The secrets of rejuvenation (TCM)
Philippa Harvey, our TCM Specialist, give us the keys to feel younger and more vital.
"The action or process of making someone or something look or feel better, younger, or more vital"
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is very much engrained in how I think and how I see health and wellbeing. The philosophy is not something I just practice in clinic; it is also how I live.
So, when I talk about rejuvenation, I cannot help automatically going to what is the definition of rejuvenation. We immediately find we see rejuvenation is mostly associated with facial rejuvenation. However in real terms it is “the action or process of making someone or something look or feel better, younger, or more vital”. The key word is, PROCESS, and an even more beautiful definition of rejuvenation “is the action of restoring a river or stream to a condition characteristic of a younger landscape” I love the idea of seeing the body as river set in a landscape. A water engineer would not just change the flow of the river and hope it looks better. No she would readjust the trees and the plants, rocks and the earth to ensure a new and rejuvenated river setting.
Therefore I would like to share with you that the most valuable TCM principle on which my practice is based, is the idea of beauty from the inside out. When we have skincare issues, it’s a more internal issue rather than topical. We need to get to the root of the cause. We use the elements to see what is going on in the body, our landscape. There has to be a balance of wind, water, cold, damp and heat. For example someone with too much water retention and puffy eyes, should add barley to their diet for at least three weeks.
TCM, it is not just about herbs and acupuncture, a lot is also based on the power of food. Some super foods for the skin are, goji berries, burdock root, chamomile, and ginseng, among many others. The goji berries can be macerated or infused as a tea. As it gets warmer and in the summer is great to make a big jug and drink this during the day. It’s very important to stay hydrated for your skin. TCM is about balance, so please don’t just eat one thing in excess, too much of one thing, throws everything out of balance. Too much water in the “river landscape” will over flow and erode the earth. So we say that too much liquid with our food depletes nutrition.
Our face and body has many acupressure points, and on the face these corresponds with certain organs in your body. For example our eyes correspond to the Kidneys, Spleen and stomach can be found further down the eyes and across our nose. The outside of the eyes correspond to Liver, the usual headache point. For a vitality massage, start a gentle massage around the eyes; work towards the checks and down to the mouth area. The area above your upper lip is an excellent pressure point for vitality. If you are feeling tired gentle tapping in this area is invigorating. It corresponds to the heart area.
In this reshaping of our personal landscape with a beautiful flowing river, the whole process can only happen if we have a balance of QI. The essence of all nature, including ourselves is QI or energy. So relaxation, meditation, stress management, healthy eating, hydration and acupressure or acupuncture are all part of the process of rejuvenation. All these actions will make you look and feel better, younger, and more vital.