14. October 2015 · Comments Off on TCM Modalities Than Can Turn Your Dry Skin Into a Healthy Glowing One · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

A few people know that the largest organ in the body is our skin. The skin can have a wide spectrum of colors and it is the organ that wraps and safeguards our internal organs, tissues, muscles, blood, and bones. The skin becomes sticky in the summer and dry in the winter. From the viewpoint of TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine, possessing a healthy skin begins inside our body. Commercial skin products proliferates the market and each of them claims they can endow you with wrinkle free, smooth, and amazing skin. In the United States, Europe and Japan, the skin care industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, yet a majority of the products companies offer is loaded with strong and harsh drugs or chemicals that are not even needed to tackle the underlying cause of the problem. What’s worse, a lot of these products may actually make the problem even more severe. On the other hand, TCM products that help improve the health of the skin are all natural and are often derived in gardens, trees, and flowers.

One of the specialties of TCM is dermatology. Practitioners will observe the internal problem causing the dry skin and this helps give the practitioner an insight on how to clear up the external symptoms of the problem. We usually think that dry skin is due to external factors affecting our body. in reality, the condition stems from an imbalance of our yin or yang or could also be because of a blockage of vital energy (QI) leading to the manifestations hives, eczema, dry skin and other types of skin conditions. Once the blockage or the imbalance has been resolved, our skin will become healthy once more.

In TCM, in order to specifically treat dry skin, your TCM practitioner would mainly concentrate on the strengthening of your body’s immune system in order to lower your body’s sensitivity to cold and other adverse environmental conditions. Your practitioner may also use acupuncture to address this blockage or imbalance and help the body filter away toxins that have been causing the skin to become hot, red, and itchy. After acupuncture, the practitioner can then recommend herbal formulas to repair and soothe the damaged skin.

There are a number of herbs that help promote skin care. There are herbs that are considered diuretics that can aid in the cleansing of the body. There are herbs that heal the skin, boost immune function, or purify the blood. This article will focus on two herbs that possess skin healing qualities.

Goji Berries

Goji berries have been used as treatments to address dry skin problems in China since time immemorial. These berries, in TCM, can help restore and nourish blood, kidney, and liver. Loaded with antioxidants such as riboflavin, bate-carotene, thiamine, linoleic acid, vitamin C, these berries help tighten the skin, and give it a healthy youthful glow.

Calendula

Calendula possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it an excellent herbal choice in the treatment of dry and infected skin. It is also a great natural moisturizer for dry skin. This herb can help relieve inflammation related to dermatitis and eczema and help the skin to heal in a natural manner. It can help soothe the itching and burning caused by condition such as dermatitis and eczema. Calendula’s petals have vivid colors, which is derived from 19 different carotinoids.

Calendulas’ Benefits to the Skin

-Relieve itching and heal chapped dry skin
-Slow down the formation of wrinkles
-Lessen damage gotten from too much sun exposure
-Smooth complexion and soften rough skin
-Improve elasticity and decrease fine lines

Dry Skin Healer – Goji Berry and Calendula Salve

-1 oz calendula ifsued oil – 32 0z glass jar, 16 oz sunflower oil, fresh calendula flower heads; allow 2 to 3 weeks to sit
-3 to 4 drops lavender essential oil
-0.5 oz glass ointment jars
G-erman chamomile essential oil 6 Drops
-Grated beeswax 1tbsp
-Glass ointment jars 0.5 oz. – store in jars Place and refrigerate, apply as needed

This salve is ideal for acute dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, and general dry skin and can be used for burns and wounds, as well.

Dr. Vickery is a licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana, CA., and the founder and clinical director of Vickery Health and Wellness.

