Holistic Wellness in Austin, TX

Dermatology, Chinese Medicine, and Beautiful Skin: How You Can Achieve a Healthy and Vibrant Complexion

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Skin problems are the worst, aren’t they?  Not only can they be incredibly uncomfortable but they also can really mess with a person’s self-confidence.  On top of that, skin problems can be challenging to properly diagnose and adequately treat.  (How many of you reading now have ever been diagnosed with “idiopathic urticaria”?  That’s a fancy way for a doctor to say “We don’t know why you’re itching” and it is quite frustrating to experience).  It’s not just a matter of having concrete skin diseases.  Beyond actual problems, we all want to have beautiful glowing skin if at all possible.

Did you know that Chinese medicine has a centuries-long history of treating skin disease?  In addition, Chinese beauty secrets are legendary.  When you combine Chinese medical principle with Chinese beauty treatments the magic begins.  If you are ready to see what you can do about your skin, keep reading and discover all the benefits of Chinese medicine for you and your outer layer.  Truly, Chinese dermatology can change your life…so why wait?  Let’s get started here!

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Ageless

Chinese beauty treatments are not just for women.  Everyone wants to look their best, right?

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Aesthetic treatment can take many forms.  By now, many people have heard of acupuncture treatment for facial rejuvenation.  There is difference between going to a medi-spa and getting micro-needling and facial rejuvenation acupuncture.  In the first, you are being treated only on the surface of the face by someone who is trained in spa procedures.  This can be fine and for some, it’s outstanding.  With acupuncture, you are getting a treatment on your face that also involves lots of needling but, in addition, you are treated for cause, too.  In other words, your practitioner will assess your condition, ascertain the reasons behind your skin concern, and treat not just the face but also the underlying concern that brought about the dry or dull skin.

Acupuncture can do a lot to improve the skin.  While still in school, I undertook Mei Zen training, cupping therapy certification (on top of my coursework and practice in clinic), and a dedicated seminar with Dr. Jamie Wu to learn how to perform facial rejuvenation procedures.  Later, I signed on for a term in student clinic that allowed me a designated rotation for facial rejuvenation acupuncture.  I was incredibly fortunate to have my own room on what was a relatively slow time slot (late afternoon/early evening) and Dr. Wu gave me a lot of attention and guidance.  I truly love practicing facial rejuvenation acupuncture and will be excited to begin again once I finish my board exams.

(Update: I am now a licensed acupuncturist)

Until I am licensed, I have put a lot of energy into my bodywork practice.  You don’t need the needles to enjoy the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine for beauty.  I have written at length about no-needle traditional Chinese aesthetic treatments and you can look at those articles here and here.  If you are not interested in needles or the thought of needles in your face freaks you out, my signature no-needle treatment can do wonders for your skin.  This is especially good if your underlying expression has marked your complexion in a way that displeases you.  The small muscles of the face respond well to dedicated tui na treatment, gua sha is excellent for puffiness and rough textures, and the jade roller is a marvel for smoothing out the skin.  In addition, I have my own little secrets that you can experience when you book a treatment with me.  Either way, your treatment will be individualized to you and it will go well beyond surface matters.

Even once I am licensed, I will definitely be keeping the no-needle treatments on the list of services.  They are great and people love them! (Update: I find I am doing a marvelous combination of the no-needle and the acupuncture protocols.  It’s super!).

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Before_n_After.png

One instance of four treatments.  I am especially proud of the jawline here.

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What about eczema or worrisome moles or stretch marks and scars?  Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and urticaria (itching) are all treatable with Chinese medicine.  Conditions like eczema and psoriasis are generally treated with herbs.  Though we do have external treatments at our disposal, it really can make a difference if the patient experiments with diet and lifestyle while concurrently adhering to said herbal regimen.  We don’t treat just the external symptom.  Your eczema came from somewhere and we want to treat starting from wherever that somewhere is (for Chinese medicine, this would be something related to damp heat).  The umbrella category, Wind, also can be a factor, especially if the matter at hand is concerned with itching.  These are a challenge to treat but they are treatable.  You just need to be patient and be compliant with your individual herbal formula and treatment plan.

Myself, I have had great success treating skin conditions like stretch marks, scars, and moles with gua sha and herbs.  One needs to be careful here.  When I’ve treated moles, these are cases where we knew it wasn’t skin cancer.  But the lesions were large, growing, and uncomfortable.  Consistent and specifically targeted gua sha with the jade instrument and an herbal formula (which required a visit to student clinic to get my supervisor’s input) made the moles disappear.  Gua sha, again with the jade instrument, can do wonders for stretch marks and scars, too.  It depends on the stretch marks (or the scar) but if the client is willing to be consistent, there is a lot that can be done in this realm.  Rough, unevenly textured skin is also a good candidate for gua sha.  Puffiness can be rectified with the jade roller and some cups.  There is always something to try and many things that may well be just right for you.

