We call it the Yin and Yang of Beauty - the inner and outer connectedness of our body, and we know that inner health unequivocally impacts outer beauty.
Let's "face" it. Aging can be a little scary. Time inevitably takes its toll on the skin, but many changes can be prevented - or at a minimum, postponed. Our attitude and emotions, the environment, lifestyle, stress, sleep, hormones, and nutrition all play a role in proper skincare. Western society clearly prizes "youth," and Americans spent over 9 billion on cosmetic surgery in 2020 alone. Many of these procedures are only attempts to fool Mother Nature. They say "beauty is only skin deep" - but is it really? Many of these procedures have dangerous side effects for those seeking the appeal of a wrinkle-free face. In the end, only Mother Nature may be the cure. Inner health unequivocally impacts outer beauty.
There's a great example of accepting age as a privilege in Chinese culture. The wrinkled, wind and sun-ravaged, aged face of the Chinese peasant is proudly worn as a sign of wisdom, perseverance, resistance, and determination of "living" - living life to its fullest with all the richness, obstacles, emotions, and pleasures that come with it. They would neither consider the Western idea of cosmetic surgery nor understand such a concept of hiding one's face in a vain attempt to change this natural progression. Unfortunately, the media, cosmetic industry, loss of self-esteem, photoshopped social media, and disconnection from nature drive the American addiction to cosmetic treatments.
Let's talk about our environment on the Treasure Coast. The sun is blamed for aging, but this is not absolute. Some ladies who spend a lot of time in the sun do not wrinkle as early as others who don't soak up the rays. Along with the sun, the foods we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink are considered toxic from pollution and create free radicals that are harmful to cells and promote aging. You can't escape free radicals because they're produced due to many normal daily processes, including breathing and digestion. So, do you swallow barrels of antioxidants, shield yourself from sunlight, and avoid cigarette smoke and air pollution? Sounds like we may be doomed if this is the case. Consider the use of whole, natural foods that offer far more to the health and appearance of the skin because they come in a total package of nutrition.
Stress can decrease the ability of the skin to heal, remain healthy, and function properly. Some pressure is normal, but the skin may reflect the worry without the knowledge or resources to handle it. Help for this problem comes from good nutrition, yoga, Qi Gong, deep breathing, meditation, massage, and regular exercise. These practices can enhance circulation by delivering nutrients to the skin and improving glandular function to produce hormones that affect the skin, organs, tissues, and mood. In addition, there are specific Chinese Qi Gong facial exercises such as dry face washing, facial massage, Gua Sha, and stretching that can improve blood flow to the skin.
Do you get enough beauty sleep? While you sleep, your skin repairs itself and heals. Suppose you don't get enough quality sleep. In that case, you deprive the body of its chance to replenish, restore and rehydrate the toll it takes every day. In addition, exposure to environmental toxins adversely affects the skin, such as smoking or using petroleum-based facial cosmetics as part of your evening skincare routine.
We live in a fast-paced society and, unfortunately, have adopted that mindset when it comes to skincare. Treatments need to work fast, require the minimum investment of time, and bonus if it's fashionable. As a result, we see all kinds of crazy treatments on Instagram and TikTok, including, but not limited to the following: harsh dermabrasion products, synthetic creams, patches, human collagen from cloned newborn foreskin obtained from infant circumcisions, Thermage, alpha-hydroxy acid peels (chemical burns), Botox injections, hyaluronic acid, synthetic filler materials, lasers, dermabrasion, synthetic Retinoic acid (synthetic Vitamin A), abrasive cleansers, exfoliants, lotions, potions and acids that are all doused, rubbed, or injected into the skin. Any of the above treatments for "rejuvenating " the skin and reducing wrinkles mean you will need more skin protection than before. Why? Because virtually all the procedures damage the skin, some even damage the nerves and muscles.
We know that the cosmetics industry is booming. Botox, liposuction, and fillers - oh my! Unfortunately, along with the growth in the industry comes the increase in problems as well. Doctors that are not properly trained as dermatologists attempt to perform injectable dermatological procedures that result in increased complications.
We must stop with quick fixes. Beauty is so much more than this.
There is another way to pursue beauty; it begins from within naturally. We call it the Yin and Yang of Beauty - the inner and outer connectedness of our body. Traditional Chinese medical theory explains that the skin relates to the Lung. The Lung doesn't have just two nostrils to breathe from; it has 36,000+ nostrils. Thus, the skin breathes as well. The organs that assist in Lung function include the Large Intestine, Spleen, and Stomach. The Large Intestine helps clear toxins and wastes that build up in the body and threaten clear skin (itching, rashes, hives, discoloration). In addition, the skin is nourished by the Blood in theory that is generated by the Spleen and Stomach function. Therefore, the skin is fed routinely with proper digestion, absorption, and distribution of nutrition that is governed by the Spleen and Stomach.
Whole food nutrition is the foundation for vibrant skin. Eliminate all refined and/or concentrated simple sugars from the diet. Foods containing trans-fatty acids (homogenized/pasteurized milk & dairy products, margarine, shortening) and other hydrogenated vegetable oils and fried oils should also be eliminated. A high-protein diet helps, while a high-carbohydrate diet has a negative effect. Whole food supplements are essential and significantly differ from synthetically produced vitamins. Only the water and fiber are removed in a whole-food supplement, so the enzymes are alive. They contain all the nutrients required by our body to meet the needs of our cells. Synthetic vitamins don't come from food. Vitamin C from corn sugar, Thiamine from petroleum or coal tar, and Vitamin E from cottonseed oil are manufactured products.
Conversely, omega -3 essential fatty acids from flax, cod, or tuna oil are rich sources of natural Vitamins E, A, and D, helpful in reducing inflammation. Organically bound minerals of zinc, chromium, and selenium are beneficial for modulating the body's immune and sugar handling systems. Water-soluble fiber helps move toxins out of the body and supports intestinal health. Rich-dense C and B complex vitamins, including biotin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, and lipotropics (nutritional factors that promote fat flow to and from the liver, such as choline, methionine, and inositol), are the building blocks for collagen in the skin.
We also know that managing stress, moving your body, and doing things that fill you with joy is essential to radiating beauty from the inside out. We're not trying to knock all cosmetic procedures. We offer a few in our office, including cosmetic acupuncture and a surgery-free, Botox-free face lifting treatment with the ezze-lift® by Avazzia system. Rather than poisonous injections, surgery, and the price tag seen in plastic surgery offices, our procedures help unlock all the beauty you already have. We just help Mother Nature do her good work - inside and out.
Consider trying a different, more natural approach to health and beauty with Traditional Chinese Medicine. Click here to schedule your complimentary consultation, or simply contact our office at (772) 398-4550.
Also, please join us this Saturday, February 26th from 9-11 AM in our office for the Yin and Yang of Beauty Brunch and enjoy a full facelifting treatment with the ezze-lift® by Avazzia system.
In good health,
Dr. Stuart Shipe
DAOM, RPh, Dipl. OM (NCCAOM)
Board Certified Acupuncture & Herbology, Pharmacist