by MATCM Student Brenda Aguilar
The secret to having youthful skin lies in Traditional Chinese Medicine. For thousands of years, Chinese women have sworn by TCM to help them achieve that flawless look. TCM offers many modalities such as herbal medicine, acupuncture and gua sha to rejuvenate and repair dry aging skin.
Acupuncture uses thin, hair-like, sterile needles to stimulate specific points on the face and body. By inserting these needles, the qi (life force energy) is able to flow freely in the face and body, improving circulation and overall appearance. The points are inside different meridians or channels throughout the body, so don’t be alarmed if your acupuncturist is inserting a needle in your leg. Facial acupuncture can help to minimize pores, reduce acne, brighten skin’s complexion, fine lines and wrinkles, just to name a few.
Gua sha works in a similar way as acupuncture in that it stimulates specific points, but instead of needles a smooth-edged stone tool, usually made of jade, is used to scrape the skin in an upward and outward motion. This increases blood flow and creates a “lifting” effect on the skin. Gua sha can help with puffiness, dull complexion, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles and even relieves muscle tension.
Out of over 300 Chinese herbs, there are many that can help with the overall appearance of your skin. Gou Qi Zi (aka Goji) is known to be an anti-aging herb which enriches one’s vital essence and brightens the eyes. Wu Wei Zi (aka schisandra) is known for its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects which protect skin cells from free radicals and environmental aggressors. Together, these two herbs just may be the secret to the fountain of youth.