A Look at Skin Care and TCM: What Your Skin Can Tell You About Your Health

A lot of clients come in with concerns about their skin. They need help for their acne, sensitive skin, redness or pigmentation, eczema, or aging skin.

Most of the time, these conditions can be solved or relieved with the proper skin care product, an ointment or medicated cream. These products treat the skin topically. Often it is not just “skin deep” and there are underlying issues that explain the symptoms.

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In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there is an overall belief that everything is related to each other. Every organ in our body work every moment to keep us alive. Our organs are designed to work harmoniously and when one of them are malfunctioning or are damaged, disharmony occurs. We get sick, develop further illness, and experience varying degrees of symptoms.

One of the main systems of thought in TCM is referred to as the Five Element Theory, and it has been used for thousands of years as a method of diagnosis and treatment. It is used to help explain what causes the disease and the associated organs that affect certain symptoms and signs.

Let’s take the skin, for example. It is the largest organ in our body and strongly associated with specific internal organs—it is the biggest and most evident reflection of our internal organs and it would highly be beneficial if we pay more attention to it.

A TCM practitioner can look at your skin and determine if there is an imbalance or other conditions affecting your health.

A Closer Look at Skin and Other Body Organs

1.     The Skin and Lungs

Chinese medicine considers the lungs and its condition as a dominant factor in skin health.

-     When the body is attacked by external Wind and Heat (virus), it will affect the Lung function. The body will develop sneezing or sore throat, and the skin will tend to be itchy or prone to rash.

-       If you smoke for a long time, you will likely develop cough and have phlegm, and dry skin.

2.     The Skin, Heart and Liver

The Heart and Liver dominate the body’s circulation and emotions, and any circulation or emotional issues can affect the skin. This means that if either or both are malfunctioning, it will cause heat and toxins in the blood. Skin flare-ups and other symptoms can manifest themselves during this time, and it can also exacerbate existing skin problems such as acne, eczema or rashes.

3.     The Skin and Kidneys

The Kidneys dominate the body’s original Yin and Yang, which encompasses all stages of the body and the skin. If the Kidney has a Yin and Yang disorder, it is likely to cause the following skin conditions: dry skin, hot flashes (especially around the neck and face) and perspiration.

4.     The Skin and Large Intestine

The Large intestine and Skin are strongly related. If we overeat (including hot and spicy foods) and drink, these may cause a lot of toxin buildup in the intestines. Common skin problems that arise due to intestinal issues include: boils, pimples, rash and itchiness. A person may also experience the following symptoms: constipation, unusually pungent flatulence and bloating.

As you can tell, our skin is not just the body’s first line of defense when it comes to external elements, but it is also a good indicator of what happens internally. At Limina Wellness, we stress the importance of taking care of one’s skin in conjunction with our overall health. They go hand in hand and we can all be in better shape if we learn to address them both.

What is Cupping Therapy?

If you have watched last year’s Rio Olympics, you might remember that athletes were spotted—literally—with red to purple bruises. They are not from any particular sport, but are the signature marks left by Cupping Therapy. The media were quick to report on this during the games and although it took the spotlight only recently, the practice dates back to 16th century BC. It has been used in Traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and is believed to alleviate stagnation and regulate the flow of ‘qi’, or life force, and blood. 

How does it work?

Cupping therapy is a treatment that involves the use of specially-designed cups (can be glass, bamboo, earthenware or silicone) placed on the skin for a few minutes to create suction. 

A flammable substance, such as alcohol, is placed in a cup and ignited. As the fire goes out, the cup is placed mouth side down on the skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum (a suction), causing the the blood vessels directly below it to dilate.

 

What are the benefits of Cupping Therapy?

Cupping Therapy relieves neck and back pains, muscle stiffness, migraine, fatigue, anxiety and many other ailments. It is also known to clear congestion from colds or help with asthma, plus other respiratory conditions.

It is considered a very deep massage, thus encouraging the release of toxins.

How does Cupping Therapy work for detoxification?

The suction created by the cupping procedure draws up stagnant blood to the surface, restoring circulation and making way for nutrients and oxygen. Cupping loosens the muscles and encourages blood flow. Most people would benefit from cupping detox, and it is helpful for those who are suffering from chronic dull aches and pain, indigestion, constipation; people who have labour-intenstive work, or suffer from continued mental stress.

What should one expect on their first Cupping Therapy session?

Make sure not to come with an empty stomach. Be aware that there might be circle marks on the treated area/s. Similar to getting a massage session, you should be open to the therapist. Do let know them know whether the pressure is comfortable or not.

At Limina Wellness Lounge, each session would usually take 30 to 45 minutes on its own, and up to an hour if it is done with acupuncture. For detoxification, dietary supplements may be suggested as part of the treatment to get the best results.

 

Is there hope for Chronic Pain? Pain relief, improved circulation and increased mobility are possible

How many of us have been injured at one point or another? For some, it may even be a recurring theme owing to regular sports activities or different facets of one’s job (e.g. prolonged periods in front of the computer). Some injuries are more persistent than others, contributing to recurring pain that could prevent us from enjoying our regular activities.

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All these can lead to frustration and desperation—the usual solutions don’t always work and you may not be getting the answers you were hoping for from Western medicine. Have you considered taking the holistic approach to chronic pain? It might just be the right alternative for you. Read on about our custom treatment programs and how we help our clients resume their regular lifestyles.

A different way of looking at pain

There are many ways to address pain symptoms. In Chinese medicine, a pain-free body has free-flowing qi (vital energy) and blood. Hindrance or obstruction of this flow deprives the areas of the body of nourishment and warmth. At Limina Wellness, our treatment programs aim to address these blockages, and restore balance and good circulation to the affected area in order to reduce and alleviate pain.

We offer comprehensive 5-week treatment programs for chronic pain that are customized to each individual’s case and condition. Each program begins with a thorough Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) consultation and includes four (4) one-hour visits for different treatment modalities, such as:
    •    Acupuncture
    •    Registered Massage Therapy (RMT)
    •    Cupping Therapy
    •    Moxa Treatments
    •    Advanced Injections Therapy

Benefits of using Eastern medicine and holistic approach to dealing with chronic pain:

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    •    Individualized, non-toxic treatment with minimal side effects.
    •    Getting to the root cause of the symptoms instead of masking them. You get a deeper understanding of what your body needs and find long-term solutions to problems.
    •    The ability to resume to your regular and your favourite/regular activities

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