Chinese Medicine & skin health - In conversation with Dr Adriana Ramirez - Part Two
We'd love to hear about the methodologies Chinese medicine uses to improve skin health?
Yes, love too. Cosmetic acupuncture is what I first trained in. Cosmetic acupuncture works locally on the face. We put needles on specific points that affect the body, for example, in places to soften the muscle or tone it and lift. We also place needles under the skin on individual wrinkles to cause a micro-injury and instigate healing repair and stimulate collagen. The beauty of it is that at the same time, we're working on your whole body and addressing the cause of skin concerns in the first place. Normally, if you have a wrinkle between your eyes running in a vertical line, that's usually because a person holds a lot of anger in their energy, so we also have to work on their liver. If you have wrinkles just down from your eyes below your smile lines, this often means you're carrying sadness, and we need to also work on your lungs.As part of the curriculum for cosmetic acupuncture, a lot of training is on face reading. Chinese medicine face reading looks into wrinkles, blemishes, the shape of the nose in its structural place. You get a picture and an idea of the person and how they are internally.
How long does it take to see results?
It depends on the age. If you're young, you probably need 4 or 5 treatments and then maintenance. But my usual kind of treatment plan is 10 treatments. So with those 10 treatments, you do weekly treatments and then maybe around treatment 8 you do 2 more fortnightly treatments. After that, you do maybe 2 more - 1 month and then 6 months. After this initial round of treatments, you only require 1 a year for maintenance.It's definitely an investment in your skin.
When do you see results?
You see results from the first or second treatment. People will notice a brightness of the eyes, their skin will start looking brighter, but it's a gradual result overall.Some people expect the effect of botox, which it is never going to be. Your face will continue to have expression with Cosmetic acupuncture and look natural. I make sure that people know and have realistic expectations before we start.
Does it hurt!?
Ha, no. Maybe a tiny prick for some people. We use very fine and expensive needles. For most people, it doesn't hurt at all.
Let's talk about Gua Sha, and its benefits. It's all the rage at the moment.
So the benefits are basically to promote circulation. It is also helping with lymphatic drainage. When you do it on the muscle, it relaxes the muscles, reducing muscle tension. It has the same principle: when you strain your eyes, let them focus on different distances to relax them. The reduction in muscle tension is going to help you with wrinkles.We don't just use it on the face but also on the body, for example, to expel pathogens. Chinese medicine believes that you contract a pathogen externally, and it sits under your skin layer between the skin and the muscle. When you Gua Sha it, you're bringing these pathogens to the surface to expel them.At the first sign of somebody getting sick, we do it down the neck and the shoulders and a little bit down the back, which helps expel the pathogen. Try it next time at the first sign of feeling sick or run down. I can guarantee you're not going to get that cold after doing this.Also, when you promote circulation, it's just going to bring more Collegen and overall renewal. The beautiful thing is that anybody can do it. You don't have to go to a Chinese practitioner.There are a few principles like; you just have to be very careful, for example, not to do it in certain areas of the neck near the thyroid gland.
How often should you do it?
Everyday! It should be part of your routine. As soon as you clean your face, put a little bit of serum or oil, so it slides easily and it doesn't leave a rash, and be gentle. You don't need to use much force. We use a jade stone, which is very cooling. That cooling effect helps with closing pores and tightening the skin.And yes, Gua Sha is gaining in popularity recently, but it goes back 2,500 years and has always been used by practitioners and by people in China. The Jade stone is a stone associated with beauty and wealth, and health. All the women in the Empire used to have Jade stones as part of their beauty routine.
Where can we find out more?
I have a blog on my website that speaks about the general benefits of Gua Sha, it also talks about things like your neck as mentioned earlier and how you can use it on your legs for cellulite. You can use it anywhere that hurts or is inflamed, on your legs, on your calves, on your feet, on your back which is amazing, just remember to be gentle and not to use much force.I have my own Gua Sha and Roller products I sell and each comes with a card that gives you instructions on how to use them. There are also more sources on my Instagram if you would like to find out more.
Find out more about Adriana:
Currently treating in Sydney: Ola Wellness - 48 Clovelly road, Randwick The Fertility Suite in Manly.