Tran Van Sen, Leon Jones
American Journal of Acupuncture. Vol. 13, No. 4, October-December 1985.
Tran Van Sen is a medical doctor and registered acupuncturist who received his medical training in Saigon, and at the Academy of Paris, France.
Leon Jones is a professor at Howard University, Washington. D.C.
Note: The original title of “Face Diagnosis (Dien Chan) and Cybernetic Therapy (Dieu Khien Lieu Phap) Bui Quoc Chau” is in use in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), South Vietnam.
Abstract: Face Diagnosis and Cybernetic Therapy are based upon the reflection of the entire human body on the face. Face diagnosis is characterized by a system of diagrams drawn on the face-such that each diagram bears its network of classical channels and acupuncture points. This network of channels and points do not belong to the same system of classical acupuncture channels found on the face; rather, it follows a new and independent system of reflection pattern via diagrams. The new method has proved itself to be effective on a wide scale in a large field of therapy.
Face Diagnosis and Cybernetic Therapy are new methods of therapy, having as their origin the clinical application of factual observations. These methods of therapy were recently developed in Ho Chi Minh City, the capital of South Vietnam.
Face Diagnosis (Dien Chan) is the diagnosis of diseases made by looking at the unusual stigmas appearing on a person’s face. Acting on a precise point on the face creates an impulse which reaches and affects a precise part of the body by the intermediary of the nervous system – the essence of Cybernetic Therapy (Dien Khien Lieu Phap).
A medical doctor, who graduated under a French medical faculty, the author began private practice in Saigon in 1948, where he spent two years in residency at the Hospital Grall – the only French hospital for the Far East French troops at that time. Realizing through his practice and residency experiences that Western medicine often did not respond satisfactorily to the needs – of his patients, he began to pursue acupuncture courses. Thus since 1969, the writer has been treating his patients with a combination method of Western medicine and classical acupuncture. From 1979 until the present, he has had the privilege of working with the original author and founder of Face Diagnosis and Cybernetic Therapy, namely, Prof. Bui Quoc Chau. In addition, since 1979, he serves as Prof. Chau’s direct collaborator.
At this juncture, brief mention of Prof. Chau’s acupuncture experience is in order. Prof. Chau, an oriental medical doctor, was an acupuncturist who specialized in drug rehabilitation at the “New Youth Training School,” belonging to the War Department’s Invalids and Social Action Personnel. This school, which was formerly the Binh Trieu Drug Rehabilitation Center, sheltered thousands of addicts. In addition to treating the addiction syndromes, Prof. Chau took advantage of the opportunity to observe and study all categories of patients and their illnesses. Fortuitously, he discovered the systematic relationships between the organs of the body and their respective areas on the face. Observing these relationships. Prof. Chau ascertained the correspondence following a strictly ordered rule between the stigmas on the face and the change affecting the corresponding part within the body. From these discoveries, he began working to establish the basis of a method of diagnosis by visual examination of unusual stigmas appearing on the patient’ s face. Next, Prof. Chau began a method of therapy by means of puncture or pressure on the face of the patient. This writer joined Prof. Chau in making many observations over a long and sustained period of time, in verifying these new discoveries via clinical practice. First, the system of theories and later the basic principles of Face Diagnosis and Cybernetic Therapy were gradually developed and consolidated. It was found that this new acupuncture method effectively supplements modem medicine and, in addition, enhances both the work and discipline of the acupuncturist.
The role of the human face is of paramount importance. An exemplary aspect of this importance lies in the fact that the common language of Vietnam uses the form “Thay Mat” name the man who replaces another; i.e., to act in his place. The expression “Guong Mat” (meaning Mirror Face) designates a face which is a mirror from which the existing state of the entire body is reflected. This phenomenon might possibly explain why looking at the face, we can predict the conditions of the body. There is an unambiguously well defined relationship between the face and the human being’s total personality. Expressions of a person’s psychological, physiological, and pathological emotions tend to corroborate this point of view. Exemplary features of these qualities are manifested variously. In the case of joy, for example, the face looks cheerful; while in the case of sadness, the face is withered. When one is ill, the face is tarnished or wrinkled; but in case of recovery, the face becomes fresh and merry.
