These methods of assessing our health do not tell us of exact illnesses we may have or may be developing, but give a more general idea of the state of health of our internal organs and tissues. They are very useful in maintaining good health – by spotting rising imbalances in a certain organ or part of the body, we can make changes in our daily food, activities, exercise and sleep, and maybe our thinking too, to bring ourselves back into balance, and so avoid future illnesses.
An example of this is observing that the skin colour on our whole face has become darker, and especially under the eyes. In Oriental medicine this reveals that our kidney and bladder functions have decreased. We may already be feeling more fatigued and noticing changes in our urination, but if we continue on this path we become more likely to suffer from urinary infections, deep coldness in the lower back and often the whole body, chronic tiredness and insomnia.
Another example – the region of the face between our eyebrows gives indications of what is happening to our liver, if this region becomes tight and tense, then we are holding a lot of tension in our liver and gallbladder (pushing into these organs just below the ribs on the right side can then feel hard and painful). This may be making us feel irritable and ‘liverish’, impatient and snappy. Again if this imbalance increases over time, various problems linked with the liver may manifest, such as tension headaches in the sides of the head and behind the eyes, some vision problems, heavier than normal menstrual periods with more cramping, and some digestive changes.