Acupuncture and Skin Conditions
Skin is an amazing organ that is helping us every moment of the day. It is the largest in the body and has so many fascinating functions. We see many different skin conditions here at HCA so we thought it would be good to share some fun facts and offer some solutions for everyone.
5 amazing functions of the skin…
1. Immunity Skin cells (mainly epidermal dendritic cells, phagocytic cells and langerhans cells) work closely with the immune system to fight off bacteria, viruses and other things that land on your skin.
2. Temperature Regulation One of the most important functions of our skin is how it regulates our temperature. When the body becomes warm skin releases sweat from the sweat glands to help cool it down. When the body becomes cold, the skin begins to shiver, blood vessels constrict and this makes the body feel warmer. Isn’t it great that we have our very own thermostat?!
3. Protection Melanin protects the skin from UV Rays, and Keratin, a type of protein found in the skin, helps promote elasticity and supports the structure that forms the skin. Collagen, a hot ticket item these days, is also a great skin uplifter and protector. It is a natural protein within the body. The skin cannot absorb it’s molecules, since they’re too big, so you can save yourself some money on those expensive creams. A wealth of plant-based foods can promote and ensure healthy levels of collagen production. Vitamins such as A and C, work together to make collagen within the body. While many plant-based foods contain both these vitamins, some are more concentrated than others: papaya, kale, berries, almonds, spinach, citrus fruit, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, and carrots are a few. A morning smoothie is a great way to get to create beautiful, glowing skin.
4. Excretion Your body needs to get rid of waste products that are produced during daily cellular activity and does so mainly through the Liver, Kidneys, Lungs and Urinary System. Some of these wastes are also excreted through the skin, such as urea, water, uric acid and ammonia. They are also finding that other toxins including some heavy metals are being secreted through sweat glands as well.
5. Absorption and Intake Vitamin D is amazing! It’s now being called a pro-hormone rather than a vitamin because it is made by our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunshine. Skin is the best method of absorption of this vital element. Not only does Vitamin D increase rates of absorption for Calcium and Phosphorus, and other vital nutrients, but it also has been clinically proven to decrease DNA damage, reduce inflammation and decrease erythema (skin redness–irritation and inflammation). Skin actually “breathes” in a way. You can absorb oxygen, nitrogen and other necessities through your skin. This is why wearing “breathable” fabrics, like Cotton and Linen, are so important, as is experiencing oxygen-rich environments that you find in nature amongst the trees and plants.
WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE DO TO HELP? Acupuncture treats skin conditions in a variety of ways focusing on two main organ systems: the Spleen and the Lungs. How the condition was created is considered: is it emotional? due to climatic factors? Dietary? or some external contact with a contaminant. Then the three main elements that affect the skin are determined: Wind, Heat and Dampness. Heat often shows up as redness, pimples or rashes; Dampness commonly shows up in the form of itching and swelling; Wind/Dry manifest as dryness, itching, numbness or tingling. After a brief analysis, a diagnosis is determined and the acupuncturist can move onto choosing the right Acupoints, Herbal Remedy and Topical creams to help heal the issue as soon as possible.
Effective Acupoints for skin disharmonies include, Large Intestine 4, Lung 7 and 9, Spleen 3, 6 and 9, and Si Ma San and San Shi. Si Ma and San Shi are Master Tung acupuncture points famous for treating many different skin conditions. Your acupuncturist will know which points to choose based on your specific conditions.
HCA has many affordable herbal remedies for skin issues such as Dermatrol Clear for Acne, Dermatrol Damp for Eczema and Dermatrol PS for Psoriasis.
We also carry a variety of skin soothing salves (Immune Salve), healing balms (Summer Healing Balm), skin healing soaps (Charcoal Soap) and topical creams (Peppermint Cloud Body Butter) that will help relieve any temporary discomforts and have you smelling delicious all the while!
HAPPY (SKIN) HEALING!