Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The time-honoured wisdom that proudly underpins our brand, philosophy and products.Yet, when it comes to modern skin concerns, can such an ancient system really resolve them? For those of you unfamiliar with TCM, here we hopefully demonstrate how its teachings have never been so relevant… or so necessary.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?With records of practice dating back more than 3,500 years old, Traditional Chinese Medicine is a healing system that views health from a ‘whole body’ perspective. Unlike conventional western medicine, which historically sees our body and mind as a series of separate systems and organs, TCM classifies them as a network of intrinsically connected parts. When all parts are in balance, energy (something TCM refers to as ‘Qi’) and blood flow freely and we are healthy. When disparities occur – whether in our skin, health or wider wellbeing – that energy (Qi) or blood flow becomes stagnated. It greatly affects other areas of our system and true resolution only comes from treating the root cause.
Such treatment with TCM utilises tailored combinations of several therapies, including acupuncture, nutrition, cupping, massage and both oral and topical herbal therapy. With our focus here at Dermatology M firmly on skin health, we concentrate on the latter – herbal therapy. More on this later, however.
How is Traditional Chinese Medicine relevant for skincare?Many of you will know that the skin is our largest organ, encompassing around 10% of total body weight. You will also understand it is our first line of defence – from shielding against external bacteria, viruses and pollutants to providing a passageway for the elimination of internal toxins and waste. This critical function, TCM advises, is enabled by healthy respiratory, digestive, and immune systems. Poor diet, exposure to excess pollution, heat or cold, stress and deprived sleep all compromise these systems. Energy (Qi) imbalance occurs, whether deficient or excessive; health is undermined and skin inevitably suffers.
Modern life – both personal and professional – undoubtedly exerts an increasing level of demands. As instances of stress, depression, weight and digestive problems continue to rise, our Avicenna Clinic has correspondingly seen a sharp increase in those experiencing acute skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dermatitis and acne. Weary of short-lived relief from conventional creams, tablets, injectable medicines and even immuno-suppressants – and, moreover, disenchanted by undesirable side effects of certain treatments – our patients seek an alternative antidote to their modern skin concerns.
We mentioned earlier how herbal therapy is core to our philosophy. Indeed, the secret to its power and efficacy lies in understanding how distinct botanical combinations successfully address not only visible symptoms but also the underlying system imbalances. And, while you may question how age-old plant extracts could possibly compete with leading western medicine, millennia of results substantiating their results on a myriad of skin concerns are surely too compelling to ignore.
We proudly include Chinese herbs in our skincare treatments, harnessing their healing and balancing qualities through both our leading TCM expertise and over three decades of dermatological experience. We personally design all our own formulas, selecting and importing raw ingredients directly from trusted Chinese suppliers and manufacturing here at our UK Avicenna premises. The remarkable results of these authentic blends really do speak for themselves.