Chinese Face Mapping: 12 Ancient Healing Guide Insights (2024)

Traditional Chinese Medicine has sought to answer two basic questions; what is a human being and what is the Natural world? In this 5,000 plus year pursuit, it’s been discovered that they are one and the same. 

Chinese Face Mapping
Photo by Alexandru Zdrobău on Unsplash

With this being said, keep reading to learn more about Chinese face mapping and 12 ancient healing guide insights.

Let’s dive in.

Chinese Face Mapping And 12 Ancient Healing Guide Insights

1. Large Intestine and Urinary Bladder

Problems in the upper forehead or at the hairline indicate the human body is having a hard time breaking down food. The root cause is a poor diet with junk food or processed foods and too much sugar could be the problem in these organ systems.

Stress response can show up here too, as the intestines are linked to the nervous system; deep horizontal lines on the forehead can be a sign of anxiety, overthinking, or unresolved trauma. Meditation or yoga can calm down the nerves and improve gut function.

2. Mind And Spirit

Stress, depression, poor sleeping habits, or even poor circulation can pop up in the lower forehead. Go to sleep earlier, meditate, immerse yourself in an enjoyable show or book, or practice self-care – such as a massage or long bath.

Or, grab a pen and paper and start a gratitude journal. 

3. Kidney and Urinary Bladder

Issues in the corners of the forehead point to dehydration and/or a diet high in salt and caffeine. Be aware that many medications and sweet foods can also negatively affect the kidneys over time.

Increase your intake of herbal teas and healthy waters such as spring and raw coconut water to hydrate your kidney system. Choosing tea over coffee and using sea salt instead of iodine salt can also help. 

4. Liver

Issues with the Liver system show up between the eyebrows. This is a signal to cut down on fatty foods, dairy, and excess alcohol consumption. 

The liver is also the organ system that processes your emotions. It’s common for people who are chronically angry, impatient, or frustrated to develop a deep, vertical crease or groove between their brows.

If this is you, try to get out in nature more, learn to let go, and not take things too seriously. Have foods and herbs like turmeric, dark leafy greens, bitters and healthy amounts of clean protein.

The eyebrows themselves have a lot to say! Full, wide, or long brows suggest a strong liver, a personality that can handle toxicity and physical demands well.

Smaller, finer brows indicate a person with an easy-going demeanor. Curved brows indicate an ability to handle difficult people.

5. Kidneys & Adrenal Glands

In Chinese medicine, the kidney system manages bodily fluids and stress responses. Dark circles or puffiness under the eyes suggest dehydration or poor elimination. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of quality water. 

Eat mineral rich foods, get good sleep and handle your emotional stress responses.

Crow’s feet, or lines that slant upward, indicate those who laugh and smile a lot. Deep crow’s feet can suggest a history of making difficult decisions.

Lines slanting downward from the sides of the eyes can reveal a person who has dealt with a lot of crying and grief, especially if the lines seep over the cheekbones.

6. Heart

Stress, high blood pressure, hypertension, and poor blood circulation are the culprits that show up on the nose. The presence of blackheads can indicate heart congestion. Redness or puffiness can be linked to issues with blood pressure or blood insulin levels.

You might also notice some abdominal bloating or indigestion too; some maps link the nose to the stomach and digestive issues.

7. Kidneys

Dehydration or a diet high in salt or caffeine can impact the ears. Increase your intake of quality water and reduce caffeine, salt, and alcohol – particularly if your ears feel hot. Interestingly, a deep crease on the earlobe can point to possible heart problems.

8. Lungs

Allergies and issues with the respiratory system are common factors when it comes to the cheeks. For this, smoking or smoky areas and outdoor air pollution may also be a factor.

Getting out into the fresh air, up your dusting and vacuuming game, change your air filters regularly.

If you smoke, this would be a good sign to quit. Redness in the cheeks can be connected to an inflamed stomach; increase your fluids to quell stomach heat.

According to some Chinese face mapping, the right cheek is connected to heat in the lungs. Meanwhile, the left cheek is connected to heat in the liver.

Other maps link the upper cheeks to the lungs and the lower cheeks to the mouth. In Chinese medicine, grief is associated with the lungs, therefore lines or marks on the cheeks can point to a long period of grieving or unresolved grief.

9. Stomach and Small Intestine

Fast food and constipation are the usual instigators for issues showing up on the mouth or upper chin. Issues inside the mouth such as ulcers are attributed to stomach heat in Chinese medicine, and you just might experience corresponding ulcers in the stomach. 

Small cracks around the mouth can suggest a problem with the intestines. Dry lips can reflect a problem with dryness in the body. 

