I have tiny, bumpy spots on my forehead that I’ve been trying to fix for years with over-zealous exfoliation and expensive potions. Yet face-reading specialist Tersia Corbitt (pictured far right), a South African who’s been living in Dubai for 10 years, says it’s my small intestine that’s the problem. If only I’d known.
Chinese facial diagnosis is not about reading someone’s facial expressions or body language to decipher their personality, but is rather about using the face as a map to indicate internal health. Chinese medicine runs on entirely different principles to its Western counterpart: it is based on the idea that we all have chi (an invisible energy) flowing through different meridians, or ‘channels’, in our body. Some of these start or terminate in the face, so any blocking of the chi will become visibly evident here on the body’s largest organ – the skin.
Reproductive issues manifest themselves as pigmentation or pimples on the chin and above the lip; problems with the bladder will show through spots or pigmentation on the hairline; dark circles underneath the eyes signal kidney issues; lines between the nose and eyes indicate adrenal stress (like too much work); and problems with the pancreas (such as diabetes) will show on the bridge of the nose – Tersia explains that many diabetics have a horizontal line across their nose, which we’ve noticed is true. Temporary issues such as puffiness, light spots and pimples are seen as the start of a problem, although more permanent marks, such as fine lines and pigmentation, are considered a deep-seated issue.
Tersia is keen to point out that the practice is indicative and not diagnostic. ‘We’re not doctors,’ she explains. ‘We can’t say you definitely have something, but we can point to possible future problems.’ As such this course in face reading would suit many people – if you’re a beauty or health practitioner and would like to be able to offer another service to your clients, for example, or if you have an interest in Chinese medicine, the course would certainly prove beneficial.
I enjoy learning about the technique, especially as I’m a full-blown convert to the ancient Chinese art of reflexology, which runs on the same theory as face reading and always seems to pinpoint, through a mere touch of my hands or feet, where my internal problems lie. Yet some of these hypotheses seem at odds with my sense of logic – such as the idea that my thick eyebrows (or, let’s be honest, eyebrow) are an indication that I’ll have a long life. Surely that’s just inherited from my forefathers? They, unfortunately, don’t have a good track record. Ah well, here’s hoping.
A half-day face-reading course costs Dhs600. The next sessions are on November 9, 6pm-10pm, or November 10, 9am-1pm. The Holistic Institute, Jumeirah Business Centre 2, JLT, www.theholisticinstitute.org
Other courses on offer at The Holistic Institute
• Back massage We all love a good massage – this beginners’ course will make you popular.
Dhs600. November 14, 9am-1pm
• Create your own organic face oils If you’re interested in following a natural beauty regime, this course is a great place to start (making your own is a lot more affordable).
Dhs650. November 18, 9am-1pm
• Bach Flower Therapy You may not have heard of Bach Flower Therapy, but we bet you’ve heard of stress-relief saviour Rescue Remedy. Edward Bach, an English physician in the 1930s, developed a group of flower essences diluted in water and alcohol to heal based on vibrations. However, they’re not homeopathic potions: if you tested them, you wouldn’t see any chemical traces of the flowers they ‘contain’. Many people think its hogwash, but then many others swear by Rescue Remedy. Either way, we’re keen to learn more.
Dhs600. November 23, 2pm-6pm
• Raindrop technique This aromatherapy technique has origins in Native American medicine and involves dropping a variety of essential oils along the spine from a height of up to 12 inches. They are then gently massaged into the back. It is considered particularly beneficial for sufferers of scoliosis (curvature of the spine).
Dhs1,500. December 10, 9am-6pm
• Long-term courses Training courses lasting from nine months to a year are offered in international clinical aromatherapy (Dhs19,980), international clinical reflexology (Dhs16,380) and more. www.theholisticinstitute.org