Chinese facial diagnosis is one of the oldest observational skills and diagnostic techniques available for practitioners of Chinese medicine. However, in modern Western clinical practice, not all practitioners fully understand or utilise facial diagnosis.
Since ancient times, the first thing to be checked by the physician was the facial complexion and the light emitting from the eyes, otherwise known as the shen. Most modern practitioners employ pulse and tongue diagnosis within their clinical practice, but over time thorough facial diagnosis has become less commonly taught, and is therefore under-utilised. Used solely or together with tongue and pulse diagnosis, facial diagnosis can help a practitioner pinpoint the pathophysiology of many conditions in the early stages, thus preventing disease.
Three case studies are presented here to demonstrate the advantages of Chinese facial diagnosis within a clinical setting. To illustrate what was observed in each patient's case, a photograph was taken before and after the consultation and treatment. The key facial signs are explained in the context of the patient's disharmony and the change produced from the acupuncture treatment. Further discussion, application and research of Chinese facial diagnosis within a Chinese medicine clinical practice is still necessary.
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