Lines around the mouth are typically related to smoking but can be common among caretakers, as the stomach is associated with nurturing. These lines suggest over nurturing others at the expense of caring for yourself.

Deep vertical lip lines are a big red flag for some much-needed self-care.

Marionette lines, or lines that extend from the base of the nostrils to the corners of the mouth, are known as purpose lines. Faint lines suggest one has a purpose but has not committed to it, while strong lines indicate a person living fully in their purpose.

10. Small Intestine and Gallbladder

Acne develops on the chin and jawline due to hormonal imbalances (like high testosterone, for example). Fast food can also contribute to breakouts, as well as irregular bowels. 

The fact that the jawline connects to the gallbladder makes sense, and fatty foods can contribute to gallstone formation. The gallbladder is the organ of indecision, so a tight jawline can reveal a person who waffles with self-expression or holds onto resentment.

11. Kidneys and Reproductive Organs

Extreme stress or hormonal imbalance are frequently to blame for issues in these organ systems and reveal themselves on the sides of the chin.

The reproductive system also benefits by increasing your water and leafy greens, calming your mind, and making sure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep. 

12. Facial Acupuncture

Facial Acupuncture can address more serious concerns like stubborn acne, wrinkles, and sagging skin.

Chinese face mapping and other Chinese medicine diagnostic techniques can uncover root imbalances that are causing your skin woes. 

Using facial acupuncture can strategically target these imbalances to speed up healing and restore your natural beauty. 

Is Chinese Face Mapping True?

There’s no real scientific basis to Chinese face mapping. Rather, it’s an ancient practice rooted in thousands of  years of observation and a belief that energy or qi, flows to and from different  organ systems along invisible pathways called meridians.

A study published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies states that this hidden system has a degree of influence over both the cardiovascular and nervous systems.

However, some experts don’t believe in it at all, claiming that pimples mainly appear on the face due to the area’s high number of oil-producing glands.

Many people still practice it though and find the methods reliable and helpful.

What Is Chinese Face Reading?

With Chinese face mapping your face is divided into zones that correspond with your body’s vital organs. These zones can differ from map to map, though many zones overlap.

Within facial mapping, some use lines to learn the history of illness or chronic emotions such as joy, sorrow, or anger. In this regard, facial mapping can give us clues into your personality, your past, and even your future.

To this day, many people in Asia rely on face reading to guide their decisions, like deciding whether someone is marriage material by using their picture.

For example, the shape and size of your eyes, nose, mouth, hairline all mean something, and it takes years to learn how to interpret all the different features out there.

What Does Face Mapping Mean?

What TCM understands that Western Medicine fails to is that our bodies work in the same way. What affects one organ affects the other, what affects one system ultimately affects the whole of the body.

Your skin is your biggest and most visible organ. Consider that it reveals or communicates what your “hidden” organs are saying. It stems from an ancient Chinese belief that a person’s skin is a reflection of their inner health.

Also known as mien shiang, which directly translates to “face reading,” 

Chinese medicine states that all organs have a different color, temperature, and taste, and are manifested in a certain way.

Facial mapping is not backed up by any kind of scientific data, however, Chinese face mapping is a 3,000-year-old practice. It views the face as a map with each section connecting to different organs.

What Does Left Cheek Acne Mean?

Traditional Chinese medicine places some emphasis on the difference between the right and left side of the body. Mien Shiang practitioners often specifically associate skin conditions on the left cheek with liver and digestive trouble.

It is believed that these imperfections reveal where toxins, organ weaknesses, or excesses can be found in the body.

Alternatively, persistent acne on one side of your face tends to be due to dirty phones, pillowcases, and other habits like touching your face.

Easy skincare tips are to clean your smartphone regularly with a disinfectant wipe and be diligent about not touching your face to help minimize breakouts.

Ultimately, the same cause can present as different distributions of acne on different people. Some people break out on their cheeks with stress, others on their forehead or even their back. Again, the type of acne is more important than the area

Chinese Face Mapping Pimples

This is the ability to see the reflection of the body’s organs on each part of the face by observing the face’s complexion — such as luster, dullness, color and breakouts! As well as the tongue and facial expression.

Face Mapping
Photo by Андрей Курган on Unsplash

Of course, make sure that dark spots or acne aren’t caused by poor hygiene or a skin infection. 

Acne face mapping strips out the Chinese beliefs, focusing on more scientific evidence of breakouts and long-term acne.

While there’s little research to prove that a specific factor can cause skin problems in a specific area, the technique is becoming more and more popular due to acne’s prevalence.

Once you know the trigger, you could put an end to your pimples. For example, the side effects felt from eating spicy foods are the main things that can cause pimples on your skin.

This technique, just like the others, splits the face into zones that correspond with a particular medical or lifestyle issue. Here’s how it supposedly works.

