10 Factors that Influence Skin: 3. Circulation
No amount of topical or external treatments can maintain long lasting results if skin isn’t being supported by whole body health from the inside out.
In this series we will be taking a holistic look at the 10 factors that influence skin…
“Without movement, there is no life.”
This concept of life as perpetual motion is one of the founding principles of Chinese Medicine. Even at your most still and serene, you are breathing, your heart is beating, and your cells are converting energy to perform a dizzying array of functions. When blood doesn’t flow there is numbness and pain; when muscles don’t move there is atrophy. Only in death does this motion of life truly come to a stop.
So what does this have to do with great looking skin? Good circulation is paramount to health but its easy to overlook the important role that it plays in healthy looking skin. Proper circulation:
Delivers the oxygen and nutrients cells need for healthy functioning
Aids in cell turnover and skin repair
Evens out skin colour and lends it that healthy “glow”
Helps flush out toxins
Helps prevents edema and puffiness
Helps to reduce stress and balance hormones
Here are a few ways you can boost circulation to improve your skin tone…
1. Reflexology Foot and Leg Massage
Reflexology will stimulate multiple pressure points in the feet and legs that can, among other things, direct better circulation to the face. It can also help with venous return, oxygenating the blood and stimulating vasodilation to increase blood flow and relaxation.
If you live in Vancouver, I like Golden Feet for safe, affordable reflexology.
Remember, some of the points can be tender so always communicate with your practitioner if the pressure is too intense. You should not be in pain and a good reflexologist will adjust their technique according to your feedback. They can’t always read your mind though so do speak up!
2. Use Your Shower for Hydrotherapy
Alternating between hot and cold water in your shower will stimulate your vessels to dilate and contract, circulating blood up to the surface and back down to the deeper organs. Hydrotherapy is one of humanity’s oldest therapies and is still used today for pain management, reducing inflammation, and boosting your circulation among other things.
Here is a guideline for how to use this technique at home for glowing skin (The 3:1 ration of hot to cold is important):
1. At the end of your warm shower, lower the temperature to cool for 20 seconds.
2. Increase the temperature to hot for 60 seconds.
3. Switch the shower temperature to cold for 20 seconds.
4. Raise the temperature to as hot as you can stand it for 60 seconds.
5. End on a cold cycle, as cold as you can handle for 20 seconds to constrict the vessels preventing prolonged vasodilation.
6. Towel dry right away and notice how invigorated you feel and how great your skin looks!
3. Keep Hydrated
I covered this topic in my last blog but it is worth repeating here as dehydration can impede circulation. Plasma, the liquid 55% of your blood is 92% water. You need to keep hydrated to keep this stuff moving! You can read my last post to find out how much water you really need to drink in a day.
It’s the obvious component of circulation and yet so many of us struggle to get enough physical movement during our day-to-day lives. For many, the work day is mostly sitting down which can lead to increased fatigue and a lowered desire to get physical (the very antidote to this fatigue!). If you want to reduce cellulite, help your body eliminate toxins and waste, and see improved skin-tone, you need to move. It doesn’t matter how. Walks in nature, spin class, tai chi, exercise videos at home, sword-fit, aqua-fit, 80’s style aerobics; there is an activity out there for everyone to enjoy at every level of fitness so no excuses. Just get moving and move often. Your body will thank you and you will start to notice that glow!
5. Facial Massage and Acupuncture
Using tiny dermal needles, acupuncture for facial renewal can immediately stimulate better circulation to face. These effects become long lasting when performed weekly over a period of time. Points in the body (mostly the arms and legs) can also improve circulation overall. Additionally, I incorporate cool jade rollers and a gentle acupressure massage into my facial treatments to further boost blood flow and lymphatic drainage.
To find out more about acupuncture for facial renewal, you can visit the FAQ’s page on our website or call Acubalance at 604.678.8600
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