In our modern world our bodies are constantly fighting stress. Whether we realize it or not, a lot of us are functioning in a fight or flight state. This directly impacts how our body functions, but today I specifically want to focus on how this can affect the skin.
When we are in a state of stress, it triggers the adrenal glands to produce excess cortisol. Maintaining this balance of cortisol is extremely important to our health. An excess of this hormone can lead to many skin issues. It inhibits the body’s production of hyaluronic acid and collagen. It also can exacerbate skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and rosacea. So the common question is, how do we fight this?
After looking at clients' skin for years now, I can almost immediately identify stressed skin. It’s usually inflamed, congested, dull or imbalanced. My first treatment approach is to always look internal. Diet, potential food sensitivity, psychological state, and lifestyle choices can all play a role in this. This is where I first like to discuss supplements, like Wooden Spoon Herbs Magic Magnesium, that help to keep stress hormones balanced by offering adrenal support. We need to tackle internal health before we address the external. After all, the problem is within the body firstly.
Once that is covered, we can work on the external health of the skin. What I love about the techniques I practice, is that these treatments can help to support the skin both externally and internally as well.
Gua sha is an ancient Chinese medicine practice that has been used for thousands of years. Gua sha practices are traced back to the Paleolithic Age where hands or stones were rubbed on various parts of the body in an effort to alleviate pain and/or symptoms when people felt sick or became unconscious.
In its literal meaning, gua sha is defined as “scraping away illness”. The TCM theory of meridians and gua sha therapy apply the same technique by allowing the meridians, which are pathways where the blood and qi (vital energy), to flow in an intricate network that connects the internal organs and limbs to their external counterparts and the lower to the upper internal organs and limbs as well.
The way I utilize gua sha in my facial treatments is to specifically work on assisting lymphatic drainage and energetic flow in the face and neck area. Toxins and fluid buildup are released and drained using the correct gua sha technique. Our cells also have memory, so I do believe that clearing this buildup also provides a psychological release by clearing negative energy. This is where the internal and external correlation shows. Working on the internal systems will show a beautiful topical result. My clients usually feel some sort of “high” after their treatment, and I really believe it’s from the energetic release that comes with. The skin is brighter, more sculpted, less inflamed, and mentally my client feels refreshed.
Another magically effective treatment is buccal massage. This technique has become popular over the past few years, and for a very good reason. I was truly blown away the first time I saw the results from this. It was like I had just given a face lift with my hands.
Buccal massage originated as a holistic technique created by a french skincare therapist almost 40 years ago. It has historically been used to treat TMJ and Bell’s palsy. The main purpose of this technique is performing a deep stimulation of the facial muscles. There are around 40 muscles in the face. Over time tension in the muscles will cause the skin sitting on top to crease, pull, drop, etc. This holistic technique is a great alternative to injectables and gives you an instant result. It provides an amazing relief to the facial muscles which will give you an overall sense of relaxation. We don’t even realize how much tension we hold in our facial muscles. So again, this treatment is working on the body and skin as a whole.
I really love this approach to skincare. In our modern, western world we are truly overlooking techniques that have worked for years and years. Specifically, often overlooking the internal causes of issues. I am thrilled that I get to offer my clients treatments that not only improve the skin externally but truly will benefit them and their skin from the inside out.