Facial reflexology, an ancient medicine from Vietnam
In 2015, I had an appointment for the first time with an acupuncturist.
After examining me, she recommended to insert needles into different parts of my body. Unfortunately, I felt small electric shocks, more or less strong depending on the areas, and she could not finish the treatment. However, she told me that there was a gentler method which required that I press precisely at different points on my face, every day and several times a day using a small, spherical instrument on one side and sharper on the other side.
Within weeks, I was relieved of several of my ailments. But having no further information about facial reflexology, I searched the internet and found several English-speaking resources. They all led to one person: Amala Black. And for good reason, in the Anglo-Saxon world, she popularized this traditional medicine from Vietnam. Amala herself was trained in Italy by Beatrice Moricoli who has greatly contributed to making this medicine accessible in Europe.
To put it simply, facial reflexology considers the face to be the mirror of our internal organs and functions. Stimulating certain areas helps to restore, day after day. Like many traditional medicines, facial reflexology requires guidance in exploring and performing the most appropriate gestures.
In addition to providing me with exceptional relaxation, facial reflexology has greatly contributed to reducing my chronic inflammations in the lower face in particular. As the diagram below shows and as the acupuncturist explained to me at the time, inflamed intestinal situations can cause these pimples.
It is important not to confuse facial reflexology with the approach of certain dermatologists, which has been to produce “face mapping”. It is about linking certain inflamed facial areas or type of inflammation to internal health.
Traditional facial reflexology is simple, requires only our fingers and above all to know the areas to be treated. I share it because it has brought so much healing to myself, to my husband and to several members of my family. This ancestral knowledge that deserves all its letters of nobility.
I sincerely hope this sharing on easy reflexology has nourished you and will help you as it has helped me and more.
To complete this, we asked Amala Black a few questions so that she could talk to us about health and beauty in her own way. The theme of sovereignty is very present in her shares, so we asked her about it so that she could share her perspective with us.
INTERVIEW WITH AMALA BLACK, FOUNDER OF MIRROR MEDICINE
How do you define sovereignty?
My answer has really changed over the last few years. I would say - to really know who you are. Which means to have a sense of your own qualities and gifts… tendencies and skills. To take ownership of all of your parts… And to live and act in celebration of Yourself. It’s a path of course and there is no final destination… but a re-acquiring of one’s perception and power, an expansion of one’s light, a series of events and choices woven more and more from our essence which aligns us with the way of Nature.
In the world we live in this of course implies some level of rebellion or deconditioning as most of us were raised to a degree in separation from ourselves and our Wholeness. So, this word also recalls an important movement concerning each individual which becomes more and more available to us all in these changing times.
How did you start to reclaim your sovereignty?
Like so many, my journey began with food - one of the most physical of our routes to influenced experience. At 21 I left my homeland Scotland and began to make lifestyle changes that appealed to my rational mind as “healthy”. I adopted a paleo lifestyle meaning I was an early “gluten-free” advocate and began to move my body more frequently and strenuously than I’d ever been inclined to do in the past. Around the same time, I began to study filmmaking with the intention to create documentaries that detailed the “good news” to place a focus and to send awareness towards the solutions rather than the problems. A lot of symptoms I had been experiencing prior to this stage in my life began to clear… And living in a vivid and inspiring city (Barcelona) I experienced for the first time in my life a period of blissfulness and entered a flow of meeting the right people, finding myself in the right place. All the pieces unraveling with such precision and leading to such joy deep inside that, of course, the next stage would be more inclined to investigate mystery over logic.
Speedily life led me via a love affair to Milan where I would - without even deciding - find myself participating in a 2-day course introducing a technique called “riflessologia facciale” (Facial Reflexology). Basically, this involved following instructions (in a language I didn’t yet speak) to stimulate points and zones of my face in order to connect and send energy to various parts of my body. At the time I was not very moved or excited by the material… nor did I recognize a single “symptom” to be addressed by self-treatment. Lifelong digestive imbalance and sensitivity to many foods were normal after all… Luckily I was living with my teacher at the time who reminded me each and every day to practice a simple gesture on my face just “to see” what it might do.
