The radiance and colour of our skin is a reflection of our overall health. Visiting a beauty salon may help us achieve a temporary boost in our complexion, but for true beauty that lasts, we need to adopt a healthy lifestyle and address the root causes behind any skin condition.
Getting to the root of the problem
Traditional Chinese medicine seeks to identify these underlying causes and restore balance in the body to achieve naturally radiant skin.
During a TCM session, the physician will ask questions related to the skin condition, as well as the patient’s lifestyle habits and medical history. Then he/she will check the tongue, the pulse and the appearance of the skin (see table below) before diagnosing the root cause of the condition.
Restoring the balance
Based on the causes identified, the physician may prescribe treatment to restore balance in the body.
This could mean increasing the supply of blood or replenishing Yin to deficient organs (note that in TCM, the functions of the “organs” differ from those as defined in Western medicine). If circulation is the problem, the treatment will seek to enhance flow along meridian pathways. Sometimes it is necessary to expel excessive heat or dampness from the body.
Common treatments include herbal medicine, acupuncture, external wash or a combination of these treatments. The physician may also recommend changes to the diet, or food to avoid.
The risk of side effects is low as Chinese herbal medicine comprises mainly botanicals, and acupuncture is generally safe in the hands of an experienced practitioner.
Holistic treatment is key
Every patient has different needs. The treatment duration will depend on the severity of the skin condition as well as the patient’s constitution.
For example, ladies who present pale or pallid skin due to a deficiency in energy or blood as a result of menstrual irregularity will need to be treated for at least 8 to 12 weeks.
Lastly, a healthy lifestyle is the foundation for radiant skin. This includes eating balanced meals, sleeping and waking up early, maintaining a work-life balance, caring for your emotional health, exercising regularly and protecting yourself from the sun.
5-minute MassageL Teo points to try
According to TCM, massaging selected acupoints helps to enhance the flow along meridian pathways. By transporting oxygen and nutrients efficiently to the skin and the entire body, acupressure massage can slow the ageing process and restore radiance to our skin. All it takes are five minutes a day on these ten acupoints. Give it a try!
- Jing Ming
Located on the inside edge of the orbit of each eye.
- Cuan Zhu
Located in the depression of the medial end of each eyebrow.
- Yu Yao
Located in the middle of the eyebrow directly above the pupil
- Si Zhu Kong
Located in the depression at the lateral end of the eyebrow.
- Cheng Qi
Located below the pupil, between the eyeball and the infraorbital ridge.
- Ying Xiang
Located next to each nostril.
- Ju Liao
Located below the pupil, at the level of the lower border of the nostril.
- Quan Liao
Located below the outer corner of the eye, in the depression on the lower border of the cheekbone.
- Lian Quan
Located on the neck, in the depression below the root of the tongue.
- Yi Feng
Located in the depression behind the earlobe.
Skin appearance and underlying causes
Appearance: Pale (pallid)
Causes: Lacking in energy, lacking in blood and cold body constitution
Appearance: Unhealthy yellow/pale brown
Causes: Spleen deficiency and excessive dampness
Appearance: Rosy, Healthy, Flushed and Unhealthy
Causes: Lacking in Yin, excessive internal heat and excessive external heat
Causes: Kidney deficiency
Appearance: Livid (dark bluish grey)
Causes: Stagnation of energy-blood circulation and cold body constitution