The Telltale Signs of Wrinkles & Lines Decoding emotions found on your face




If the eyes are the windows of the soul, the bags under your eyes are the windows of your kidneys! Not nearly as poetic, but a sign taken very seriously by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which has a long and venerable history of understanding the significant link between facial lines and what they reveal about our health.

When examined one by one, the crow’s feet, frown lines, eye bags, forehead wrinkles and more can point to underlying emotions that affect corresponding organs in the body. Using these indicators, TCM practitioners can diagnose and treat not just cosmetic issues, but associated health problems as well.

For example, crow’s feet wrinkles can be related to different emotions and physical conditions. Emotionally, they express frustration and tension, as well as decision-making and even happiness. Physically, they can be really deep when a patient is tired and dehydrated. In this case, it’s important to treat the kidney meridian to rejuvenate the adrenal gland and provide adequate moisture and nourishment of the body through herbs, supplements and acupuncture. To tackle the frustration and tension, healing will go a long way with a relaxation treatment that addresses the liver meridian to release bottled up emotions as well as the lung/colon meridian to let go, and with the applications of additional deep breathing exercises as well.

Deep grief and sadness can be associated with mouth lines. Here the TCM practitioner wants to bring more Fire element to this person in order to activate Heart and Pericardium meridians, which allow for joy and connection. By smiling more — and daily use of facial yoga and muscle massage — the upper part of the orbicularis oris muscle gets more exercise and prevent wrinkles.

The appearance of mouth wrinkles and lip lines are also associated with smoking and other damaging habits, such as malnourishment or eating disorders. Treatment here is two-fold: healing local points with tiny tag acupuncture needles, and administering a “quit smoking” protocol with auricular (ear) acupressure points.

In general, and more often than you can imagine, crow’s feet and mouth wrinkles are related to declining hormonal function in women and men (perimenopause, menopause, andropause). Chinese Medicine is very well known for meridian rejuvenation for anti-aging such as the Kidney (adrenal gland) and the Triple Heater (overall endocrine system) but also for using wonderful herbs such as Astagalus, Codonopsis and Ginseng for balance and health. The TCM practitioner can select an herbal combination specifically for you.

Below are some of the other more common facial lines along with their emotional implication and the meridian(s) addressed to treat the distress. Â


Forehead lines: worry, shock, anxiety

Excessive worry and anxiety can lead to frequent eyebrow raising, which over time can develop and freeze into horizontal lines. Those with forehead lines are also more likely to suffer from chronic headaches and neck pain.

Meridians: Spleen (worry); Heart (shock); Kidney (anxiety)


Under-eye lines: grief, sadness, fatigues, loss, stress

Deep sadness, grief, and other senses of loss will show up in lines under the eyes. These furrows can also indicate someone with a stressful lifestyle marked by a lack of self-care, both physically and emotionally.

Meridians: Kidney (stress, fatigue); Lung (grief); Colon (loss)


Nose lines: sadness, anger

Someone who has experienced repeated sadness and disappointment in life will find it difficult to smile, leading to lines around the nose and droopy skin. These lines can also indicate chronic gut issues, which have greater implications for overall health.

Meridians: Pericardium, Heart (sadness); Liver (anger)


Jaw tension: resentment, anger, repressed emotions

A tight jaw may be the most common of all facial imbalances, especially in women, who are more prone to lack self-expression, repress feelings, and give too much to others before taking care of themselves. All of these actions create anger and resentment and, as a result, energy blockages that rest in the jaw. Teeth grinding is a common side effect with its own set of problems.

Meridians: Liver (resentment, anger, repressed feelings)


In and of itself, having feelings and showing emotions on our faces are not problem’s — it’s what makes us human and relatable to one another! But if you feel your face is showing signs of emotional and physical wear and tear, several holistic healing options are available to you, ranging from cosmetic acupuncture and facial rejuvenation to nutritional & herbal supplements, diet regimens and exercise plans.

The meridian points running through the particular parts of the face and neck that correlate to specific emotions are the pathways TCM practitioners tap into to balance mind and spirit. Using all the tools that come from this ancient modality, we can ensure ageless beauty, happiness and wellbeing. Good health and wellness will then show up on our faces.


Helena Amos, M.Ac., L.Ac., is an acupuncture and natural medicine practitioner since 1986, having received Masters degrees in Acupuncture in England and the US. She received specialty training in Cosmetology Acupuncture in Europe and with the best teachers in the USA, and has been doing it for nearly 15 years. Currently, she is the owner of the Acupuncture and Natural Medicine Clinic in Rockville, MD, and is available for complementary consultations. Call 301-881-2898, email her at, and visit for more information. LIKE on Facebook @AmosAcupunctureAndNaturalMedicine.