Skin complaints, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea can cause real distress. Besides their appearance and subsequent effect on our self-confidence, they can be thoroughly uncomfortable to live with and frustrating to know how to treat. Because these common conditions only happen on a surface level, we often make the mistake of thinking that they’re only skin deep, whereas in reality there are a myriad of factors which contribute to their causation, including emotions, stress, diet and hormones.
It’s these factors that we explore in Systematic Kinesiology, a form of natural health care that uses muscle testing to read the energetic bio feedback system from our bodies to find where these health issues stem from. When we find imbalances in the body we can then work on correcting them via specialised lymphatic massage, nutrition, electrical balancing and emotional work.
The Whole Person Approach
Symptoms are our friends, they tell us what’s wrong and guide us towards how to rebalance ourselves. They are the body’s way of trying to get your attention, a bit like a smoke alarm going off alerting you to a fire. It’s an invitation to investigate further. However, within our current healthcare system, the widely favoured approach is one which focuses on suppressing the symptoms, rather than investigating them. You can see this clearly with the current treatment for skin conditions which includes topical steroid creams to ease discomfort, antibiotics to kill bacteria on the skin, chemical face washes and the hormonal contraceptive pill.
What’s important to realise is that while they may temporarily ease the discomfort of the skin condition, they fail to investigate the root cause, meaning the condition never goes away. They cover up the symptoms, keeping you believing the problem has gone, when in reality the real problem carries on out of sight and out of mind. The side effects of using medication are also important to factor in as medication clogs up the body, in particular the liver, and interrupts the natural self-healing process. This is why using natural treatments, whether it be essential oils, nutritional supplements, herbal remedies or homeopathy, are a more gentle, yet no less effective alternative, which work in harmony with the body and have no unpleasant side effects.
When it comes to symptoms in the body we need to look at you as a whole to begin the detective work of understanding where your skin condition is stemming from. In Systematic Kinesiology we understand that often the root cause of our pain and discomfort exists in a completely different area to where we experience the symptoms. This is why we look at you on an emotional, nutritional, physical and energetic level to find out where imbalances exist in the body. By using this holistic approach we can begin the process of treating the root cause of the symptoms and healing from the inside out. There are many different factors that can cause skin conditions but the two areas where they frequently stem from lie within the nutritional and emotional realms, and this is exactly what I’m going to explore with you below.
The Role of Nutrition
Nutritional deficiencies play a vital role in our health. Due to overfarming and chemical treatments of the soil in the UK, we have a drastically reduced quality of soil which in turn affects the vitamin and mineral content, meaning we need to eat a lot more to gain the same benefits than our grandparents did. A poor diet alongside a sluggish digestive system and a stressed body also means that we can often fail to get what we need nutritionally from our food because the body can’t absorb the nutrients.
This is why supplementing our diet with the right nutritional support is so important, now more than ever. In addition, we sometimes need a therapeutic dose to help clear an imbalance in the body. When you take the nutritional supplement that the body needs to heal, results can come on extremely quickly because the body now has the tools to promote the natural process of self healing, which we all have within us.
What your body needs is always going to be different to someone else because we’re all biochemically different, so in Kinesiology we always test the supplements against the body to see what therapeutic nutritional support the body is craving. It might be a mineral like zinc which is amazing for the skin, an enzyme to work within the digestive system, an oil to ease hormonal imbalances or a vitamin, such as B3, to bring calm to frazzled and stressed minds. What most people don’t realise is that nutrition plays a huge role in our mental wellbeing as well as our physical. For stress, depression and anxiety, a combination of the right vitamins, minerals and herbal support can have incredible results. Our emotional health feeds into our physical health and vice versa, so I often focus on finding nutritional supplements for our all-important emotional health as the first priority.
Diet also plays an incredibly important role in our skin health, especially with common conditions such as acne. We experience acne on our face, chest and back, however, often the root cause comes from a digestive imbalance, a lack of essential minerals and a diet heavy in dairy, wheat and sugar. We call these the ‘main offenders’ in Kinesiology because when we ask clients to remove them from their diets we see incredible improvements in their health. Sugar is a massive inflammatory, so if you’re experiencing skin breakouts, rashes or irritation, I suggest removing sugar immediately. We never want to vilify food but the truth is that there are certain foods which are biocidic to the body, which essentially means that they do more harm than good. Everyone is biochemically individual so in treatments we take out the guesswork by testing these foods against the muscle response to see whether they benefit the body or not.
In terms of dairy, there is a proven link between dairy and skin conditions. This is because dairy, in particular cow’s milk, is incredibly mucous forming. And it’s this mucous that can clog up the routes of effective elimination via the lymphatic system and large intestine meaning higher levels of bacteria and toxicity in the body which can cause breakouts in the skin as the body tries to detox through other channels. I wouldn’t suggest cutting out dairy without being tested but as a start I would swap cow’s milk with an alternative as I’ve seen amazing results from client’s just doing this one thing.
