4 Sep 2018
DERMATOLOGY AND TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE
4 Sep 2018
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient practice based on the ancient concept that our bodies functional optimally if our vital energy, or qi, is balanced and flowing smoothly through the 12 meridians distributed throughout the body. Qi influences our emotional, mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing, and disease will be caused by an imbalance or disruption in this flow of qi.
When it comes to skin, multiple TCM zang fu organs work together to ensure healthy complexion, proper moisture, and optimal elasticity. If any of these organs are injured, pathology can manifest as common skin complaints; such as acne, rosacea, eczema, wrinkles, dark under-eye circles, dull complexion, sagging skin and much more. The following is a list of the most commonly injured TCM organs, how they impact our skin, and a quick tip to begin healing the pathology and restore the balance of qi.
TCM Functions: the kidney stores essence, the body’s vital life energy, and are considered the “root of life”
Causes of Pathology: poor nutrition, excessive sexual activity, chronic illness, fear and anxiety, physical and mental overwork
How Kidney Affects the Skin: a decrease in essence occurs naturally as we age, leading to a dull, pale complexion. The process of essence depletion can be accelerated by poor nutrition, excessive sexual activity or long-term illness.
The Quick Fix: Eat a whole foods diet, focusing on seasonal fruits, seasonal vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.
TCM Function: the spleen is responsible for the transformation and transportation of our nutrients, which is a key process in replenishing essence and encouraging health in all other zang fu organs
Causes of Pathology: poor nutrition, irregular eating habits, overthinking, raw food, cold food.
How the Spleen Affects the Skin: by not being able to properly digest our food, the body cannot replenish essence, which leads to kidney dysfunction. Dampness from hot, greasy foods can also lead to acne or rosacea.
The Quick Fix: Swap out your cold salads for warm, cooked foods; eat at regular intervals throughout the day with minimal distractions so that your body can focus on digesting.
TCM Function: the stomach is vital to the transportation of food essence
Causes of Pathology: Poor nutrition, irregular eating habits
How the Stomach Affects the Skin: Similar to the spleen, the proper functioning of the stomach is crucial to essence preservation. Also, due to the stomach meridian opening on the face, any excess heat or dampness from poor nutrition can appear as a red complexion, greasy skin, or acne.
The Quick Fix: Avoid eating late at night, as this greatly impacts the stomach’s ability to properly transport qi and essence.
TCM Function: governs Qi, controls skin
Causes of Pathology: exposure to dry or damp environments, sadness, grief, worry, smoking.
How the Lung Affects the Skin: when the lung receives fluids from the spleen, it nourishes and moistens the skin giving us a glowing complexion and tight pores
The Quick Fix: a healthy spleen with proper diet and stress reduction techniques will allow for the lungs to maintain a healthy complexion.
Ultimately, in TCM, the most common culprit in premature aging and essence deficiency is a poor diet and poor eating habits (rushing, eating on the go, etc). By providing our Spleen and Stomach with proper nutrition and adopting healthy eating habits, our Kidney and Lungs will be able to function optimally and give us the clear, glowing complexion we had as children.
Combining these tips with weekly cosmetic acupuncture can provide results similar to Botox and face lifts, without the unnecessary exposure to toxins or potentially permanent side effects. Facial acupuncture combines the ancient methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine zang fu organ pathology with cosmetic techniques to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, provide a natural face and brow lift, reduce under eye circles, clear acne and reduce scaring, tighten pores, and provide a healthy glow. These effects are achieved by stimulating collagen production, improving muscle tone and increasing blood flow to the face, all while healing underlying organ pathologies contributing to disrupted qi and declining essence.
If you are interested in learning more about TCM and its affects on your skin, book an initial consultation with one of our Naturopathic Doctors today.
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