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Oriental Face Reading

A Forgotten Art Revived
By Susan Woodd

'Knowing others is intelligence
Knowing yourself is true wisdom
Mastering others is strength
Mastering yourself is true power'

Tao Te Ching Lao Tzu

When people first hear about using the art of visual or touch diagnosis as face reading, to determine a persons health, constitution and basic nature, they often discount the idea for a number of reasons based on habit or convention. They may find it to be non-scientific, too much like fortune telling or even too psychic for their taste. They do not realise they are using diagnosis themselves all the time, for it is a significant part of how we communicate and inter-relate.

Diagnosis gives us an insight and an understanding of nature and creates a deeper, satisfying communication between individuals. We are consciously and subconsciously making evaluations all the time about the health, character, attitudes of those around us, based solely on what we see and sense as our gut feeling or intuition.

In the East, these evaluations have developed into a highly refined system of character and health diagnosis. Our Western forms of diagnosis deal mainly with symptoms and conditions using modern scientific technology. In comparison the Oriental system seeks out and exposes the causal factors, which are a collation of the persons total past involvements on all levels of their life. 

It makes visible future directions and potential for creating health and happiness, and restoring balance. It enables us to see problems that are beginning to develop and allows us the opportunity to use preventative measures to re-direct their course.

The medicine of the Far East is amongst the oldest in the world and it can teach us a great deal that can be practically applied today, being complementary to our Western approach, they link health and well being to diet, activities, attitude and environment. No single item is separate; biological, psychological and spiritual factors all contribute to the whole. Here are some examples:

An example of how the effect of imbalance and or stress in the body can be reflected a face reading: The nose corresponds to the nervous system and spine. The muscles in the back shoulders and neck and face are intimately connected. If there is stress on one side of the body, often coming from the somewhere along the spine, our posture and all the muscles of the face will reflect that stress. If the stress is severe and remains for sometime it will even pull the nose off centre in the direction of the stress.

An example of the internal change being manifested on the face: The condition of the heart can be seen in the tip of the nose. Alcohol is a very yin substance in Oriental nutrition, it causes the blood vessels to dilate and go red. If this process of dilation is going on within the body the nose will redden showing how an internal change can be reflected on the face.

Looking deeper and seeing further
How to unravel the mystery of the facial body map. During the foetal period, the navel functioned as the centre of the entire body structure. We grew from here, which explains why in the oriental healing arts this area is considered to be the seat of our wisdom and intuition and the place from where all movements should be centred. After our birth this centre shifts to the mouth, explaining the correlation of head and body.

Our head becomes the upper sphere and our body the lower sphere. Our face is our outer expression, revealing the condition of our inner self.
Our mouth represents the digestive system as a whole and our nose represents the spine. The middle of the face corresponds to the middle organs and our forehead corresponds to the lower part of the body. Areas of our face relate to the condition of the different organs and their functions in our body.

1.The Mouth as a whole shows the condition of our entire digestive system. More specifically, the upper lip shows the condition of our stomach, the lower lip our intestines, the area below the lower lip our large intestine. The mouth corners show the condition of our duodenum.

2.The area around the mouth represents our sexual organs and their functions. In the case of women the Philtrum indicates the uterus and the corners of the mouth the strength of the ovaries. In men the area under the centre of the lower lip is associated with the prostate.

3.The Nose in general represents our spine. More specifically, the tip represents our heart and its functions, the nostrils and cheeks our lungs and beside the nostrils our bronchi. The middle part of the nose represents our stomach. The top part of the nose reveals the health of the pancreas and at the side of the nose and inner corner of the eye the spleen.

4.The Eyes the left eye represents the condition of our spleen and pancreas while the right eye represents our liver and gallbladder.

5.Between the eyebrows gives an indication of the condition of our liver, and the temples represent the spleen.

6.The ears represent our kidneys, left and right respectively.

7.The forehead as a whole indicates our intestines and the upper forehead represents our bladder.

An example of how the shape of our forehead can determine how we process information. The shape and profile view of the forehead can tell us much about the way a person thinks, their personality, what stresses them and how best to deal with their needs and challenges:

1. The vertical forehead - (vertical from brow to hairline)
Indicates a detailed thinker who is very thorough, and likes to have detailed information to understand it fully. They need time to process information and will often retain this in great depth. They work better in an unhurried atmosphere with a structure or schedule. Give them time to question for clarification, and to process information step by step.

Stress factor is to skim through information, without enough depth or detail and not having time to think things through. Under stress they can seem overwhelmed and confused or go into overload unable to retain any more information. Creating their balance they can practice summarising things.

2. The sloping forehead slopes back from brow to hairline
With this person you need to keep your conversations straight to the point, and when discussing concepts, give them broad outlines, keeping it brief. They often come to conclusions or reach decisions very quickly. Stress factor is sidetracking, unnecessary chit chat or giving details without the bottom line.

Speaking too slowly with pauses can annoy them and when bored they will either fidget, shut down or jump to finish conversations.
The greater the angle of the forehead the faster the thinker they are. Creating their balance is to practice doing things involving a more detailed approach and avoid rushing things or jumping to conclusions too quickly. Develop a respect for the way others do things, including a change of pace.

3. Ridge above the eyebrows
This person like to have an order, structure or routine to work from, which they stick to quite unconsciously sometimes, but which gives them security and control. They enjoy being methodical, meticulous and creating systems, often doing things the same way each day.

Stress factor is a lack of order or structure, being told to go with the flow, or being short of time to complete all the tasks in a set order. If they are forced into changes without consideration for their way of doing things, they can become defensive in justification of their system or act with stubbornness. Creating their balance practice being more adaptable and spontaneous and avoid imposing routines on others.

4. Gently shaped forehead with no ridge
This person likes to go with the flow and works best when doing things their own way. They like to be spontaneous and have a relaxed routine, with the minimum of order and structure. They can seem disorganised but have their own style of getting things done, although they can run out of time and be late for things.

Stress factor - is being forced to stick to a rigid schedule or structure with no allowance for spontaneity and freedom, so they feel trapped and stifled. This will either cause them to rebel or use excuses to get out of these situations.
Creating their balance is to practice time management and how to do things in a more orderly way.

This is an extract taken from The Art of Oriental Face Reading by Sue Woodd and is available from her web site at www.suewoodd.com. Sue also facilitates courses and day workshops. Email her at