Within 2 weeks my digestive system was undoubtedly adjusting and ingestion of gluten (which was unavoidable at the time in Italy) was having less uncomfortable effects. In the weeks and months ahead I would discover in a new way - and on a new level - what I was capable of achieving and how, beyond the physical or mental I could influence my experience for the better with nothing more than my hands and my face (as well as ancient knowledge and intention). I would say that this discovery of myself beyond the body really began here… though the prior steps were necessary prerequisites to make a connection between mind and body which until that point had been severed - even if the choices involved were quite extreme.
What is health to you?
Health so much revolves around balance and is so inseparable from our connection to our Wholeness. Maybe this comes down to embracing diversity… in our diet… and other consumption… in our movement… Accepting ourselves as individuals too - being honest about our needs - releasing the ideas projected by society - learning to tend to our yearnings on all levels and managing our energy with care on all fronts. We live simultaneously in two worlds - both inner and outer must be balanced in order to adequately fuel our minds, bodies, spirits. Perhaps this is the most misunderstood component in Western society.
Any significant deviation from this equilibrium (which, let’s be honest in unavoidable - and part of the human journey) will only lead us back. By way of “disharmony” or symptoms in the body - messages from ourselves - one way or another we are invited to listen, more and more deeply and to look with our inner eye as well as the outer ones, to address who we are and why we came and ensure we don’t lose the thread. So really, what is absence of health? A direction to health. One and the same so nothing to worry about.
What is beauty means to you?
Oh, beauty. Life is beauty! The rainbow of all that it is possible to be part of. The good, the bad, and the ugly is beautiful too. Beauty is a perspective when we connect from our hearts. There is love and appreciation. There is the big and the small. The young and the old. The loud and the quiet. The sky and the Earth. The story of creation. The story of forgetting ourselves. The process of remembering. Birth. Death. Joy. Pain. Wow, all of it.
How, in your own way, do you try to share more kindness, good and beauty?
We are back to the first question. I practice connecting to who I really am. Daily. It takes a lot of kindness and gentleness within to support the waves of challenge that can be present outside. I practice looking at people for who they really are, beyond the surface. People around me (hard sometimes) and strangers (usually much easier). When we actively look for the light in someone… even if we just look for a tiny dot… it will show itself. Even right in the middle of a heated discussion. The energy will shift. Without knowing why they will adjust their stance in an instance. Because to recognize someone is still so rare in these days. There is the beauty. There also is the explanation for their current predicament - their pain in being far from themselves - there is the deepest healing that can occur. This, to me, is beautiful. This is peace work. Even if there is no credit or praise for being “good” or “kind”… These invisible acts are my biggest contribution. To be Yourself - no matter the controversy it may stir - is always and every time the best for not only you but everyone and this planet as well. Your presence wherever you are and whatever you are doing is a gift.
What message would you like to share with our caring community?
Thank you for these questions. I really enjoyed writing for all of you. I know Rose from Instagram and am so grateful for the deep and requited recognition we can find across the globe by the click of a button. I’m sure many of you reading are also touched by her energy and admire the gentleness and widening of perspectives she is seeding so consistently. It takes a great deal of honesty to discern for ourselves who really is an inspiration to us on the internet and who really has something to offer which leads us to ourselves and not away.
At the moment with more and more action on our screens this can be a minefield. The surface is overemphasized, and the dueling sides will try to pull you into their camp. Inner awareness is needed. To make your leanings conscious also, here are some suggested enquiries when you head back to your feeds [on social media]:
- What really is it that draws me so much to this page or this person?
- What, behind the words, is contained in this piece of text?
- How do I feel as I read or interact?
- Is this benefiting my experience, does this align with my path?
I have found recently that I can be very surprised by my truthful answers to such prompts. I wish truthfulness with yourself to you all.
Much love beautiful beings,
Connect with Amala Black and find her teachings on facial reflexology:
- Her Instagram page dedicated to reflexology: https://www.instagram.com/mirrormedicine/
- Her website where you can access his facial reflexology courses online: https://www.mirrormedicine.com
- Her Instagram page dedicated to spiritual reflections: https://www.instagram.com/amala.black/