My Unique Solution To Acne And Eczema—Traditional AcupunctureI've tried so many acne and eczema remedies and found something that works... For BOTH.
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Happy Lunar New Year! Celebrated in many countries around the world, Lunar New Year is a time to bring in new prosperity and luck for the upcoming year. While the beginning of the year is always a fresh start, this years is especially so because it's the beginning of a new decade, and, the Year of The Rat, which is the first sign of the Chinese Zodiac. To honor this celebration, we're highlighting beauty traditions from countries that celebrate this beautiful holiday. In this post, Cherie team member Ann Buenaobra shares her experience with traditional Chinese medicine.Born This WayI've had eczema since I was a baby, and I remember going to the doctor's being met with every solution possible—from soaking my skin in milk to various prescription ointments, every solution was a temporary fix for my symptoms, but nothing ever had long-lasting benefits. As I grew older, another skin woe entered my life; acne 😭. I was a teenager with acne-prone skin and eczema, and let me tell you, this was no winning combo for my self esteem. My thing was, my eczema would pop up around my face, so combined with acne, my face felt like one big red zone. As I grew older, the right skincare routine, plenty of water, and a good diet helped a lot (read: SOOO MUCH) with both my acne and eczema, but I wanted a remedy that would take my acne and eczema from mild and year-round to light and rarely occurring. A Sharp RemedyWhile looking for an acne and eczema remedy with longevity, I knew it had to be something that was more than topical. After having seen dermatologists and estheticians alike for years and only getting surface treatments, I was willing to try something new—my only criteria being that it MUST be a natural remedy. Enter acupuncture. I had a friend who was doing it for their allergies and after 6 months of weekly treatments, no longer sneezed around dogs or fields of grass. I thought this was amazing because they tell you allergies are for life, and the only treatment is when they already occur, not before. So I did my research and took the leap to try this ancient practice.
Acupuncture: The BasicsAcupuncture is a key component in traditional Chinese medicine. The practice is based on balancing the life force within each human being, also known as Qi. Qi is believed to flow through meridians, or pathways, throughout your body, and when we meet an ailment it's because of an imbalance in our qi or a stagnant energy. Acupuncture places needles as thin as a strand of hair at strategic points to release stagnant qi along your body's meridians. In China, acupuncture is so widely practiced that even during surgery, patients have been known to opt for an acupuncturist in place of an anesthesiologist. Metaphysically, this made sense to me. If my acne and eczema are due to stagnant energy around, say, my stomach, and placing fine needles at certain points would release that energy, then it was worth a shot! A Zen Like No Other: My ExperienceWhen meeting with my practitioner to determine my course of treatment, they really took into consideration everything about me. We talked about my habits—everything from my sleep patterns, daily activities, and even how many times I use the bathroom. We discussed my dreams, my worries, and any main points of stress. They also take your temperature, check your pulse, and read your tongue. All these components tell a story about your body. In my case, my red-tipped tongue indicated heat in my heart—basically, my heart was being overworked which meant that the rest of my organs were overcompensating to cool it down. The stress of this was showing up as mild acne and eczema. The cause of my overworked heart? Emotional stress! I guess your emotions can really get the best of you!
Once my practitioner decided on a treatment for me, I laid on a bed (like the ones at a doctors office) and they began to insert the needles. Now, these needles are super thin and they don't pierce your skin; they just sit right at the top. They don't hurt at all, but on occasion an acupuncture needle does stimulate a nerve and THAT feeling is something else. Once all my needles were in (usually they just put in 12 or so) they leave you in the room, turn off the lights, and set some heat lamps at your feet and torso. Then, it's time for my beloved acunap. There's a sense of calm that takes over me once all the acupuncture needles are in place. I immediately fall into a trance and take what I like to call an acunap. Different from a regular nap, an acunap feels meditative and incredibly relaxing. My entire body becomes still and I doze off into another world. Right at the end of 25 minutes, the practitioner comes in and I come awake from my trance. After the first treatment, I saw no difference, but felt amazing and relaxed from my acunap. After about 4 months of weekly treatments, my skin experienced less breakouts for both acne and eczema. I used to get eczema on my neck on a weekly basis, and after my 4 months of acupuncture, I haven't had it since. My acne breakouts are now only monthly and hormonal; just a small pimple on the chin versus a cluster of acne along my cheek. Tips & Tricks - Come with an open mind, and be very honest with your practitioner about your health and goals. Your goals will help them determine the best places your energy needs releasing!
- Look for acupuncture schools with a clinic. It's super affordable, usually $35-50. You can get treated by a student being supervised by a licensed practitioner, or a licensed practitioner themselves, which will be a tad bit pricer. They also have traditional herbs that they may prescribe to you should you want to extend the benefits of your treatment!