The face is part of the head which is the command center of the whole body. The face is also richly vascularized and innervated (by the trifacial nerve, the facial nerve) and crossed by numerous channels. According to oriental medicine, the face is the area which stocks Yang QI, and all the Yang channels pass by the face, e.g. Governing Vessel Bladder, Small Intestine, Triple Heater, Gall Bladder, Large Intestine and Stomach channels. This feature explains why the face is highly sensible in comparison with other parts of the body. Moreover, the complexity of the structure of the face enables its muscles to express all feelings of a person. This phenomenon is unique as no other part of the body can either function in this manner or enjoy these privileges. Furthermore, traditional acupuncture teaches that in a person’s face there are all of the delegates of the individual’s vital organs; namely, the ears for the Kidneys, the nose for the Lungs, the eyes for the Liver, Lips and mouth for the Spleen, and the tongue for the Heart. Therefore, by acting on the face, the acupuncturist can regularize the functioning of the aforementioned organs of the body.
The fundamental characteristics of Face Diagnosis and Cybernetic Therapy reside in the meticulous and practical study of the human being. This is especially so regarding the focus of that study which includes discovering the rigorous, detailed and systematic relationship between parts and, particularly, acupuncture points on the face and corresponding areas on the body.
Indeed, learning the knowledge, exploiting the inheritance handed down by traditional medicine, especially in the field of acupuncture, in conjunction with Western medicine, associated with our observations from clinical experience, we discovered the strict relationship between parts of the face and parts of the body. Further, we then drew a system of diagrams reflecting the entire human body on the face.
The discoveries as set forth in this article are easily verifiable in practice-whether in diagnosing an illness, or by acting on locations or particular acupuncture points on the face. The new aspect of the methodology evolves from our basic system of theories and diagrams representing the individual’s entire body transposed onto the face following different networks.
It is useful to point out that this article merely represents the preliminary aspect of the writer’s work; which is simply both the presentation and intimation of the new method. This new method has been effective in responding to the needs of the nation of South Vietnam. There is conspicuously inadequate Western and traditional Eastern drug treatment posture created a pressing need for a method of treatment which provides particular advantages to the patient. These include enabling the patient to:
a) treat an ordinary illness without recourse to medicine;
b) relieve his condition in an active, simple, and quick mariner;
c) restore his health by inducing the effect of a drug;
d) assist -himself- in the prevention of diseases, in an easy way with no cost and minimal time and effort.
The new method satisfactorily accommodates the preceding conditions. In fact, it is now widely applied in all the southern provinces of Vietnam-particularly in Ho Chi Minh City-where there are many locations comprising hospitals, precincts, wards, and village health agencies. Many Face Diagnosis and Cybernetic Therapy classes have been opened with numerous participants that are now applying this method. Foremost among these participants are some Western medical doctors.
Having seen this new method work in South Vietnam, the author would like to use this paper to introduce the reader to his new method of acupuncture, enabling one to treat common diseases by following a relatively scientific method.
As his next step, the writer will either publish -a sequel of articles detailing the particularities of the new method or publish a complete methodology in the form of a book in order to thoroughly acquaint the interested acupuncture practitioner. The next publication will contain all of the basic theories and nomenclature of the acupuncture points which presently exceed five hundred in number, as well as all of the eight diagrams. The diagram reflection of the entire human body and its corresponding system of channels on the face will be included also.
Basic theories of Face Diagnosis and Cybernetic Therapy
For purposes of this introduction paper, only two of the eight basic theories will be discussed. They are as follows:
Theory of Reflection
Oneness of the Universe, Society, and Man: The human being is a microcosm of the universe. There is also oneness of the human body and its face. The face is the one part which symbolizes and, hence, represents all the whole body. Therefore, any psychological, physiological, pathological state of the body is programmed onto the face. For that reason, the face plays the role of a mirror which inscribes in a systemic and selective manner all that is concerned within the human being in its static and dynamic states.
This theory can be applied to Cybernetic Therapy. Every acupuncture point on the face is the reflective point of one or several acupuncture points of the corresponding area of the body. This reflection is selective and obeys very precise ordered rules.
