In Chinese face reading, it’s the size and shape of the features of your face that give you the most important messages about who you are inside and what you need to be happy.  But even a temporary change to your face, like a spot or a rash can have a meaning. Those kinds of marks relate to a temporary life situation, and while they’re not considered anywhere near as significant as the more permanent characteristics, sometimes they can reveal information that can really help you understand what you’re currently experiencing.

For instance, I recently worked with a woman who was curious about a small red area that had suddenly appeared in her under-eye. A few weeks later it turned almost black in color, even though it wasn’t a bruise, and after two months, hadn’t yet disappeared.

Of course any change to the skin like this should be checked by a medical professional, and her doctor had already looked at it and said it was nothing. But when it comes to Chinese face reading, I explained to her that any sign on the face can relate to three different aspects of your life situation. First it could provide a message about her physical health; secondly, it might reveal something to do with her emotional nature; or third, it could be associated with a certain time in her life’s journey. Sometimes it’s only related to one of those things, sometimes two, and often all three.

In terms of your physical body, the under-eyes reveal the level of overall hydration, and can also reflect how well rested you are, among other things. So for instance, if your under-eyes temporarily become dark, it can mean you’re dehydrated, or haven’t been getting enough sleep.

When it comes to what the under-eyes reveal about your emotional self, marks in this part of the face have to do with what’s called “Unshed Tears.” In other words, some emotions are coming up and need to be felt; tears need to be shed. If a red color shows up in this part of the face, it means a current issue is upsetting you, and if the color is dark, it relates back to old feelings from long ago.

And lastly, the under-eyes have to do with your life experience in the decade of your 30s. A marking here, especially a dark one, could mean that something significant that happened in that period of your life is connected with what’s occurring for you now.

This was a big “AHA” moment for this woman. She shared with me that was when this mark in her under-eye first appeared two months before; it was a few days after her sister’s 26-year-old son had committed suicide. The whole family was devastated, of course, and she flew home to try to help in this terribly painful time. Trying to hold it all together so she could be there for her sister, she suppressed her own grief for the time she was there. So the red marking showing up in her under-eyes reflected the fact that she had “unshed tears.”

But it was the meaning of why the marking turned so dark that really hit home for her. In her 30s, she and her sister had actually been pregnant at the same time. However, her own baby had died at a few months of age. So now, not only was the grief around her nephew’s death needing to be allowed, but her old sorrow at her own baby’s death was emerging again as well. She said this explained why she’d still been feeling so intensely distraught after two months—it wasn't just the loss of her sister's son that she needed to cry about but for the stirrings of her pain from the loss of her own son long ago, as well.

Several days later, I received an email from her. She said the tears had finally been coming and she felt it was a necessary and wonderful release. And the marking in her under-eye was starting to fade as well.

The minor changes you see on your face are a reflection of the ebbs and flows of your inner nature, your personal response to your life experiences. You can use the wisdom presented there to understand what to focus on in this period of time, and as a map to navigate life overall in a more balanced way.

Jean Haner has a 25-year background in the ancient Chinese principles of balance and health. She places an emphasis on compassionate and affirming ways for people to live in alignment with their own true selves.