Skin is our interface with the outside. It represents our image to the world: our youthfulness or our worn-out internal condition exposed. Skin quality reflects our insides and, in reverse, we can stimulate this soft outer surface to affect the inside. It is a tool that can influence our health if we know how to push its buttons! (Literally!)
Like many examples in nature, it is the thin outer layer that often plays THE big role in relation to the whole. For example, on the giant magnet Earth, it is the thin layer of organic life—plants, animals, and Us, who act as the transformers of energies between the sun and the magnet planet. We are the critical go-between, the living skin accomplishing a human version of photosynthesis.
Or, consider the cell membrane of each of our trillions of cells. That thin sheet is where the action is—where the metabolism and processes occur. And just like our skin, the cell membrane can get gunked up—proteins and sugars causing a carmelization that makes our cells crusty, which then impedes the passage of nutrients in and toxins out.
So with our skin—when toxins build up and cannot release through the intestines and lungs, they then seek an outlet through the skin, ie. as acne, rashes, psoriasis, etc. From an Acupuncture point of view, we would address skin issues by treating intestine or lung points, since together all three are eliminatory organs. If the body is not hydrated enough or ingests too many acidic foods, ie sugar and red meat, then the skin becomes dry– as a reflection of overheated digestion in the stomach.
Since the tongue is a diagnostic tool in Chinese Medicine, we would see an extra red tongue, with a deep crack down the center–all signals of excess heat, sometimes resulting in GIRD or acid reflux. To treat this condition, points along the stomach meridian on the leg would be sedated to cool down possible heartburn. In Chinese theory, the stomach ‘feeds’ the lungs, so we can pull excess from the stomach to replenish the depleted lungs. Thus, the lungs would nourish the skin to receive more moisture. This is an example of how Acupuncture is the ultimate example of WHOLE-ISTIC medicine—where each organ can be rebalance with other organs—evening out the energy distribution throughout the body…!