Sometimes times a zit isn't just a zit. Or perhaps that patch of dry, flaky skin isn't just your body's way of telling you to slather on extra rich moisturizer. Your face is a mirror to your health. So symptoms like these could be your body telling you there are problems. Sound crazy? Well it's not. For three thousand years the Chinese have been practicing face reading, which dictates that by understanding the problems of your skin, you can then correlate them to internal problems. Once you've fixed the internal, you've potentially fixed the external-your skin. Now this isn't the secret to solving all your skin concerns. But it is another tool to help you get the best skin possible, all while improving your overall health. 

The eastern idea of face reading, like feng shui and acupuncture in decades past, is starting to take hold in the west. Ancient Taoists, in conjunction with traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and Chinese herbology developed Mein Shiang-an art and a science that means literally face (mien) reading (shiang).

In terms of health, the Chinese believed that the human body has meridians and acupuncture points, and that life energy flows between them connecting to five vital organs: the heart, lungs, spleen, liver and kidneys. Each has a 'window' or region that can be mapped in the face. For example, the eyes are the window of the liver, and the lips reflect what is going on with the stomach. When your body's energy is flowing in perfect harmony, these areas are clear and healthy. When illness is present, the energy cannot flow smoothly. This will present itself in the features of the face.

Ears - relates to the kidneys
Forehead - relates to the abdominal area such as the bladder, gall bladder, and stomach
Middle of forehead between eyebrows - relates to the liver and kidneys
Outer eyebrow - related to the thyroid
Eyes - related to the liver and kidneys
Nose & upper cheeks (cheek bone)- relates to the heart
Lower cheeks (the hollow area) - relates to the lung
Upper lip - relates to the spleen and stomach
Lower lip - relates to the intestines
Lower part of the face – relates to the lower abdomen region

If the chin is swollen and red, it may mean that there is structural weakness or stuck energy in the abdomen.

A thin or swollen top lip could indicate indigestion, bloating or reflux. The lower lip protruding may indicate bowels loose or constipation. And if the lip is red, cracked or the corners are filled with spots, it could indicate stomach acidity caused by bad food choices.

Yellow coloring surrounding the mouth may indicate a weak digestive system.

If you often break out in the forehead area, it may indicate the need to flush out toxins by drinking more water and eating more natural, unprocessed foods.

If your liver is blood deficient, your eyesight may be weak, which can lead to variety of eye disorders.

If the white of the eyes are full of thick yellow tissue, white phlegm or thick blood vessels, the liver may be full of toxins.

If the eye area is dark brown, your liver might be showing signs of stress, perhaps due to mental stress or anger, rich foods or an overabundance of alcohol.

If combined with one-sided headaches, jaw tension and two vertical lines between the eyebrows your metabolism, joints and cholesterol level may be affected.

Lines and spots on the forehead may indicate the consumption of too many oily foods or dairy, which may lead to liver congestion. It could also point to a food allergy (such as lactose intolerance).

Having dry, itchy skin and spots on your skin could mean your blood is unclean, relating to unhealthy liver.

Unusually visible, bold and sallow veins may mean that the blood traveling back to the heart may be blocked.

When the half moon-shaped area under your eyes are puffy and blue, there might be an imbalance of fluid in the body caused by stress, dehydration or consuming rich foods.

If your eyes are redder then the skin on your face or the inner corner of your eyes are sunken and dark blue, the adrenal glands may be overworked.

Redness, puffiness and breakouts around the nostrils and lower cheek area might indicate that you've consumed too many dairy products, which produce mucus and congestion in the lungs.

Along with fixing potential health problems, face reading also dissects facial characteristics. These include face and feature shapes, lines, shadings and markings. Advocates will tell you that it's actually possible to determine a person's personality, potential, standing, character and health by reading the face. After centuries of practice, face reading has been refined and is used in eastern medicine to provide insight to someone's state of mind. Even more intriguing, the face records the past, reveals the present and predicts the future. This doesn't mean that an expert at Mien Shiang (face reading) will be able to help you win the lottery or predict how many children you'll have. But it can possibly provide effective treatment plans based on a predisposition to future illnesses. And if you have your health, who needs those winning lotto numbers anyway?