Five Major Skin Conditions: Which One Do You Have?

There are five major skin conditions which affect people – knowing which one you have is the first step to good treatment.

Skin conditions, especially recurring or chronic ones, can be helpful in understanding an individual’s wellness. .

Understanding the underlying energetic cause of your skin and body conditions makes it possible to harmonize the flow of vital energy, a precondition to wellness. Who doesn’t want to have glowing skin and to feel great at the same time?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), when we are out of balance, some undesirable conditions for our skin and body shape manifest.

The cycles of nature and the cycles of human life seem to be interrelated. Whatever affects the whole, affects the parts, and these parts affect other parts. This view of humans is a part of all energy medicines and it is central to TCM.

Traditional Chinese thinkers were fond of pondering the cyclical aspects of nature with the repetition of days, moons, seasons, and years as they observed the effects of those cycles on all living organisms. Humans, like animals and plants, are affected by nature’s cycles so it is not surprising that the study of nature was the first basis in their understanding of vital energy.

Knowing that there can be no effect without a cause, the predictable seasonal patterns pointed to the existence of a cause. Unlike ancient Greeks and Egyptians who attributed cause to the whims of various gods, the Chinese simply saw chi (energy) as the mover of matter.. They saw this energy being responsible for cyclical and predictable stages and changes.

First, they broke down energy in its basic yin and yang components. Then they evolved the more complex and subtle Law of the Five Elements which includes the energies’ symbolically named Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water and the multiple aspects of their interrelationship.

TCM, like other energy medicines, attributes an energetic cause to any body malfunction. It is either an issue of energy quality or of flow (quantity). Consequently, energy balancing and removal of blockages are fundamental to all energy medicines, and, by extension, to beauty and wellness treatments.

TCM identifies frequent skin conditions in this way. Which one or combination of conditions are you?

A Wood imbalance associated with Spring usually manifests as:

• Issues of vital energy circulation

• Oily scalp and hair

• Oily skin, blackheads, hyper pigmentation

A Fire imbalance associated with Summer usually manifests as:

• Redness, irritated, sensitive, blotchy or allergic skin, excessive heat and perspiration, couperose

• Irritated, red, sensitive scalp

• Issues of red blood (arterial) circulation

An Earth imbalance (associated with each of the five transition periods between the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter) usually manifests as:

• Blemishes, toxicity, acne, psoriasis, enlarged pores

• Heavy looking hair, pimples on scalp

• Lymph circulation problems

A Metal imbalance associated with Fall usually manifests as:

• Dry skin, surface flakiness, dull and lifeless skin

• Dry scalp, dry and brittle hair

• Issues of blue blood or venous circulation (problems such as varicose veins and spider veins)

A Water imbalance associated with Winter usually manifests as:

• Dehydration, lack of tone, wrinkles

• Excess kidney energy causing puffiness under the eyes; or kidney energy depletion causing dark circles

• Scalp lacking tone. Limp hair with no volume

• Issues of water circulation (water retention)

Understanding the issues an individual has is the first step towards solving them holistically. Read about herbal and natural treatments for skin in the Herbal Collective July’19 issue.  
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