Having a skin condition is hard. I’ve been there! I developed cystic acne in my late 30s. Besides dealing with the actual condition, which can be painful, itchy, hot, and uncomfortable, it can be embarrassing. In today’s world, with external beauty being worshipped and revered (that is another post for another day), having a skin condition can leave the strongest of us feeling self-conscious, overwhelmed, and full of self-doubt.
Until acupuncture, I did not find a single approach that eliminated the acne. It was a combination of internal and external approaches including: diet, supplements, topical care, and Chinese medicine. The addition of acupuncture and Chinese herbs noticeably sped up the healing process, essentially tipping the scales to my advantage. This is why it is important for me to share more about healing potential of Chinese medicine for skin conditions, including acne, psoriasis, eczema and others.
It is important to understand that Chinese medicine diagnoses includes an in-depth analysis of the patient, which includes the current presentation of signs and symptoms, as well as the overall constitutional picture. We look at the color, shape, size and background of the lesions. We ask many questions too: Is the skin dry, shiny, wet, greasy? Where are the lesions located and how does that correspond to the acupuncture channels? What is the patient’s age? How is their digestion? How is their stress?
After performing an intake, we then decide upon a pattern(s) that fits the skin condition and overall health of the patient. There can be multiple patterns and combination of patterns for the same issue – like eczema, so it is often unique to each patient. Which means, so is the treatment. This is the valuable, beautiful, and healing element that Chinese medicine brings to the table.
Acne doesn’t have an age. You can suffer as a teenager, college student or in your late 30s or 40s. Acne usually occurs when skin cells block the follicles and bacteria begin to grow, leading to inflammation and pimples. In Chinese medicine, we often diagnosis acne as excess heat and dampness trapped in the body. What is the source? We investigate. It could be poor digestion, stress, environmental factors, etc. As your practitioner, I commonly treat the acupuncture meridians of the lung, stomach and liver. My job is to help move, alleviate, and reduce future heat and dampness with needles and herbs.
Psoriasis is thought to be a chronic autoimmune disorder that can cause rash flare-ups on the skin in patchy scales, pustules, or red spots. The skin under the lesions in this disease has a cell turnover rate that is 7 times faster than normal skin cells! It can be debilitating for some. Not only can this make someone highly self-conscious, but the irritation on the skin can be beyond uncomfortable. With acupuncture and herbs, I often treat heat and wind that is trapped in the blood. Blood is broader than how we think in Western medical terms. In Chinese medicine, blood is nutritive and a material form of qi in the body. It is a key component is how we diagnosis and treat Psoriasis with acupuncture and herbs.
Eczema is another condition that can literally take over your life. It often presents as dry, itchy, and inflamed skin. It is a common skin condition that is believed to be a Type 1 hypersensitivity response or allergic reaction to foods and/or elements within our environment. Other factors can trigger and make the condition worse, including hormones, infections, and even fabrics. In Chinese Medicine, eczema is treated form the inside out. It can be addressed with acupuncture and herbs both internally and externally and presents with many different patterns. More commonly, I find it is a combination of excess heat and dampness (one more than the other) with the addition of wind. The patient can also have significant digestive issues that need to be addressed not only through Chinese medicine, but also diet and nutrition.
If you are suffering from a skin condition, I encourage you to give Chinese Medicine a try! I really believe it can make a difference. I would love an opportunity to visit with you about how acupuncture and herbs can help you. Please contact me to learn more or setup an appointment to start treatment.