Theory of Homogeneity
Generally, the signs revealing pathologic changes in the body, appearing under various aspects before, after or at the same time as the disease, possess the characteristic properties of correspondence with respect to that disease. This is especially so regarding the point of view of situation, variety and degree of severity. As an example, a particular sign could be tenderness, wherein the degree of tenderness is proportional to the severity of the disease. This would then mean that the signs cannot be seen when the disease is cured. This procedural condition is applicable to the acute state of the disease rather than to its chronic state.
Above theory, i.e., the principle of Face Diagnosis, enables one to see the relationship of the points on the face and the corresponding related area of the body. An example occurs when a sign on the glabellas indicates that the patient can suffer from torticollis. This theory has a place in Cybernetic Therapy also.
In Cybernetic Therapy, the theory means that one can cure the disease of an organ by treating it locally or by acting on its corresponding area of projection of the face. Furthermore, this means that one can detect a point of tenderness on the face and treat the corresponding ill part of the body by acting on this point, i.e., inspection, auscultation and olfaction, interrogation, palpation of the pulses, and those pertinent procedures of modern Western medicine. It is incumbent upon the practitioner that he refrains from creating any obsession to or with their patient and that he refrains from accepting praise as a fortune-teller.
Elements of Diagnosis
When an organ or function is impaired, its corresponding area of projection on the face is the site of signs or stigmas which can be:
a) Perceived by the examiner such as (1) change in the shape of bones, muscles, in the degree of firmness, elasticity, contraction of the *muscles, swellings; (2) wrinkles, scars, holes; (3) color, complexion of the skin; (4) temperature of the skin by comparison with surrounding area; (5) other signs including congestion, subcutaneous small arteries, freckles, pimples, vitiligo, mole with or without hair, beard, pores of the skin, sweating.
b) Perceived by the patient and include feeling on or under the skin such as discomfort, pain, lancinating pain, ache, tiredness, lack of feeling, paresthesia, itching, burning, or cramps.
c) Signs detected by instruments such as temperature, electrical resistance, electromagrietism of the reflecting zones or points which can be higher or lower than the surrounding areas.
a) Pictures of the reflecting parts of the body on the face must be present in memory, as well in the respective diagrams.
b) One must investigate and discover on the face all signs revealing diseases.
c) According to, the location of these signs, one can diagnose the ill organ, function or part of the body corresponding to the locations.
d) The appearance, degree, duration of the disease are in relation to the characteristics of these signs.
e) Cautionary procedures: These practical applications must be associated with other methods of diagnosis of traditional medicine.
Below are two of the eight basic theories of Cybernetic Therapy, as mentioned earlier.
Theory of Homogeneity Between Tender Facial Points and Body Parts
When disorders affect a function or organ, besides local symptoms, on the face will appear one or several correspondinig points of tenderness on reflecting areas of the function or organ. The degree of tenderness (or numbness) and, indeed, the number of tender points are proportional to the degree of severity of the present illness. Therefore, these signs cannot be seen when the disease has healed.
Theory of Reverse Effect
According to the conditions of the illness, each acupuncture point requires a well-defined frequency, intensity and duration of excitation. Therefore, if the threshold is not reached, the anticipated results cannot be seen. On the contrary, however, when the threshold is surpassed, there is no result, and sometimes if some result exists, it is reversed and, consequently, the condition may worsen.
Selecting Acupuncture Points
When the Face Diagnosis is made and the origin of the illness is known, the practitioner chooses a number of acupuncture points on the face in order to act upon for purposes of treating the disease. From among the eight operative procedures of Cybernetic Therapy, six of them are as follows:
1. Use of “Living” Acupuncture Points
These are points revealing illness (tender points, insensitive points, freckles, moles, open skin pores, etc. on the reflecting areas of the face, relative to the function, organ or part of the body that is presently impaired. These “living” points can sometimes occupy the same location as the classical acupuncture points on the face.
2. Use of Known Defined Points
These defined points are well known by their location, nature, or properties. Thus, they stand in opposition to the “living” points which can only be seen in case a disease situation exists.
