The natural method of skin care is growing in popularity. In traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating certain meridians or energy points on the limbs can trigger our innate power to heal some skin problems, while a simple soup therapy with dried figs and longans can improve skin texture.
In the world of beauty, acne troubles us the most. In traditional Chinese medicine, heat and dampness are known to be the main causes of acne, rashes and skin inflammation.
But what is interesting is that the area where acne breaks out can indicate the underlying cause. For example, some people usually get zits on their temples and down the side of their face. Others have breakouts around the jaw or only on the chin.
This is because the meridians located in different areas of the face are connected to certain internal organs. For instance, the meridian associated with our stomach and digestive system runs through the chin and cheek.
Acupuncture can be performed along the corresponding meridian to restore internal organ balance. Once the organ is back in good condition, the acne wanes.
A 24-year-old patient of mine was troubled by face acne for a few years. Breakouts appeared on her temple and jaw areas - areas where the gallbladder meridian passes through. In Chinese medicine, the gallbladder and liver are related and the liver is primarily associated with anger.
To unleash her body's self-healing power, I inserted fine needles along the liver meridian on her legs and feet - not her face.
After three treatments, no new acne popped up and old zit marks became lighter. I advised my patient to stay away from alcohol -which is bad for the liver - and cold drinks, which are bad for the digestive system as they cause dampness.
I told her to avoid spicy, deep-fried and junk foods, which generate heat, and to sleep early as this is good for the liver and for blood cell regeneration.
I recommended lean pork soup with dried figs and dried longans from time to time. This is a traditional therapy soup for promoting blood cell regeneration and for improving skin texture.
If we pay more attention to the surface of our skin, we may notice what is happening inside our body, too.
Keep in mind that there is no substitute for any medical advice. Readers should consult their own physician or appropriate health-care provider about symptoms or medical conditions. Wong Pui-man is a registered Chinese medicine practitioner with a Bachelor of Chinese Medicine degree from the Hong Kong Baptist University. www.facebook.com/ CandyWongAcupuncture