30. January 2015 · Comments Off on Dry Skin and Its Connection to the Internal Organs of the Body · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

The ancient Chinese believe that the skin has a distinct function that directly affects certain internal organs pathologically and physically. It also considered the largest organ of the body. Some of the internal organs associated with the skin include:

The Large Intestine

A strong relationship exists between the Large Intestine and the skin. Toxins may accumulate in the Large Intestine if the person consumes too much food (such as spicy and hot foods) and drinks fluids that contain toxins. The signs of toxin accumulation may show in the skin and manifest as itchiness, rash, pimples or boils. Symptoms such as bloating, pungent flatulence and constipation may also be a sign of toxin build up in the Large Intestine.

The Kidneys

This very important internal organ governs the primal Yin and Yang energy of the body. These two forces are the ones in charge of all the phases of the skin and body. A problem in the Yin and Yang of the Kidney may result in excessive perspiration, hot flushes usually felt in the face and neck, and dry skin among others.

The Liver and Heart

These two major internal organs are responsible for the emotions and circulation of the body. The state of health of the emotions and circulation can directly impact the skin. So if the Liver and Heart have functional deficiencies it can result in toxins and heat remaining in the bloodstream leading to skin flare-ups such as rashes, eczema or pimples.

The Lungs

In Traditional Chinese medicine theory, the Lungs govern the skin and enable the skin pores to open and close. If the Lungs do not function healthily, skin becomes affected leading to situations like these:

If you have been smoking for several years, your Lungs’ health may have been considerably weakened leading to frequent production of phlegm and cough; moreover, the poor health of your Lungs may also manifest as dry skin.

Smoking weakens the Lungs that when the body is invaded by external Heat and Wind, symptoms such as sore throat or sneezing and skin problems such as shingles, rashes or itch may arise.

Dry Skin Symptoms

Depending on its cause dry skin can be a sudden momentary problem or may last for a considerable period of time that gradually deteriorates over time. The skin can turn painful, irritated, itchy, cracked or scaly. The condition may even affect the heels of the feet, elbows, nails, lips and mouth. Chronic skin dryness can leave the skin prone to eczema, itchiness, rash or infection. Depending on the underlying cause of the person’s dry skin problem, the symptoms can be severe, mild or intermittent.

Dry Skin – Its Causes

The type of dry skin that may arise in a person may depend on his/her lifestyle, past medical history and constitution. There may be various reasons for dry skin and so it is important to determine the underlying reason for it in order to apply the proper treatment. In traditional Chinese medicine, there are different patterns of disharmony for dry skin. They include:

Lung and Liver Heat

Heat in the Lung and Liver may stem from several causes including certain drugs, spicy and hot foods, longstanding alcohol drinking, pneumonia, cold, flu or Heat coming from other body organs. Too much heat in the Lung or Liver can affect the health of the skin causing it to dry out. This type of dry skin leads to symptoms such as constipation, insomnia, problems falling asleep, extreme emotions, dry and/or red eyes, dry throat and dry cough. Sufferers of this form of condition can also experience illnesses such as hay fever, eczema or asthma.

Blood and Liver Yin Deficiency

This pattern of disharmony is the most common cause of dry skin. Skin dryness due to this type of deficiency occurs more in women than in men, but nowhere is this condition more common than in women after menopause, after labor or those who are past the age of 40. This does not mean that only women are affected by dry skin due to deficiency in Blood and Liver Yin. Men can also be affected, as well

Blood and Liver Yin deficiency may be caused by a weakened Blood and Yin that, in turn, leads to a lack of moisture and nutrition in the body. Sufferers may not only experience from dry skin but have other problems like insomnia, extreme emotions, interrupted sleep, anxiety, hot flushes (especially while sleeping or during mornings), thirst, sensation of hotness in the body, dry stools, unhealthy looking nails, cracks around the nails, poor quality of hair, or hair loss, as well.

Other Reasons for Dry Skin

Besides the aforementioned factors, other causes of dry skin can include certain foods or drugs, longstanding illness or injury, or poor blood flow among others.