So how can detoxing the body of these inflammatory, toxic foods help to alleviate skin conditions?
The world we live in is full of toxicity, in the food we eat, the chemicals we spray, the environments we live in and in the emotions we hold onto. Often the way for a toxic overload to present itself is through the skin because it can’t be properly processed through the normal elimination routes in the body.
The lymphatic system plays a large role in moving toxins and waste around the body but due to lack of physical movement, sedentary lifestyles and a dehydrated body, it can become sluggish and ineffective. Another organ used in processing toxins is the liver. However, if we have a diet high in alcohol, fatty foods and medication, the liver can become overburdened and unable to function effectively. The large intestine is another major organ involved in removing toxins from the body, however, it is often imbalanced and unable to move waste out the body as often as it should - I find the main culprits of healthy, regular bowel function to be a lack of fibre and a low level of chronic dehydration in the body. In Kinesiology we also call the skin the second organ of the large intestine so if we can’t eliminate toxins from our bowels, the skin is a secondary route.
It’s therefore necessary to assist the body with detoxing from this toxic overload any way we can, especially when we’re experiencing problematic skin conditions. This includes eliminating sugar, wheat, dairy, alcohol and caffeine from your diet, increasing your water intake and activity, lymphatic massage to stimulate the lymph and addressing emotional blockages within the body. As let’s not forget, detoxing the mind is just as important as detoxing the body, so let’s take a look at the role that emotions have on the skin.
Emotions & The Skin
When looking at any symptoms in the body, we always look into emotions because they often play a leading role in the root cause. The mind and body are a machine that works as one, so the effect of negative emotions and stress are important to take into account. Scientists have recently discovered the role of the Enteric Nervous System (the gut brain connection) as well as the study of Psycho-Neuro-Immunology, the impact of your thoughts on your immune system. However, what they have yet to realise is that it’s really psycho-neuro-everything-ology; every emotion affects our health.
Whether it’s anger, grief, fear or stress, from twenty years ago or two weeks ago, these negative emotions all have deep-rooted implications on our wellbeing and can manifest into seemingly unconnected conditions in the body. These past emotions linger deep in our subconscious and on a cellular level in our bodies which makes it very hard for us to be aware of them and how past hurts relate to our health now. This is especially relevant with skin conditions which often have a deep-rooted emotional cause.
Evette Rose, author of Metaphysical Anatomy, writes that “the skin is a person’s physical barrier boundary that keeps them safe and protected. When circumstances, environmental factors or people challenge this barrier, it will speak up for itself by means of itching, burning or irritation.” Louise Hay, author of Heal Your Body, also concludes this point explaining that “the skin protects our individuality”, so that when that’s threatened, our skin reacts. So what they’re both saying is that skin conditions are ultimately a response to the psychological stress we experience when someone invades our personal boundaries. Is there someone ‘getting under your skin’?
Alongside irritation and overstepped boundaries, anger can also play its part with skin conditions, especially with acne which is often a result of little eruptions of anger and resentment and rage boiling under the skin. If we do not understand what we are feeling or why we are feeling a certain way, we are then unable to express our emotions in a balanced way, if at all. These trapped emotions can then build pressure up to an intolerable energy that needs to get out and erupt in a different way and the skin is a way out. In fact, when looking at any skin conditions, the main emotions associated seem to revolve around resentment, anger, feeling judged, powerlessness, aggravation and frustration. These might be current emotions, especially regarding this situation we’re all in now, or from the past stemming from childhood. The most important question to ask is always “when did it start?” to understand what life events were happening at the time as this always gives us the clues as to what the emotional driver might be.
Kinesiology and Skin Care
Sometimes the skin condition might be outside the realms of nutrition and emotion, it could be a hormonal imbalance, parasite activity, an overload of bacteria or fungus such as candida or heavy metals. However, the benefit of using Systematic Kinesiology to discover the root cause of skin conditions is that there’s no guesswork involved. The body reveals the area of imbalance and shows us how to rebalance. We get the lymph moving with massage, stimulate the energy flow in the body via meridians and give you the space to let go of any stress, emotional turmoil and negativity you’re subconsciously holding on to. Outside of treatments there’s also a lot you can do to understand where you skin condition may be stemming from and what you can do about it:
Try and remember when the condition started and what was happening in your life; personally as well as professionally.
Take a note when the skin flares up. What has recently happened, what have you recently eaten, did you try a new product on your skin?
Take out sugar, wheat and dairy from your diet and see how your condition is in two weeks time.
Swap chemical body products that might be causing a sensitive reaction for natural, organic skincare products and see if the irritation calms down.
Up your hydration levels to at least two litres of water a day and cut down on tea and coffee.
Move your body to encourage lymph flow, the twists and inversions of yoga are a fantastic way to move energy and lymph around the body but jogging, walking and cycling are all wonderfully beneficial.