Face Reading in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Face Diagnosis or Mien Shung is looking at the face as a method of diagnosis in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In this method a practitioner can quickly observe the color, shape, and features that may indicate an imbalance or trait.
Various markings have a predisposition to an illness. They can indicate strengths and weaknesses of body, mind, and spirit.

5 elements

This diagnosis stems for the 5 element theory.


Let’s have a look at the 5 elements in this diagnosis process:

In oriental medicine, there are no “bad” elements. Everything is a gift and challenge.

Wood personality for instance: Anger is the challenge, but this kind of person actually has a lot of passion. Wood types are very focused, athletic, direct, competitive. suppressing their anger, also suppresses their passion. They are often enforcers of the truth.

Face: Wood types have a long rectangular face, long body like a tree, think of like a basketball player, strong jaw, threatening eyes. Determined.


Fire personality: Typically they say “Joy” is the challenge in TCM for this type of person, but what they really mean is excess joy, excess pleasure, to a point of even mania. The gift is the ability to disperse or dissipate. These are the type of people who love fun.

Face: oval shape, sparkly eyes, have slender body, points at eyebrows, nose, lips.


Earth personality: their challenge is one of worry. They have strong empathy for others. They are the ones who “feel”. You would want to ask them how they “feel” about something. They are very in touch with their feelings, and the feelings of others.

Face: square, they have short legs, thighs, and butt.


Metal personality: Their challenge is often grief, while the they carry the gift of sympathy. Metal types are practical, logical, mathematical, and often will use “I think” when asked about a opinion about something.

Face: Round, angular, high cheek bones, long slender nose, delicate, pale skin.


Water personality: are ruled by fear and often look around suspiciously. They typically have the ‘what if’ going on in their minds, but they have a gift of wisdom. These types are very sensual, dreamy, flowing, imaginative/creative people.

Face: cheeky, dreamy eyes, sensual body.

About Administrator

Coach Matt Stampe is a Database Administrator and I.T. professional. In the world of Bodywork, he has been a Massage Therapist licensed under the Virginia Board of Nursing, and is currently a student at Virginia University of Oriental Medicine (VUOM.edu). He has taught hundreds of people Authentic Yang Tai Chi Kung fu for over 25 years. He was President of the Virginia Commonwealth Universtiy (VCU) Martial arts club, Secretary and Treasurer of USA chapter of Yongnian Association under Sifu He Weiqi. Experience includes: Kung fu schools: Omei Shaolin (Sifu Lu Xiaoling) 3rd degree Black Sash, Chinese Martial Arts Institute (Sifu Clarence Burris), United States Wushu Academy (Coach Christopher Pei), and Qi Elements (Sifu Nancy Bloomfield), Former Head Coach: Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation centers(Adults Tai Chi), Hope Chinese school (kids classes), NOVA MMA gym in Arlington (kids classes), and VUOM Martial Arts Tai Chi club (Fairfax). He has positively impacted peoples lives whether for health, sport, strength, combat, and spirit. As a true combat athlete, he teaches methods so people can be confident to defend themselves.
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