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What is facial mapping? And how can it improve our health?

Sometimes, the best way we can improve our health is not by what we ingest or apply topically, but rather, by paying attention to what we see manifest from the inside out.

For example, certain problem areas on our face could be an indicator for an underlying health condition elsewhere on the body. This is the philosophy behind the beauty/wellness practice known as facial mapping.

Rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), facial mapping rests on the idea that our bodies are holistic entities; everything is combined and nothing occurs in isolation.

Also known as mien shiang (which directly translates to “face reading”), it views the face as a map, with each section directly relating to a different organ in the body. This notion is based on the belief that energy, or qi, flows to and from organs along invisible pathways known as meridians.

When there’s an imbalance in the body, it is said that it will show up via skin issues - such as pimples, dryness, redness or irritation.

The location of these blemishes are believed to indicate the specific organ that’s affected - encouraging you to pay attention to this part of the body.

So, how do we read our own face? Here’s what each facial area is thought to represent, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners:


Your forehead is linked to your small intestine and digestive system. Breakouts, deepening fine lines or inflammation here could allude to the fact that we are not breaking down our food correctly. It could also be an indicator of malnourishment, nutrient deficiency or irritable bowel syndrome. If you experience irritation on the forehead, you may want to take a look at what and how you are eating.


Your temples represent your kidneys and bladder. Breakouts in this area - particularly in little red, inflamed bumps, could mean there is too much toxicity in the body. It can also represent a bladder infection or inflammation. Medications that don’t agree with your body can also manifest here.


The space in between your eyebrows represents the liver - a vital organ in detoxification. Toxicity not only from a bad diet or lifestyle, but also negative emotions, can cause breakouts and dryness in this area.

Under eyes

Under the eyes are linked to the kidneys and bodily fluid. Dark circles, puffiness, or irritation could mean we are experiencing kidney stress, dehydration or are retaining water. It could represent a kidney infection.


The nose represents the heart. Heart-related blockages show up in the form of redness or blackheads, while cholesterol and blood pressure are indicated by oliness and breakouts.


The cheeks represent the stomach spleen and respiratory system. Red cheeks, dryness or rosacea could be linked to stomach inflammation. It could also be linked to food allergies.


The mouth relates to the stomach and colon. Mouth ulcers could mean you have ulcers in the stomach too. Raw or cold diets could be a reason for you stomach being overworked, which comes up as mouth irritations.


The jawline and chin represent our hormonal and reproductive system. Period breakouts are often located in this area. Cystic acne or small breakouts in this area could be a result of stress or an off-balance cycle. Proper nutrition and adaptogen supplements could help regulate this area.

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