Perfecting Skin Health with Acupuncture, Nutrition, and Herbs
Chronic acne, recurrent hyperpigmentation, dark under-eye circles, severe skin dryness, and other skin issues can be an emotionally charged topic for many women. It can be so frustrating to keep trying new brands and not getting the results we hoped for. What we suggest is looking at other tools besides topical skin care products for a more comprehensive approach. Here is what Ava recommends for your consideration to address skin issues from within and externally:
Many people think of consulting a Chinese acupuncturist for health concerns such as chronic pain, but Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic system that can deliver tremendous improvements in the area of skin. Our skin is an organ of elimination and a reflection of the health of our digestive and endocrine systems. For example, eczema is often tied to low immunity or compromised assimilation of nutrients from food. Acne is linked to liver toxicity overload and hormonal imbalances, but it could also be a sign of kidney toxicity. A skilled acupuncturist and herbalist can help make lasting progress or alleviate certain problems for good.
If you are interested in nutrition, Ava recommends studying the Ayurveda, macrobiotic, or traditional Chinese approaches. In many old cultures, cuisines evolved into complex systems that just work providing a plethora of easy to absorb nutrients in every season without needing to resort to powders mixed into drinks. A few books we recommend:
- "Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition" by Paul Pitchford
- "Staying Healthy with the Seasons" by Elson M. Haas
- "The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook: A Seasonal Guide to Eating and Living Well" by Kate O'Donnell
- "Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats" by Sally Fallon
One important topic around skin issues is the emotional component. We don’t only want to have a healthy, even-textured, even-colored skin, we deserve to be in an emotional space where we are accepting of our skin, we are content with it. The healing modality that excels at addressing this emotional component is flower and gem essence healing. A few flower essences that Ava often includes in custom blends (see pnwessences.com) for this predicament are red or white columbine (for feeling perfect as you are), teasel or echinacea (for strength and assertiveness), monkshood or lace flower (to feel bigger and bolder, for clients who are shy or want to hide from the world), Alpine azalea (to release self-doubt and feel self-love and self-compassion). If you feel a strong draw to a particular essence, go ahead and try it, but keep in mind that working with a flower essence practitioner will be a faster and surer way to achieve progress. Ava's custom essence blend offering can be found here.
Self-treatment with herbs can be an expensive and experimental journey with potential side effects if you are not trained in herbalism. While herbs are not regulated in the United States, they are medicines. If you are drawn to trying herbs, select reputable, well-established companies that offer herbs in the form of tea (we now offer a few loose teas and hope to expand this exciting product category in the near future), tincture, or an extract in a vegan capsule form. Avoid powdered unextracted herbs and difficult to digest tablets. If at all possible, seek out an herbalist (Traditional Chinese, Western, Native American, or Ayurveda) to guide you.
In regards to skin care products, whenever you have trouble sorting out which products may work with your sensitivities or allergies, or you just need a simple guide what items you should start with, e-mail us via our Contact Us form. We welcome customer e-mails and want to make sure you are trying the best options for your skin needs. As always, we recommend purchasing sample sizes at first and testing products one at a time.
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