Tuesday, November 24, 2009

the skinny on the skin

my skin. mmmmm....i have had eczema, well - forever. not just your run of the average itchy skin. i mean make you crazy itchy uncomfortable red wanna-jump-out-of-it skin. i am not sharing this to complain or anything cause there are far worse things to deal with and i feel so fortunate that i just have super itchy skin! i just wanted to share because it is such a huge part of my life and a massive motivator for living the mindful life and finding ways to keep my body happy!!! i am also really thankful at how much better my skin is as compared to 10 years ago. It makes such a difference when you find what works!

i have run the gamut with figuring out my skin. anything from traditional dermatology (a lot of that - they are way to ready to give you a few cortisone shots and prescribe some prednisone (ick, yuck, gross!) and send you on your way) to detox diets and elimination diets, but finally -at the moment - have gotten so much relief from a few simple things:
  • traditional chinese medicine
i take chinese herbs everyday and really try not to go without missing my weekly acupuncture treatment. i can really feel the difference if i miss it! thank goodness for the community acupuncture clinic here in town. you receive treatment in a room with four lazy boys and you pay a sliding scale fee. i think the combo of herbs and treatment has kept my symptoms at bay for quite sometime and am grateful to have found such a fabulous practitioner.
  • moisture! moisture! moisture!
boring, but true. what to do if your skin is super dry and itchy? put cream on it - of course! but, i have to do this upwards of 3-4 times a day (more sometimes) to literally feel good in my own skin!
  • low stress living
i've really taken control of my schedule lately and mindfully placed times of relaxation and rest. if i don't put those things into my calendar - i will just fill it up. you could say i am highly motivated - that could be an understatement. i spent my entire 20's giving and doing for others without much thought of what i needed to receive. i know now that i need down time (whether i like it or not). and that down time has to happen or my stress levels start to show themselves in my skin. i guess it's a good measure as long as i pay attention! my favorite ways to unwind can be found in this post.
  • mindful eating
i really try not to overdo any of the "typical" allergens. i hardly eat much dairy at all or at least i do my best to avoid it! i don't do wheat more that once a day and always choose an alternative if there is the option (i love love love ancient spelt bread!!!) i have greens everyday in some way or another. i never overdo acidic foods like tomatoes or citrus. i have dandy blend instead of coffee. i started eating meat again (advised by my acupuncturist) and that has seemed to help a lot, but i don't overdo! i still heart a good vegan meal! also avoiding alcohol - as much as i can - really makes a difference. it's all about noticing what "fires" my skin up and knowing when i am in a place to enjoy it and when i need to avoid it to keep my body from tipping over the edge of comfort.

we all have such different, amazing bodies. i find it so interesting how some people function best with a vegan diet and others need meat while others seem to do great with some other alternative. there are so many ways to mix and match what healthy living ideas work for each body! what a blessing that we are all different (it would be too boring if we were all the same!)

thanks for reading my story of what influences my choices on a daily basis!

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