As discussed in part 1, TCM beauty therapy takes the holistic approach of targeting both the inside and outside of the body at the same time. Food therapy is often used in beauty treatments for its increased convenience and safety in long term consumption.
TCM Beauty food therapy enhances the complexion through 3 main ways: (i) replenishing Qi and Blood in the body, (ii) regulating internal organs and (iii) nourishing the skin.
1. Replenishing Qi and Blood
One major contributing factor for plump, radiant and blushing skin is having sufficient Qi and Blood in the body.
In TCM, the Blood’s major function is to nourish the entire body, including the internal organs and the skin. This nourishment brings both nutrition and moisture to the skin, thus giving it a full and healthy appearance.
While inside the body, Qi acts as the driving force for organ function, on the surface, Qi protects the skin by working as a shield against external pathogens. Qi also has the function of promoting blood circulation, and thus helps to bring nourishment and colour to the skin.
How does our body generate this Qi and Blood? Qi and Blood is mainly produced through the digestive system. In TCM, the Spleen and Stomach process the food we consume, extract the nutrients in the food, and transform them into Qi and Blood.
Through this process, one can see how digestive system directly affects our skin condition. Therefore, eating the right foods is important for the beauty of our skin.
2. Regulating the internal organs
In TCM, the five major organs are the Heart, Liver, Spleen, Lungs and Kidneys. Apart from maintaining bodily function, these organs also maintain skin health. For example, acne is often caused by poor functioning of the Spleen and Stomach, while dark spots on the skin are often related to poor Liver function. Furthermore, in TCM, the Lungs are seen as the most important organ that governs skin health.
Therefore, TCM food therapy aims to improve skin condition through nourishing the Lungs, strengthening the Spleen, replenishing the Kidneys, regulating the Heart, improving Liver Qi flow etc.
3. Moisturising and protecting the skin
Topical application of TCM food onto the skin feeds the skin directly with essential nutrients and moisture. When used in tandem with oral food therapy, it can reap much greater benefits. This nourishment helps to reduce wrinkles, fine lines, as well as lighten spots and pigmentation. It may also provide anti-inflammatory, skin smoothening and skin tightening benefits.
In conclusion, TCM cosmetology targets one’s overall body condition and brings one’s health towards a balance. By improving both the skin surface and the internal environment, TCM provides a healthier and longer lasting recipe for beauty.
Stay tuned to find out how the internal organs affect our complexion and what we can do about it.
> 阅读：中医美容的奥秘（一） ：天然健美人人爱