Proper Management and Treatment of Dry skin

Changes in Diet & Lifestyle

A proper diet – This may include eating cooling foods and green leafy vegetables. These foods may include pear, lemon, eggplant, mung beans, peppermint tea, green tea, spinach, carrots, cucumber, and celery. You also should refrain from eating lamb, shellfish, chives, garlic, ginger and onions as they can generate Heat in the digestive system, Lung or Liver and affect the skin. You also need to avoid alcohol.

Relax – Alter your work and lifestyle in a way that it generates as minimal stress as possible. Do not become too high strung or too emotional as they can imbalance the Liver energy resulting in Heat Liver excess. Sleep is a great way to relax. Get adequate quality sleep and do not go to be bed late in the night (be sure you’re in bed before 11pm)

Exercise – When you exercise, do it in a cool comfortable setting. Avoid strong sunlight and do not perform exercises that are too intense or fast as they can generate excess Heat. Swimming, slow bike riding, gentle walking slow biking and yoga are great activities to help treat dry skin.

Conventional Treatments

If you’ve been hiving dry skin for several years, you may be suffering from a far more serious underlying condition. If this is the case, you need to consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

If conventional treatments fail to treat your dry skin, you can always try traditional Chinese medicine treatments. Besides being safer than conventional modalities, traditional Chinese medicine is one form of natural therapy that has been proven to work for dry skin.

Treatment of your dry skin will depend on the type of underlying problem you have. Therefore, a proper diagnosis is essential to come up with the right solution to your problem.

Galina Semyonova is a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist in New York City. She has studied extensively in the fields of biofeedback therapy, SCENAR therapy, Chinese herbal treatments and Chinese and Western nutrition.

22. September 2014 · Comments Off on Acupuncture Treatment for Dry Skin · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

The skin is the largest organ of the body and it is much, much larger than your lungs, liver or heart. Traditional Chinese medicine knows that the way to healthy skin in the winter, or any time of the year begins internally rather than externally.

In western countries, the skin care industry has become a multi-billion dollar venture. However, most of the skin products available in the market today contain harsh chemicals or drugs that usually do nothing to treat the underlying cause of a skin problem, and in certain instances may even worsen the problem. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), on the other hand, adopts natural techniques and remedies it has been using with great success for thousands of years. Some TCM practitioners, in fact, specialize in the treatment of “dermatology” conditions. Instead of utilizing a treatment to the skin, those practitioners focus on the internal problem, enabling the skin on the outside to be healthy enough to heal itself.

TCM practitioners view the body as one system consisting of interrelated parts. They believe that all disorders, including winter or dry skin, which outside may look as if they are caused by external forces – do really have underlying causes that bring about internal imbalances between yin and yang, blood flow, Qi, and blockages of a number of energy vessels within the body. In winter or dry skin conditions, TCM practitioners know that external environmental pathological factors are responsible and they invade the body causing the imbalances in the body.

In order to resolve dry skin the TCM Practitioner would need to:

-Elevate the level of Yin in the blood, and repair and re-nourish the damaged skin

-Relieve red itchy skin and remove toxins from the skin

– Balance the internal organ systems, bring back internal balances and eliminate blockages of Qi that are causing or contributing to the itchy or dry skin by using acupuncture and herbal therapy

-Boost the immune system and lessen the body’s sensitivity to cold and other negative environmental hazards

 

Specific Treatments

One herb that is used in Chinese herbal therapy for the treatment of dry skin is Wolfberry. Practitioners of TCM believe that Wolfberries strengthen and nourish the blood, kidney and liver. This may not be a mystery for western scientists since Wolfberry plant is rich with powerful anti-oxidants like riboflavin, beta carotene, thiamine, linoleic acid and vitamin C. Wolfsberry is usually sold as Goji Berry and can be found in health food stores in dried or liquid forms.

Some of the other natural ways to treat Winter or Dry Skin include:

-Drinking copious amount of water to keep your skin hydrated

-Adding olive oil to your diet – this can help your skin stay fresh and soft. Olive oil is laden with minerals, nutrients and vitamins to help preserve the health of your skin.