Detection of the Cause of Illness
Before searching the “living” acupuncture points, it is useful to investigate the following points of Table 4. These points, corresponding to the organs known as “Zhang” and “Fu,” enable the practitioner to diagnose the cause of illness and, hence, arrive at the best results for treatment purposes.
How-to Use the Diagrams in Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment of Disease
3. Point Choice by Diagnosing the Classical Channel
The acupuncturist chooses the points by diagnosing the ill classical channel first Next, he acts on the acupuncture points of these channels transposed on the face.
4. Choice of Acupuncture Points on the Face
This choice follows the concept of Yin Yang, the Five Elements, the cold or warm nature and the internal or external state of the illness.
5. Point Choice Defined by Reasoning
Here the acupuncturist invokes the physiological and pathological relationships of modem Western medicine.
6. Choice of Scheme of Treatment
The acupuncturist can use groups of points generally known for their effectiveness in curing specific diseases.
How to Act on Acupuncture Points
The practitioner can act on the acupuncture points by using: Acupressure, massage rubbing with his fingertip; a metallic, glass or wooden stick; “Plum blossom” or “Seven Star” needles; special face needles (different from long needles used in classical acupuncture, i.e., needles having 2 to 21h_ mm body – length and 1 cm handle; moxa cones or sticks; electroacupuncture with appropriate wave form, frequency, intensity, duration, by direct stimulation (TENS), or by intermediary of the needle; injection therapy; or laser acupuncture.
As stated previously, our diagrams are the reflection of the human body with its system of channels and acupuncture points on the face. These diagrams satisfy the purpose of making the diagnosis and performing the treatment.
1. Facial Stigma Observation
When a point on the body or its function or organ is ill, its corresponding area on the face will be the focus of stigmas, which can either be seen with the naked eye, or perceived by the patient, or perceived with the help of detector devices (a rod made of wood or glass). These stigmas are called “pathological signs of disease” and are outlined in the section describing face diagnosis.
2. Diagnosis of the Illness
The location of the stigmas on the face gives information about the corresponding organ, with the help of the diagrams and Tables 1 to 4. For example, freckles on the prominent part of the chin means cold feet, nocturia. Freckles on the eyebrow are signs of tiredness or pain on the limbs, or these parts can easily be sprained. Points of tenderness or cuttings on the eyebrow indicate pain on arm or shoulder. Notice that the abnormal change in the body condition can happen before, at the same time, or after the moment of appearance of the signs on the face. Furthermore, sometimes, points on the forehead correspond to a part of the body situated on the opposite side.
3. Prevention of Disease
The entire body being represented on the face, it is obvious that massaging the face activated the free circulation of the Qi and Blood in the entire organism. Every morning, massage the face as follows:
– Rub both hands together until the palms become warm and place them over both eyes. -Use the palm of the hands to massage all of the face, head, neck, until a sensation of warmth is felt.
– Pay attention to the areas of the face corresponding to the diseased part of the body, and apply the palm of the hand or press with the tip of the finger more and somewhat longer on these zones than on other areas. For instance, to abort an attack of asthma, press the two fingers lightly on the areas in front of the ear lobe five to ten minutes before the anticipated attack.
– Using a towel moistened with warm water, rub strongly the face, nose, neck, and auricle for several minutes. Rubbing either too strongly or for too long however, can reverse the good effect.
4. Principle of Treatment
The locations of stigmas or tender points are the site of treatment This calls for action on these signs to treat the particular disease. The methods of influencing these points are described in a previous section above. As an example, consider treating toothache. First, localize on the face the area corresponding to the tooth (lower or upper jaw). Then detect the tender points and act on these points. Notice that we only act on the site of the stigma, regardless of the sex of the patient; viz., we do not use the male diagram to treat men or the female diagram to treat women patients. More than one diagram can be used, this brings best results.