1. Forehead

This is linked to stress and diet. Remedies for breakouts or recurring acne here include eating more fruit and vegetables, ensuring adequate sleep, and drinking plenty of water.

2. Hairline

Considered a separate area, hairline problems relate to a buildup of hair or makeup products that include pore-clogging ingredients.

3. Eyebrows

Between the brows is again related to diet. Breakouts can be caused by consuming too much alcohol or fatty or processed foods.

4. Cheeks

Your cheeks can be affected by outside influences such as air pollution and bacteria from the likes of pillowcases and cellphones.

Diet is also believed to have an impact here. Studies have also found frequent sugar intake and dairy to be an acne risk.

5. Chin

Your chin and jawline is a mirror image of your hormonal balance. During menstruation and pregnancy, excess hormones can lead to breakouts.

Jawline acne can also be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition where women produce higher amounts of ‘male’ hormones.

Chinese Face Mapping Cheeks

The cheeks are connected to the stomach and spleen which work together to extract Qi from food, they rule digestion.

With the cheeks close to the mouth, so much of what applies to the mouth can be applied here. The difference is, more often than not, issues of excess heat in the digestive system show up primarily in this area.

When the cheeks are red, it’s an indication the stomach is experiencing inflammation. There are a few imbalances that can occur in this area.

Yet, most can be remedied by mastering your emotions and surprisingly by drinking enough fluid (only between meals 1-2 hours after eating and 15 minutes prior). The digestive system requires an abundance of fluids, so hydrate well.

Chinese Face Mapping Emotions

In TCM, emotions and physical health are intimately connected. This integrated mind-body approach to health and healing operates in a dynamic loop where emotions impact the health of the body and vice versa.

Chinese Medicine
Photo by OSPAN ALI on Unsplash

According to traditional Chinese medicine, emotions are narrowed down to five basic feelings that are each associated with a corresponding element and organ system in the body:

  • Anger with the liver
  • Fear with the kidney
  • Joy with the heart
  • Sadness and grief with the lung
  • Worry with the spleen

For example, on the emotional side, the liver is connected to anger, which when out of balance, can be expressed in the extremes of excess wrath and irritation or as a lack of feeling, as in depression or PTSD. 

Mental health imbalances can be both symptoms and/or contributing causes of liver dysfunction.

Chinese Face Mapping Neck

A more modern version of the traditional face mapping technique was launched by the skin care brand Dermalogica.

It combines Chinese diagnoses with dermatology knowledge. The face is once again split into zones and each area is studied by a trained professional.

When you feel stressed, your adrenal glands release a bunch of hormones, including adrenaline. This can result in redness in your neck and chest area. But skin issues here can also be a sign of irritation caused by a fragrance or sun damage.

Chinese Face Mapping Personality

Another application of face reading is identifying personality traits.

It’s possible to identify unique preferences, defining attitudes, individual mannerisms, tendencies and personal characteristics.

Just a few of the many personality traits that might be gleaned from physiognomy are: introvert versus extrovert, one’s decision making methods, practicality versus emotionality, and talents such as being artistic, mechanically inclined or being a bibliophile.

In face reading it is also possible to discover talents that may be known or unknown. Abilities passed down from previous generations or inherent to our family line that enhance life can be uncovered to encourage further growth in areas in which we may not realize we have gifts.

Matchmaking and interpersonal relationships are other arenas in which face reading can be employed. In ancient China face reading was a good tool in assessing a good marital match.

In modern days face reading can be used to trouble-shoot problems such as differing communication styles, expectations, as well as perspectives that may cause friction in a relationship.  

Ayurvedic Face Mapping

Ayurveda is the 5,000-year- old sister science of yoga and teaches us about the interconnectedness of our unique eco-system on a macro and micro level.

Translated literally, the word Ayurveda means “science of life.” Thousands of years ago, the ancient sages, or rishis, of India knew we were not all the same person. In fact, they created an exquisite framework for determining our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual uniqueness.

These constitutional types, or doshas, are known as vata, pitta and kapha. We are all born with our own unique mix of these three doshas. When they are out of balance, it will show up on your skin, in your body, and through the amount of energy you have.

By reading your face map you can see where you’ve been and where you’re going in terms of your health, your mood, and your emotions.

You might believe wrinkles and lines on your face are just the random byproduct of aging. This is simply not true. You have earned each and every facial character line and blemish you have today.

Keep in mind occasional blemishes, redness, or lines in any of these zones is no reason for panic! If you do have skin issues or deep lines that concern you, consider Chinese medicine Ayurvedic medicine. 

Remember that your internal health is revealed externally if you know the signs to look for.

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.