Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers effective natural alternatives for younger, healthier, and smoother-looking skin. Rather than choosing injections or undergoing surgery, try these
What are TCM skin treatments?
Acupuncture and moxibustion are two beauty methods that stimulate facial muscles and promote local blood circulation. They help improve skin tone, restore the rosy lustre of the face, and maintain youthful skin.
Acupuncture is one of the most popular TCM treatments for headaches, body pains, and nausea. However, it can also be an alternative to botox or surgery.
Traditional Chinese cosmetology pre-recorded prescriptions for a healthy complexion, and shiny, black hair, as well as the use of acupuncture to prevent and treat scars in the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC). Today, facial acupuncture is practised to slow down the ageing process while keeping your skin in check.
The cosmetic treatment focuses on the face, neck, and head. It is recommended to have one after receiving full-body acupuncture treatment in order to distribute the flow of energy throughout the body.
Facial acupuncture is a natural and non-invasive treatment that improves one’s skin tone and condition by increasing blood flow and stimulating the muscles in the lower part of the face. Using approximately 40 to 70 needles, the acupuncturist punctures the skin, creating wounds called positive microtraumas. As the body senses the wounds, it instinctively goes into repair mode, thereby stimulating the production of collagen. Don’t worry, the process is painless.
Unlike botox and fillers, the results may take approximately three months. However, the internal repair caused by the natural treatment creates positive changes in the health of the skin and body, affecting one’s overall well-being. Another bonus is that it doesn’t require any recovery time.
Another ancient TCM treatment used for enhancing natural beauty is moxibustion. The therapy is most commonly practised to address Yang Deficiency, which can come in the form of indigestion, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, menstrual cramps, joint pain, and more.
However, moxibustion can also encourage the circulation of blood flow, treat dark eyes, and regenerate cell growth when used as a facial treatment. Licensed TCM practitioners believe performing moxibustion in tandem with acupuncture can enhance the efficacy of both treatments.
The application is done indirectly using moxa, the dried leaves of Chinese mugwort. Practitioners will burn a moxa stick or pole close to the surface of the skin (approximately two to three centimetres away), often over specific areas which correspond to certain acupoints. It is held for around 10 to 15 minutes before moving to a different area. The experience should feel warm and comfortable.
You can also learn how to do this treatment at home with help from your TCM practitioner.
The Effects and Benefits
A 2013 study states that facial cosmetic acupuncture showed promising results for facial elasticity while a recent study in the Journal of Dermatology and Cosmetic found that it also reduces fine lines, restores muscle tone, and, again, increases muscle elasticity, skin moisture, and lipid. Similarly, moxibustion:
- Further encourages blood circulation
- Accelerates skin healing abilities
- Effectively balances yin and yang
- Alleviates dark spots
- Strengthens the immune system
New research published in Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, established that moxibustion improved microcirculation blood flow, induced short-chain fatty acids such as isopentanoic acid and butanoic acid, regulated the abundance of intestinal probiotics, and most importantly, may delay the ageing process.
To make the most out of these TCM therapies, it is best to combine the series of acupuncture and cosmetic treatments with other traditional Chinese medicine. One suggestion for restoring skin elasticity and improving skin radiance is EYS NanØllagen, a natural supplement containing Vitamin C, antioxidants, dried tangerine peel (chen pi, 陈皮), coix seeds (yi yi ren, 薏苡仁), and silk and collagen peptides.
It’s recommended to always consult with a TCM practitioner before using other herbs or treatments. In return, this powerful combination will keep the body nourished, give the body balance, and have enough energy and blood to inhibit signs of ageing.
These therapies do not only serve as treatments for the face but for the body as well, making your inner and outer natural beauty come through. Stop by your Chinese medicine clinic and see the transformation TCM could offer for your skin.
Have alternative TCM skincare tips to share? Let us know below.
This article is an adaption of the article 中医也能美容，你试过了吗 from Health123.
- Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. 2022. Moxibustion may delay the aging process of Wistar rats by regulating intestinal microbiota. [online] Available at <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332221009318> [Accessed on 7 March 2023]
- Journal of Dermatology and Cosmetic. 2019. Acupuncture in skin and esthetics. [online] Available at <https://jdc.tums.ac.ir/browse.php?a_id=5371&sid=1&slc_lang=en> [Accessed on 6 March 2023]
- National Library of Medicine. 2013. Effect of Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture on Facial Elasticity: An Open-Label, Single-Arm Pilot Study. [online] Available at <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3745857/> [Accessed on 6 March 2023]
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