Have you ever thought “My skin needs a therapist?” That was the title of a recent article I read as I was having a much-coveted beauty day of my own! I think they hit the nail on the head though. It sounds crazy but the catchy punch line has a lot of truth to it. Feelings DO show up on your skin!
So while this new idea in Western dermatology of combining skin care with psychiatry (psycho-dermatology…for real) is a revelation that is taking off, those of us on the Eastern side have always known that the mind, body, spirit connection can’t be separated into easy piles.
The face is inseparable with the body & our emotions. Think of the Liver line between the eyebrows, the surprise lines on the forehead, the circles under the eyes that relate to the kidneys, or the frown lines that sometimes develop with grief. Ever get embarrassed & turn bright red? Get frustrated & see the wrinkle increase between the eyes? Been under too much stress & notice your skin looking dull? Or maybe you went through a trying event & later look in the mirror to wonder did that experience suck me dry?
Some of this can be explained by the cortisol released during a fight or flight moment. While we need the hormones released in these moments for survival, when cortisol & other stress hormones get pumped out daily & are chronically elevated for months, you start to see that on your face. Both in the brightness of the skin or the increased wrinkles. Cortisol breaks down collagen, triggers inflammation, increases moisture loss, dilates blood vessels, & slows down cell turnover. These are all the things we are trying to combat in our daily skin care routine. Your face is your organic calling card & when a skin issue arises we are all the more aware of its emotional impact on how we feel about ourselves. This new medical offshoot called psycho-dermatolgy, is combining psychotropic medications with skin care. The upshot of using Oriental Medicine is we don’t need antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications to get to the emotional root of a problem & start feeling & looking better. And the side effects of natural medicine is there are no harmful side effects.
Facial Acupuncture naturally releases a whole host of endorphins that make the spirit soar! Your face & skin found there, is connected to the rest of your body, so returning the body to harmony supports the facial treatment & total body wellness, in a profound & enduring way.
Here are 5 anti-aging tips you can start trying right now to boost your visage!
- Sleep! Yes, something that basic is incredibly important. Cortisol levels are lowest at night when we sleep, but growth hormones are at their highest at this time. Growth hormones are critical in the body’s ability to repair itself. Feeling happy is another way of boosting these molecules in the body. Adopting a regular meditation routine helps to put the body in a parasympathetic state. The more you get your body into rest-&-digest mode, the more chance it has to divert Qi & blood flow to non-critical areas of the body, like your face. And there is another beneficial anti-aging activity that begins with sss…Sex. Yes, sex lowers cortisol & increases beta-endorphins & oxytocin which are anti-inflammatory in nature 😉
- Another way to combat the stress of our daily lives is to add in some adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogenic herbs help the body deal with persistent stress & fatigue. They boost the immune system, increase our physical & mental endurance, & help to balance our mood. Herbs such as He Shou Wu, Horsetail, Nettles, Calendula, & Comfrey are just a few adaptogenic herbs that also boost collagen production. We start to lose collagen somewhere around age 25 years old. So no matter where you are in the life cycle, adding in some of these anti-aging plants, could be good for you!
- We are bombarded with free radicals & toxins in the air & in the food we eat. Use products on your face that don’t add to that toxic burden. There are more & more healthy, organic, high-quality options for conscious skincare. Do a little research to make sure your routine is free of parabens, preservatives, synthetic colors, un-natural fragrances, formaldehyde, toluene etc. Your skin is your largest organ, nourish it & let it breathe!
- Move your body! That’s right exercise. So simple right? When you get your blood pumping it moves blood around the body & that helps to move out the old & bring in the new. An internal exfoliation if you will. Encouraging healthy cell turnover keeps your look bright & fresh. It also improves your mood, by stabilizing cortisol levels.
- Last, but by no means least…Acupuncture! (Of course). Acupuncture helps relieve stress, releases endorphins, balances hormones, & puts the body in that rest & digest state we need for our body to do its healing work. When you combine a constitutional body treatment to access your dormant Jing (hidden essence) with Facial Renewal Acupuncture the results are phenomenal! You get the benefit of addressing any root issues in the body that are showing up on the face, along with the lifting, toning, & smoothing effect of facial acupuncture. Combine those with facial poultices to invigorate the blood & feed the face, some facial massage & you absolutely age backward!