Asian Rhinoplasty

The ENTific Centre


The nose in Chinese face reading philosophy

This subchapter highlights a very specific aspects of Asian rhinoplasty based on the ancient art of Chinese face reading. It is controversial from our own modern surgical perspective. However its teachings has been pervasive in Imperial China and her tribute kingdoms around her since the Tang Dynasty, and has been handed down through the elders over the ages. Its teachings also are practiced amongst modern face and fortune readers, and it remains in the consciousness or subconsciousness of some Asian clients. Hence some Asian clients seeking rhinoplastic surgery may request for certain rhinoplastic aspects with these teachings in mind.

Some clarity of the underlying concept of this art may help the surgeon to better understand their Asian clients' appropriate or inappropriate expectation before surgery, and possibly their unhappiness with the results. It must be said that this ancient philosophy has not been scientifically tested according to current concepts of scientific testing. However perhaps it cannot be disregarded if one considers it as a large longitudinal, descriptive and observational study.

The nose

In Chinese face reading, our faces are divided into different parts (Chen XY). Our nose occupies the central part of our face. The nose's implication in face reading is three-fold:

  • Ego

  • Our noses signify our self ego. We point to our noses when we want to draw people's attention to ourselves. Hence a high nose in general means a high self esteem, and a low nose in general means a low self esteem.

  • Age significance

  • Our faces are divided into different parts (see Figures 17). Each part has its significance during the different ages of one's life. The nose signifies our life period from 41 to 50 years. It starts from the radix (41), and ends at the nasal tip (48). Our left alar signifies our life at age 49 whilst our right alar signifies our life at 50. Hence defects in our noses can suggest problems during the corresponding times in our lives.

  • Life 'palaces'

  • Our faces are also divided into different parts called the 'Twelve Palaces'; each palace signifies different aspects of our lives (see Figures 18).

    The radix is the 'Life Palace', signifying our luck and fame.
    The rhinion is the 'Sickness Palace', which governs our health.
    The nasal tip is the 'Wealth Palace', which governs our financial luck.

    Face reading implications of the nose

    From the above description, a person with a high nasal dorsum from the radix (Life Palace) all the way down to the tip is considered more likely to get famous. This is illustrated in the old Chinese saying, 'Have a high nose and you will make your parents proud'.

    A strong and 'fleshy' nasal tip means a person will become rich, as the nasal tip is our 'Wealth Palace'. This is especially true when that person also has minimal nostril show as the extent of the nostril show governs our money saving power. With this negative nasal attribute, a person with too much nostril show (see Figure 19) is regarded as easily spending or losing the money he earns. Other negative nasal feature includes a hump over the nasal dorsum, which signifies a poorer health and relationship with other people (FTC Wong et al).

    To put this philosophy into its proper perspective, we have to bear in mind that our faces should never be read part by part separately. Balance is a very important principle in all Chinese philosophies. A person with a good, high nose will only be successful if he or she also has other good facial features. Our, forehead, nose, right and left malar prominences, and chin are called 'The Five Mountains' on our faces. Their height and shape must be balanced for one to be qualified to have a 'good face'.

    This latter idea is perhaps much more easily comprehended nowadays by facial plastic surgeons when we discuss about the art of facial surgery, and achieving the balance and harmony of the beautiful face.






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