February 15, 2007

I can read your face, but don't ask me about palms. Oh, and can you stick out your tongue?

This past weekend my mother-in-law came up for a seminar entitled Face, Tongue, and Nails. Yeah, I know. It sounds fascinating. I got to go with her though, and it really was fascinating. Much of the seminar materials were based off of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the ways TCM practitioners learned to read the face, tongue, and nails for signs of weaknesses and conditions in your body. For instance, we've all heard the one about a crease in your ear being a sign of potential heart trouble. But have you heard the one about darkness under your eye being a sign of underactive kidneys? Or that the condition of the tip of your nose can give information about your heart and that your lips tell a lot about your stomach and digestion? Your nails are important too. The shape of the nail and its color, any markings, the size and location of moons, all these things say something about the condition of your body. The tongue is particularly interesting because it can change rapidly and reveal acute conditions in your body. The coating on the tongue -it's thickness, color, and location- can tell a lot about what it going on in your body right now. It's amazing how much information our bodies plainly reveal about the state of our health that we aren't even aware of. It can literally be as plain as the nose on your face. Unfortunately people (and especially doctors) aren't trained to read these signs and get a picture of our overall health. We come in with a symptom and the doctor's usually want to fix the symptom. This is really like shooting the messenger because a symptom is no more than a sign that your body is out of balance. Health isn't a lack of symptoms. Health is having the body in balance working smoothly and efficiently. These balances and imbalances can be clearly seen by those who have been trained to see them. Also, all these things I've mentioned -these signs that show up on our faces and hands- can change. You can take a picture of your face today, work on your health for a year, take another picture, compare the two, and see just how much you've really improved. The same goes for your nails. You can see yourself getting better and stronger. This last weekend I realized that several of my nails that were twisted were getting straighter and stronger. That means that I'm getting stronger. It's really very interesting. I can't wait for a chance to put some of this into practice.

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