TCM AND THE SKIN
“The skin is a reflection of your internal health and the body’s largest surface barrier against environmental conditions,” says Dr Gladys Leung from Chuan Spa. “The 14 meridian channels have direct links to the internal organs while lying within the skin, so the hue, temperature, moisture and lustre of the skin fully reflect our general health. For example, the lungs spread chi and moisture throughout the body, so as long as its energy is plentiful, the skin is nourished and performs well. People with eczema usually have weak lungs.
“All TCM treatments are good for the skin, including herbal medicine, acupuncture, acupressure, meridian massage, cupping, gua sha (scraping), moxibustion and food therapy. Gua sha and cupping, for example, release blockages in the body, withdrawing stagnant blood within the skin and removing toxins via the surface of the skin. Both can activate the renewing power of the skin, increase its resistance to various harmful conditions and ensure a sufficient supply of nutrition to the tissues so that the skin can regenerate faster.”
“Moxibustion, burning a herb called moxa, can help expel the cold, warm the meridians and clear dampness, leading to a smoother flow of blood and chi, so that the skin can grow,” adds Leung. “Some herbs are beneficial for the skin, like ginseng, chamomile, lavender, chrysanthemum, rose, mint, cinnamon and ginger. Ginseng is good for refining and rehydrating the skin, promoting cell regeneration. Chamomile and lavender are anti-inflammatory. Chrysanthemum has an antiseptic effect, helping to solve skin ailments and prevent and cure acne. Rose, cinnamon and ginger detoxify. We believe that removing toxins is a crucial part of maintaining a clear complexion, and it helps cleanse the body and improve digestion. Teas are very effective as a part of the holistic TCM treatment. Certain foods help too. White pearl barley is good for skin whitening, wolfberry and lily bulbs for rejuvenating and anti-ageing, and white fungus for nourishing the skin. Walnuts and black sesame help clear pigmentation and almonds moisturise dry, dull skin.