If your eyes are the window to your soul, then your face just might be the window to understanding your breakouts, or anything else that's plaguing your body. We're referring to the concept of face mapping, which, for the unschooled, is an ancient practice rooted in Ayurveda teaching and Chinese medicine that treats your face as a road map to pinpoint underlying issues in other parts of your body. Say, for example, that pesky breakout in the middle of your forehead. Acne face mapping connects that specific area of your face to an organ or body part, which allows you to make the necessary changes to your diet or lifestyle to make it go away. Intrigued? We were too, which is why we consulted Dan Hsu, LAc, an NYC doctor who specializes in Eastern medicine.В Keep scrolling to find out where face mapping came from, how it works, and how to diagnose breakouts on different areas of your face!
Meet the Expert
Daniel Hsu, D.A.O.M, L.Ac, is a doctor in New York, NY that specializes in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Hsu serves as the team chair for the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental MedicineВ and frequently is published in the American Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
вЂњFace mapping goes back thousands of years,вЂќ Hsu says. вЂњA lot of it comes simply from clinical experience. Nowadays, you have all types of blood tests and scans, but back then, doctors would have to give a diagnosis by looking, touching, and asking questions.вЂќ Chinese medicine states that all organs have a different color, temperature, and taste, and are manifested in a certain way. The liver, for example, is manifested in the eyes. Even nowadays, one of the first symptoms of jaundice (a liver disease) includes a yellowing of the eyes. вЂњThat was true 2000 years ago, and it's still true today,вЂќ Hsu says.В Emily Roberts/Byrdie
How It Works
Hsu says that the skin on your face is an expression of your health. вЂњThe body is made up of a bunch of systems-lympathic, neurological, digestive, to name a few-and all of these systems are tied together,вЂќ he explains. вЂњIt's very difficult to affect one without affecting others.вЂќ He says face mapping is a way to verify what's going on inside your body, since every part of your body is linked to different organs (hence the jaundice example he gave earlier). вЂњIn Chinese medicine, we look at the body as a whole and how everything works together,вЂќ he says.
Keep scrolling to see what your breakout locations are saying about your health!Imaxtree
1. Above the Brows
According to Chinese medicine, the area above your brows is linked to your gallbladder and liver. If you're getting breakouts there, try eating less processed or junk food and reduce the amount of fat in your diet.
2. Between the Brows
Hsu says that breakouts between your brows mean you're drinking or smoking too much, or eating too many rich foods. вЂњCut down on rich foods, butter, cheese, and late-night snacks,вЂќ he advises. вЂњIncorporate more exercise into your routine, and get more sleep.вЂќ
Your nose, not surprisingly, is connected to your lungs and heart. To combat breakouts in this area, Hsu recommends cutting back on spicy foods, meat, and salt and replacing them with fruits, veggies, nuts (which are full of good fats like omega-3 and -6). If you're getting constant breakouts on your nose, check your blood pressure and vitamin B levels-Hsu says that upping your vitamin B intake can help combat flare-ups.
4. Left Cheek
вЂњChinese medicine is really big on left and right,вЂќ Hsu tells us. If you're breaking out on the left side of your face, he recommends eating what Chinese medicine practitioners refer to as вЂњcooling foodsвЂќ-think winter melon, cucumber, and the like. The left cheek is more connected to your liver, which Hsu says is the weakest between 1 and 5В p.m. in the afternoon. вЂњIf you're having a breakout on your left cheek, try to avoid any strenuous work during that time of day,вЂќ he says.
5. Right Cheek
Hsu says the right side cheek is more connected to your lungs. He recommends doing aerobic and breathing exercises early in the morning to strengthen your lungs. The right cheek is also more sugar-focused. вЂњIf you're breaking out on your right cheek, I would recommend cutting back on junk food and sugar, as well as wine, taro, and seafood,вЂќ Hsu says.
6. Mouth Area
If you suffer from breakouts around your mouth area, once again, your diet could be to blame. The area around your mouth is associated with your digestive organs, like your intestines and liver. Hsu recommends cutting back on spicy foods and fried foods, while eating more fiber, fruits, and veggies.
вЂњModern acupuncturists would say that if you break out around your chin, you should get your hormone levels checked,вЂќ Hsu says. вЂњStress can also be a huge part of it.вЂќ He recommends drinking spearmint tea and taking omega-3 to soothe these breakouts, as well as talking to your gynecologist about your hormone levels.
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