Do you have itchy skin? Is it red, splotchy and the cause of embarrassment? Over the years I have worked with several women who have flare-ups of itchy, rash like skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema, rashes, etc. In fact, as a sufferer of histamine intolerance, I regularly experience a horrible itch on my back and acne flare ups. I am tempted to just put cream on it and make it go away, but I know my body is sending me a message, and the body NEVER sends a signal that doesn’t need attention! In my case, my body is telling me to go back to a low- histamine, nutrient dense diet, and relax!
Your skin is an organ, and just like your liver, kidney and heart, it has a job to do. Its main job is to protect your bones and blood from the outside
elements. But according to Chinese medicine, the skin is the external expression of your lungs, so if your lungs are stressed or weak, you will see that on your skin. In fact, the skin is considered the outer lung by the Chinese and the pores as “doors of Qi” (Qi is energy and life force). The lungs are considered the gateway between the outdoor world and your inner being. Abundant lung energy manifests as strong physical vitality, and breath nourishes the lung. If your lungs are weak, your skin will appear unhealthy.
Your skin is also a major detox organ, excreting toxins on a regular basis. This is why everyone has a different smell (or in some cases just B.O.), depending on what’s IN your body! The skin also takes up the slack when your detox organs (kidney, colon and liver) are not functioning properly or are stressed.
So, what does all this mean? READ your skin. Aches, pains, itching, stiffness, etc. are all signs that something is going on inside. Acne, eczema and psoriasis could be inflammation or autoimmune issues. Reactions to certain foods, environmental toxins or stress are also common causes of skin ailments. Some of the common triggers include gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, and nuts. By doing an elimination diet, you can determine whether or not food is the cause. I recently worked with a client who suffered from terrible eczema in her ears. Multiple doctors insisted it was not food related. After a couple weeks of eliminating dairy, she noticed improvement. After eating a more low-histamine diet, she improved more. Now she can identify her triggers and manage her eczema much easier than before. What a relief!
If you do suffer from skin issues, what can you do?
First, focus on breathing, stretching and expanding the lungs. Yoga, meditation and walking all help with this. Secondly, eliminate all processed foods to nourish your body completely, and consider an elimination diet Adding in nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables and grass-fed or pastured animal products (if you eat meat) will help nourish your body and give it strength to rebuild. Thirdly, pay attention to what is going on inside and outside of your body, especially your emotional state and self-esteem. Detoxing negative feelings is very important.
Finally, eliminate fried, fatty foods and sugary foods which burden your system. Of course, if you notice anything strange on your skin or bumps, dots or specks that look suspicious, you should have your dermatologist take a look.
Whatever the issue may be, please know that you have the power to heal yourself. Pay attention and tap into your intuition. Your body is sending you a message; it is your job to listen.