Important remark: The proposed method of treatment uses the “living point” of the ill organ. There are several other methods of treatment in Cybernetic Therapy, using well-known defined points, namely, points obtained from the ill classical channel, method of treatment following western medicine’s reasoning, etc., and especially the method of using points according to the pulse. The pulse is of utmost importance in the diagnosis of the illness and the choice of proper acupuncture points. Nonobservance of these conditions leads only to syrmptomatic relief of disease and not to a radical cure of the illness. This practice reminds the writer of a personal experience involving his instructor, Prof. Thuong Truc in 1973. As a 70-year-old man at that time, he was suffering from a toothache. Indeed, his unsteady molars were going to fall. As the beneficiary of his tutelage, he informed the writer that that was a sign of kidney deficiency: namely, that his Kidne, 7-Ear’crt-especially the gums – where the tooth could not “hanon” was dencient. He then punctured the Kidney Earth points, KI-3 (Taixi), at 6 a.m. Large Intestine time in order to fortify its counterpart-the Kidney. After two punctures, the molars became steady. Two days later, for the purpose of consolidating the results, Prof. Truc treated the same point: KI3, by moxa. After two treatments. his stomach became painful. Ivloreover, he experienced nausea and vomiting. He could not take any medicine or food. Moxa on the Kidney Earth influenced the stomach which is Earth in nature. It is noteworthy that this patient had had stomach ulcers twenty years earlier. Routine acupuncture treatment of stomach gave no relief. At 8:10 p.m., Pericardium time opposite the stomach. Prof. Truc punctured ST36 (Zusanli), CV-12 (Zhongwan), ST-44 (Neiting), and after a few minutes pain and vomiting disappeared. At 11 p.m., Triple Heater time related to Spleen channel, Prof. Truc treated SP-2 (Dadu) by moxa and the pain vanished. Next, at 5 a.m., Lung time related to Bladder, he fortified BLr67 (Zhiyin) to regularize the âmount of water lost as a result of his vomiting earlier. The day after these treatments, Prof. Truc experienced complete recovery.
The aforementioned example demonstrates that careful observance and application of the fundamental principles of acupuncture yields steady and predictable results. Thus, the essence of acupuncture therapy is not to provide symptomatic relief regarding the treatment of a disease, rather residing therein is the restoration of the balance within the body by treating the human condition.
Having introduced the reader to a new method of acupuncture diagnosis and treatment-the Face Diagnosis and Cybernetic Therapy-via looking at the unusual stigmas on the face to diagnose diseases and, hence, act on the points on the face to treat illness, this paper provides the opportunity for the reader to perform relatively easy treatment of some ordinary diseases.
Face, nose and head acupuncture are mentioned in Chinese treatises on acupuncture. In classical acupuncture, there are a number of acupuncture points on the face and – nose. Recent documents from China mention face acupuncture with 24 acupuncture points for the purpose of treating illnesses of the whole body. In practice, however, there is little information available about the use of these points to treat illness of the whole body.2-4
The Cybernetic Therapy relies upon a new basis. Its network of channels and points do not belong to the same system of classical channels and points passing on the face. Rather the Cybernetic Therapy follows a new independent system of reflection pattern as set forth in diagrams in the text of this paper.
Despite the effectiveness of this new form of therapy and the amazing results it has provided in even desperate cases plus the quick and sometimes instant results with respect to ordinary diseases, it must undergo the proof of time. In this regard, our researchers here and in Vietnam remain busy, as they are in the process of recapitulating the results of the increased use of the Cybernetic Therapy.
The author wishes to thank Prof. Bui Quoc Chau for his having: (a) introduced him to this new acupuncture method, (b) involved the author in its early stages of development, and (c) deemed the author worthy as his direct collaborator. The author also wishes to thank his co-author, Professor Leon Jones, Howard University, Washington, D.C., for both his invaluable assistance and service in the preparation of this manuscript.
- Penfield, W. G., Rasmussen, T.: The Cerebral Cortex of Man. 1950. The Macmillan Company, New York, p. 248.
- O’Connor, J., Bensky, D. (eds. and transL): Acupuncture: A Comprehensive Text 1981. Eastland Press, Chicago, p. 942.
- Kwong, L.C.: Nose, Hand and Foot Acupuncture 1976. The Commercial Press Ltd., Hong Kong.
- Dale, RA.: The Micro-Acupuncture Systems. Part II. Amer. J. Acupuncturg Vol. 4, July-Sept 1976, pp. 196-224.