Cara O. Frank, L.OM.
It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Did you know that the face is a reflection of your health?
Next month I’ll be hosting a workshop on facial rejuvenation at Six Fishes Neighborhood Acupuncture for group of women. Sometimes we call these acupuncture facelifts, but that’s not really what they are. A facelift is a surgical procedure that tightens the skin, lifts the eyes and creates the illusion of youthfulness. Facial Rejuvenation not only helps the skin and complexion look better, it also supports the health of the while body. How can acupuncture needles inserted into the face help improve a person’s overall health?
Here’s how: According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), your face’s appearance can reveal valuable information about issues that could be affecting your overall health. The shape of your face, the color of your complexion and the location of your wrinkles help us determine a diagnosis and treatment plan.
To get an idea of what we sometimes look for, take a look at yourself in a mirror under natural light. There are five colors that appear in the face: red, black, yellow, green, and white. Sometimes it’s easy to see a cast of color. Sometimes it takes training. Everyone’s skin tone is different, and usually one color is dominant, though several other colors can be visible. You can most easily see these colors around the mouth and temples and cheeks. Now, take a look in the mirror: What colors do you see? Do you have visible veins, and if so, what color and where are they? Is your skin moist or dry? Fine textured or rough?
A healthy, lustrous complexion and normal color indicate a good balance and flow of Qi (“life energy”) within your body. If the complexion is off-color, looks lifeless or “withered,” or is too moist or too dry, it may indicate an imbalance of Qi.
Each color is associated with specific conditions, syndromes, and organ and meridian networks. For example, White is associated with the Lungs, so a pale appearance might suggest Lung Qi deficiency and breathing problems. If your acupuncturist observes that your face is pale, she or he will inquire about your respiratory health (cough, asthma, allergies) or emotional experiences like worry or grief.
Yellow is associated with the Spleen: If we observe a yellowish complexion, we’ll ask about energy and digestion. Red is associated with the heart. A reddish completion will lead us to ask about problems such as sleep, anxiety and blood pressure. Green is associated with the Liver, which prompts us to ask about anger, depression, PMS, and heartburn. These are just a few examples of how the face can reveal information about your health
Another important factor in facial diagnosis is that different regions of the face, such as the nose, the eyebrows, and the mouth, correspond with specific organ and meridian networks. For example, the upper forehead is associated with the bladder and the lower forehead links to the intestines. If there’s acne, redness or flaking, we’ll inquire about elimination. The area Between the Eyes can reflect the health of the liver. If we see deep lines, we’ll check to see if there’s a history of liver stress. The area under the eyes is linked with the kidneys. If we notice puffiness or dark circles, it leads us to ask about thirst or edema. The nose is associated with the lungs.
The mouth connects to the stomach and large intestine channels. Dry cracked lips can indicated digestive heat, constipation. Finally, the chin is associated with the reproductive organs. Chin breakouts, are usually a sign of a hormone imbalance.
The acupuncturists at Six Fishes weave all these visual signs into your treatment plan to improve your health. And since the face and your overall health are so closely related, you may discover positive changes in your complexion as your body regains balance and harmony through acupuncture and TCM.
About Cara Frank, L.OM.
Cara Frank, L.OM. was raised by in a health food store in Brooklyn NY. When she was 8 she cartwheeled 5 miles from Greenwich Village through Soho and Chinatown and across the Brooklyn Bridge. For over 30 years she has had the same crazy passion for Chinese medicine. At 17 she had her first acupuncture treatment. At 20 she enrolled in acupuncture school. In 1998 she went to China to study where she fell deeply in love with Chinese herbs. Since then, she has devotedher to studying and teaching the topic.
Cara is the founder of Six Fishes Healing Arts in Philadelphia where she maintains a busy acupuncture practice and acts as the head fish of warm and lively office. She is also the president of China Herb Company. You can read her full bio or schedule an appointment.