-Adding oilatum or olive oil to your bath water to preserve the moisture in your skin

 

Vital Gate Acupuncture
107 W 82nd St
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-4244
http://www.vitalgate.com

15. December 2013 · Comments Off on Dry Skin Treatments and Drugs · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

The aims of a good treatment for dry skin treatment should be to remove or limit pruritus, irritation and of course, skin dryness as well as to improve skin protection by restoring skin barrier and to enhance the appearance of the skin. Skin care products that primarily address dry skin are usually made up of multiple ingredients that act to reverse dry skin and achieve the aforementioned aims.  Products for dry skin treatment include moisturizers or emollients, the former bearing humectants to moisten the epidermis. Emollients which are lipid, oily formulas help to partially close the skin by occupying the spaces in between corneocytes. Emollients soften and smooth rough skin, enhancing its ability to maintain moisture and lessening irritation and inflammation. Emollients also can set up a lipid barrier that shields the skin from damage to irritants.

The FDA has assessed and approved certain types of protectants as effective and safe for protecting cracked or chapped skin from the dehumidifying effects of cold and windy weather. Protectants usually contain FDA-approved Ingredients such as white petrolatum, petrolatum, mineral oil, lanolin, hard fat, glycerin, dimethicone, cod liver oil, cocoa butter and allantoin.

Protectants as well as other skin care products not recognized as protectants by the FDA have overlapping and slightly different advantages for dry skin. Paraffin, mineral oil and petrolatum are obstructive ingredients that place an oily shield on the surface of the skin to help prevent loss of moisture. Urea, glycolic acid, lactic acid and glycerin are humectants or moisturizers that get water from the lower layer dermis and keep it in the stratum corneum.  Lactic acid, urea, glycerol and ceramides are agents for rehydration enabling skin to keep water in and lessen water loss.  Lipids (oil, waxes, fats) help restore skin barrier by creating a film over the skin surface.

A lot of dry skin products are widely available in the market. Many of these are household names including Vaseline Original, a product that is pure petrolatum. Others include glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil and a 41% petrolatum product called Aquaphor.  Velvachol is made up of mineral oil, petrolatum and water while Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream is made up of petrolatum and water among others.

An active ingredient called urea when used in 2% to 40% concentrations betters hydration of the epidermis. About 10% urea, petrolatum, mineral oil and water are found in the skin product Aqua Care.

Some patients will find that petrolatum can be a very good remedy for dry hands especially when they use it at bedtime and wear soft cloth gloves all night. Petrolatum can stay in the skin for a whole day even when the person does some hand washing.  Not all dry skin patients though will use this product due to its unpleasant feel. Ointments (petrolatum) should not be used on wounded skin as it can irritate the affected skin. These drawbacks of ointments make non-greasy lotions and creams more attractive to use in the daytime. The only problem with these products is that they easily are removed when the hands are washed. Lotions in particular are more easily removed than creams because they are more watery.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine which sees dry skin as a sign of an imbalance inside the body. What acupuncture does is to restore energy balance, either by aiding the body to efficiently convey fluids to the tissues that will nourish the organs and systems or control moisture in the body.  From a TCM perspective, dry skin can be the result of certain pathologies. This can be, for example, a problem associated to Lung energy weakness or Lung dryness. Facial dry skin can be a symptom of a more profound energetic system pathology of the Kidney essence.  When dry skin along a specific pathway or channel is seen, this points to an imbalance in that meridian. A dry skin with a burning sensation or a reddish color can mean existence of pathogenic heat in the meridians. A deficient blood energy that is supposed to maintain moisture and cooling to the tissues can also cause dry skin. It is your acupuncturist who will ascertain what it is that is causing your dry skin and provide corresponding treatment for it as well.

Nawei’s Acupuncture Clinic
559 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Suite 212
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Phone: 719-632-7103
http://acupuncturechinanawei.com/