Friday, June 15, 2012

On smoking, your skin and Chinese Medicine

Not only will you be healthier once you quit smoking, but your skin will look better too.

It is a well known fact that smoking affects the quality of your skin by drying it out, therefore prematurely aging it.
The result: wrinkles around your mouth and your eyes that come from the repetitive motion of puckering your lips every time you inhale and squinting your eyes to avoid smoke.
(You can usually recognize a smoker or an ex-smoker by the multitude of fine lines around their lips)

How do cigarettes affect your skin from a Western Medical standpoint?

Dr. Lowell Dale at the Mayo Clinic says: "the nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. This impairs blood flow to your skin.
With less blood flow, your skin doesn't get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as
vitamin A.
Many of the more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin, which are fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity.
As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely because of smoking. "

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Lungs 'rule' the skin, the pores, hair, the nose, respiration and water metabolism.
The Lungs are considered a very 'delicate' organ susceptible to internal or external heat.

Since smoking involves heat, it can directly damage your Lung "yin" which is the moisture in your lungs.
When there is less moisture available, the lung will hold on to it for respiration and disperse less of it  to the other organs.
This can result in having dry skin, brittle hair, slow healing wounds, chronic cough, wheezing, Asthma and recurrent nose bleeds due to dry nasal passages.

Based on these theories and facts, it is therefore no surprise that the health of your lungs DIRECTLY affects your skin.

When I assist patients to quit smoking through Auricular or regular Acupuncture, there are ALWAYS some Lung points involved to correct imbalances.
Likewise, when I prescribe herbal formulas to assist in the detoxification process, many of the herbs target the lungs specifically and aim at replenishing the lost moisture and improve their overall health.

Research shows that it takes only 2 weeks to 3 months to improve overall circulation and increase lung function by one-third.
Damage can be reversed in most cases and your risk of getting Lung cancer decreases by 50% ten years after you have quit smoking.

With a diet high in antioxidants, vitamin B supplements and some acupuncture, you can beat this....

So why not quit to look and feel your best?

If you are ready, and only if you are ready, call your favorite acupuncturist !

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