How Internal Organs Relate to Skin Health

A beautiful outcome of an acupuncture treatment is improvement in one’s facial complexion. There are specific cosmetic techniques, and including the approach of treating the entire person it will boost the vitality of the spirit shining through the complexion.

by Katie Borchert, NMD, MSOM, Pain Recovery Therapy and Esoteric Acupuncture

Treating the imbalances, stagnation and deficiencies in the five zang organs can directly affect facial appearance and skin health.

The zang are the organs yin in nature and store bodily fluids. They have a strong spiritual component. The counter to these are the fu organs, which are yang, hollow and process nutrition.

Each zang has a counterpart fu, but we consider treating the zang to be stronger energetically. By examining the five organs — heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and spleen/pancreas — we can see how imbalances lead to facial skin appearances.

If we see the heart is weakened by anxiety, stress and anger, wrinkles will form. Those emotions tend to disrupt sleep, leading to dark eye circles and puffy eyes.

Air breathed in combines with food essence and spreads to the body, so the lung system rules the qi of the entire body. If lungs do not function properly the skin is undernourished, leading to dryness, wrinkles and withered complexion. Herbs for skin health should include those beneficial for lungs.

The liver contains blood and moves the qi of the entire body. When liver qi is stagnated there are wrinkles, dark spots and a dusty green complexion.

The kidney system regulates fluid balance. Deficiencies in kidney yin often lead to dark eye circles and age spots. When kidney yang is low we see puffiness around the eyes.

Most importantly, the spleen/pancreas and efficiency of one’s digestion are strongly related to facial beauty. The face ultimately responds to what is digested and absorbed. If the spleen is weak, the skin will be undernourished, resulting in a loss of skin tone, sagging and looseness.

If the bodily fluids, like lymph or blood are not moving properly, the face may look puffy. If the fluids are impure, brownish spots may appear.

We can do amazing improvements by changing the quality of food consumed, as well as not eating when upset, working, reading or driving.

Using acupuncture can rejuvenate the face. It promotes the free flow of qi and blood and opens the meridians. It regulates yin and yang.