Tune into Your Adrenal Health with Ayurvedic Face and Nail Analysis
One of the beautiful aspects of journeying on the path of Ayurveda is that you can participate in your own healing.
Rather than depending solely on someone else’s expertise, Ayurveda invites you to be an active participant in your health by learning about your own body, your unique tendencies, and your specific needs according to your dosha.
Along with conscious food choices, daily routine, and lifestyle practices, one of the ways that Ayurveda can help us learn the ins and outs of our internal state of health—and its natural fluctuations—is through the practice of physical examination.
But before we go further, let's talk about the adrenal glands.
The Importance of Healthy and Happy Adrenal Glands
While the adrenal glands may be tiny, they are mightily important!
These two walnut-sized glands sit on top of the kidneys, so the kidneys and the adrenals work together and the health of each is affected by the other. The word “adrenal” comes from the Latin “ad renes” which means “near the kidneys.”
Healthy adrenals regulate hormones that control your “fight-or-flight” response and help keep the nervous system in a state of healthy balance. The adrenal glands also help in regulating our blood pressure and blood sugar levels, along with many other important tasks throughout the entire body.
In today’s modern world, where stress is an almost constant factor at play in our lives, the adrenal glands can become very easily taxed and depleted, leading to exhaustion, burnout, and anxiousness.
In order keep the adrenals strong, resilient, and functioning well, it is well worth taking the time to learn how they speak through your body, and to give them a little extra attention and care.
How to Track Your Adrenal Health with Physical Examination
Here, we'll focus on what signs to look out for in each of these areas to know when your adrenal glands are calling out for your attention.
Read the Story of Your Face
In Ayurveda, the practice of facial examination is called akruti pariksha. Your face is a storybook that tells the tale of your health and each part of your face correlates to a specific organ.
With Ayurvedic facial assessment, it’s easy to see where there may be an imbalance or stress on a particular organ.
Areas that are red or irritated can indicate a pitta imbalance in the corresponding organ. Dryness can indicate a vata imbalance, whereas puffiness or swelling shows a kapha imbalance.
If your lower eyelids are quite puffy, this can indicate that your kidney and adrenal functions are experiencing excess kapha. If they are excessively dry or wrinkly, this can indicate a need for increased hydration.
The outermost edges of your lips also relate to the kidneys and adrenals.
If the outer ridges of your lips are extra plump and oily, then there may be a kapha imbalance in the adrenals. This means that your body may have trouble processing all the fluids that it receives.
If your lips are very dry and cracked in this area, it may indicate a vata imbalance in the adrenal glands. Likewise, if you experience tremors or shaking in the outer parts of your lips, it can indicate nervous system imbalance or a great deal of anxiousness, also associated with vata. Again, are you getting enough water and nourishment?
Ayurveda explains that each organ is connected to a particular emotion. The kidneys and adrenals are the seat of anxiousness. Often, people who suffer from a great deal of stress have issues with their bladder and may need to urinate excessively or, alternately, they may not be drinking enough water because they forget to do so.
Find Clues in Your Fingers and Nails
After you’ve spent some time getting to know your face, take a close look at your nails. Do you tend to bite your nails? This may be a sign of nervousness and stress. The nervousness will indirectly affect the kidneys and adrenals, and vice versa.
Each finger also corresponds to a certain element. The ring finger is associated with the water element. The organ relating to water is the kidneys, and thus the adrenals as well.
Examine your ring finger in comparison to your other fingers and thumb. If that finger has the most lines and ridges, or if it feels shakier than the others, it is likely that your adrenals are working under stress.
Take Hints from Your Tongue
Another part of traditional Ayurvedic examination is tongue diagnosis, or jhiva pariksha. Each part of the tongue corresponds to a particular organ. The sides at the very back of the tongue are associated with the right and the left kidneys.
Stick out your tongue while looking in the mirror and see if there is extra coating, redness, or cracking in those areas in relation to the rest of the tongue. If so, there may be a kidney or adrenal imbalance asking for your attention.
5 Ways to Support Your Adrenal Health
If your facial features, nails, and tongue are all telling the same story, there’s a good chance that your detective work is pointing to tired and distressed adrenals.
You may wish to consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner for help getting back on the road to health, or start with the following simple tips to strengthen and nourish your adrenals:
- Rest. Make sure you are getting adequate rest and quality sleep. This is essential for the long-term health and happiness of your adrenals.
Drink. Replenish your adrenals with grounding and calming warm drinks like Ashwagandha Latte Mix or Tulsi Fields tea.
- Breathe. Practice alternate nostril breathing to calm your mind and cultivate inner balance. This practice does wonders for regulating hormones and reducing stress.
- Oilinate. Practice the art of abhyanga, or Ayurvedic self-massage, with Ashwagandha Bala Oil. This self-care ritual tones the nerves and delivers hydration deep into the body.
- Nourish. Take Adrenal Nourish tablets to support healthy kidneys and adrenals with powerful herbal adaptogens.