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Your practitioner’s training makes a big difference

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What you can expect from your visit?  As you know, Chinese medicine is not concerned with just the one symptom.  We look at the whole body and the whole system. Your practitioner is not going to stop with the lesions or rash.  We ask you about your diet, your stress level, your sleep, and more.  Once the syndrome pattern is identified, we then address your concern in a holistic way.  Different practitioners have varying philosophies; myself, I want my patients to be at least minimally educated by the end of treatment.  I like it when my patients understand the basic idea of what is going on with their skin and how they can take care of themselves at home.  Depending upon whether it’s an acupuncture appointment, a bodywork therapy appointment, and/or an herbal consult, you may end up with needles, a manual treatment, and/or a prescription.  At present (Winter 2018), as indicated, I am strictly bodywork and lifestyle counseling but if you would like acupuncture and are in Austin, I am always happy to provide recommendations.

Skin conditions are usually not an overnight fix.  Especially if the issue is something you have suffered from for a long, long time, you should expect to come for several months of treatments.  What makes it worth it, though, is that you are not going to be taking strong pharmaceutical drugs that potentially have dreadful side effects and you do stand a respectable chance to cure your condition for good, or at least manage it well.  Patience and consistency are keys.

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JadeRoller

Jade instruments are beautiful and they make for beautiful skin

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How can you make Chinese skincare secrets work for you?  Well, like so many things when it comes to traditional Chinese health therapies, the answer is: it depends.  Your first step is to find a practitioner and book an appointment.  You can gain a better understanding of yourself and what will benefit you most if you start with a professional.

Once you have a baseline idea of what you could be doing to improve your skin there are ways to keep up the good work outside of your treatments.  There are lots of online tutorials for the jade roller and facial rejuvenation gua sha and more are added regularly; just google “facial rejuvenation acupuncture” or “Chinese beauty treatment and jade roller (or gua sha)” and get started.  If you commit to a 20 minutes of self-care work in the morning and twenty at night, you’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish.  The journey of a thousand steps begins with the first one and concludes because one step followed the next in a consistent fashion, right?

Be prepared to make some lifestyle changes and to be consistent.  Sugar does your skin no good and dairy can cause internal dampness.  If you are ready to be self-disciplined for the benefit of your complexion, you are that much ahead of the game.  Be prepared to look at your sleep habits and to make some changes as needed.  Make self-care a priority and keep in mind that what is in the mind will generally show up on the face.  Chinese medicine is a holistic one, and we don’t just treat the outer shell when we enhance and support skin health.  We work on both the inside and the outside.  Whether or not your concern is aesthetic or something more challenging along the lines of rashes or other skin disease, you should expect to do the same when you are at home.

Sounds daunting?  It isn’t, not really, especially if you work with a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner who is dedicated to skin care.  Stay tuned, because I’ll be writing more on the subject in upcoming months.  Dermatology is a fascinating topic in Chinese medicine and it’s one of my favorite areas for professional focus. I’d love to help you, and once you begin taking care of your skin the Chinese way you, too, will see just how much it can do for you!  Smooth skin, no rashes, bright, even tone, and a firm jawline?  Yes, all of this and more can be possible with traditional Chinese medicine.  If you haven’t experienced it yet, do not waste any more time.  It’s that marvelous!

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BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

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Two Hearts Wellness is a local holistic health and wellness outfit with a passion for all things nourishing, including but not limited to: joyful living, great food, art, and literature, and–of course–traditional Chinese medicine.  If you want to learn more about me, click here and do feel free to follow my blog and/or my Instagram, connect with me on Facebook, or contact me here to set up an appointment for health coaching services.  If you are interested in acupuncture, herbs, and/or Asian bodywork therapy, click here to book an appointment online.

Acupuncture is great for you but if you’re nervous about needles there are certainly other options.  Have you ever thought to try traditional Chinese bodywork? In addition to acupuncture, I offer tui na (similar to massage) and other ancient Chinese therapies, including cupping, gua sha, moxa, and more.  If you are looking for a holistic wellness consultant and coach, my services can entail short or longer term programs.  You are your own best investment, and when you take charge of your wellbeing you invest in yourself now and for the benefit of your future.

Note: Material on this web site is not intended to replace your treatment or care provided by an MD. It is for educational/entertainment purposes only. A TCM practitioner in Texas identifies syndrome patterns but does not diagnose illness.  Always consult your primary care doctor for health concerns.

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