Beauty is generally thought of as skin deep, but in the eyes of traditional Chinese medicine it is also an important reflection of health within the body.
In this article I am going to share the knowledge about how circulation of channels and organs affects different areas of the face. Also, I will discuss how to balance Qi, blood and circulation to the face to promote healthy and beautiful skin.
1. What is beauty in Chinese medicine?
Chinese medicine considers that healthy skin is beautiful skin. Beautiful skin means: firm, smooth and bright skin, with even colouration, less or no wrinkles for your age, less or no age spots for your age, no puffiness, no dryness or lines, no cracked lips, no acne, and no rashes.
2. Location of facial channels and corresponding organs
- Cheeks — stomach and large intestine
- Chin — kidney, urinary bladder and Ren channel
- Nose — lung and large intestine, Du channel
- Forehead (above the eyebrow) — gallbladder and urinary bladder
- Around the lips — stomach, spleen and digestive system
- Heart — If the heart has suffered a shock, there may be a bluish discolouration in the centre of the forehead
Generally, any disharmony in the organs and channels will show on these facial areas described above, which we can also use as signs to rebalance the body.
3. Common facial issues associated with organ imbalances
I will give you some examples of cases from my clinical experience:
a) Puffiness under the eyes and face, especially in the morning:
This usually indicates Spleen and/or Spleen yang weakness. The Spleen assists in transportation and transformation of fluids in the body, if the Spleen is weakened the body will accumulate fluid under the eyes and other facial areas.
If not treated, the body will accumulate more fluid in other areas of the body causing more symptoms such as: heaviness, tiredness, bloating, oedema of the arms and legs, loose or sluggish stools and difficulty in losing weight.
b) Redness of the nose and broken capillaries:
This generally indicates you have extra heat in the Lung, Stomach and Large Intestine. Excessive smoking and alcohol consumption adds to the body’s internal heat and can show up as redness on the nose. It is common to have the following symptoms: constipation, strong smelling stools and passing gas, bad breath, bloating, cold sores or ulcers, excessive sweating.
c) Dark circles around the eyes (panda eyes):
In Chinese medicine five elements theory, black is the colour of the Kidneys. Generally if blackness shows on the face it indicates kidney weakness. These people can also experience the following symptoms: weakness or pain of the lower back, swelling and pain of the knees and ankles, frequent urination especially at night time, waking frequently or waking up early, poor memory, lack of energy, delayed periods or no periods, low libido, impotence.
d) More wrinkles or more age spots located on the forehead, above the eyebrow and temples and on the side of the face in front of ear:
This indicates Liver and Gallbladder disorder, Qi and blood cannot flow in this area freely. These people will have the following symptoms: pain and discomfort in the hypochondrium (side of the ribs), stiff neck and shoulders, headaches, breast fullness before the period, pre-menstrual tension, period pain, blood clots with bleeding, insomnia, vivid dreams, anxiety and depression.
e) Frequent cold sores around the mouth:
Generally this indicates that you have extra heat in the digestive system and Lung deficiency which causes lowered immunity. Most of the time these people also have the following symptoms: easy to catch cold or flu, constipation, sluggish bowel movement, restless sleep.
Generally teenagers experience acne for a short period of time but if the acne is more serious or lasts longer it indicates disharmony of internal organs. Chinese medicine considers acne on certain areas of the face to correspond to particular organ problems.
g) Pale skin:
Pale skin usually indicates Qi and blood deficiency, or a certain organ deficiency which affects the circulation flow to the face. These people commonly experience the following symptoms: lack of energy, shortness of breath, poor memory, dizziness, cold hands and feet, pale and brittle nails, shorter periods or pale menstrual bleeding.
h) Dry skin:
In my clinical experience we help a lot of people with dry skin and most of the causes are related to Kidney, Liver and Lung disharmony (yin deficiency). Most of these people have the following symptoms: hot flushes, dry stools, sluggish bowel movements, yellow urination, insomnia, restless sleep, vivid dreams, increased thirst, dry eyes and lips.
4. How does Chinese medicine and acupuncture enhance beauty?
- Find the cause — Chinese medicine considers external problems are associated with internal organ imbalance. Generally we check the body using traditional diagnostic methods which include tongue and pulse diagnosis, and detailed questioning of signs and symptoms.
- Plan the treatment — We will find out the best treatment to improve and maintain your beauty.
- Lifestyle suggestions — We will give you advice for your lifestyle and diet which suits your constitution.
I consider facial beauty to be a mirror of our internal organs balance. Chinese medicine beauty therapy not only enhances beauty on the outside, but also benefits the health of the internal organs. I believe internal health radiates to the outside manifesting as beautiful, healthy skin.