coach can help you set the stages before diving aimlessly into some cleanse only to destroy your metabolism. If this is you I suggest hopping on a 10 Day Cleanse with me and Body Ecology here.
- Dark spots on the face are signs of aging. You may need to check your hormone levels. Also, if you see dark spots make sure that you support your liver and that you are eating plenty of foods that are rich in antioxidants—like raw cultured vegetables, fresh vegetables, low-glycemic berries, probiotic green smoothies, and potent jing herbs.
- If you see dark circles under the eyes, avoid coffee and other stimulants, as often this is related to the adrenal energy and could be indicators of adrenal fatigue and weak kidneys. To learn how to keep your kidneys in pristine shape check out yesterdays blog here. Kidneys are beauty organs! They are responsible for healthy eyes, skin and hair. The kidneys need high-quality proteins, and minerals to stay healthy. For minerals drink plenty of raw coconut kefir, green juices with celery and cucumber, eat seaweed or take an OceanPlant Extract and try the herbs He Shou Wu and Lycium for glowing eyes.
- A pale, ashy complexion can mean low energy, blood deficiency, or even anemia. If you see a pale face, watch out for emotional extremes—like anxiety or depression. Also, make sure that you have enough enzymes to break down food, especially proteins. You may eat the ideal diet, but if you are not able to digest the food that you eat, you will not receive its nutrients. If you’re not digesting then immediately get off hard-to-digest processed foods, overcooked meat, rancid fats, sugar and get on high-quality digestive enzymes, eat plenty of probiotic rich foods and look into an easy-to-digest diet like Body Ecology.
Other Things You Can Do
Whatever your complexion looks like—whether you have acne, age spots, large pores, small pores, or wrinkles—your skin and your body will benefit from facial massage. Massage stimulates the production of collagen and improves the elasticity of skin, moves blood and circulates the lymph fluid (especially around the neck) and drain stored toxins.
I also recommend making my secret face-mask:
- 2 oz. coconut water kefir. [There are specific strains of bacteria that live on the skin and that our gut health is tied to our skin health.]
- 2 tablespoons Redmond’s Clay
Of course, above all, we need to care for our bodies on a spiritual level. The more we practice self-love internally, the more we will move outwardly with actions that show our beauty. What is your body telling you? How can you start caring for it today by listening to it’s messages? I’d love to hear in the comments!