Yesterday at a holiday party, a friend was asking about some skin symptoms he had. In his mid thirties, with a recent acne flare he is having disturbing flashbacks to adolescence; "Come on yo, I'm too old for pimples!"
When I mentioned that his skin could be affected by his liver he became indignant, and insisted emphatically "MY LIVER IS FINE, my doctor just checked my liver".
The music was pumping, so we headed to the dance floor and couldn't discuss that the skin, like the liver, is a major eliminative organ, and skin health indeed can reflect liver function.
Integrative medicine delves below the surface of the quick-fix and miracle-cure mentality. Modern medicine is disease oriented, while integrative and traditional medicine looks at the whole person and their imbalances to address them before disease is apparent.
Even before we see elevated liver enzymes, liver disease can show up in the form of skin problems. This is consistent with traditional medical systems that view the body in a connected way, rather than a series of separate organs and systems.
Here in the northern hemisphere, tis the season for itch - ashy dry skin and rashes are in full effect. One patient after another is showing up with eczema and psoriasis flare ups, skin drama and winter skin blues and blahs.
I was delighted to see two wonderful integrative docs I admire talk about skin health this week!
Dr Selassie, an amazing naturopath in Brooklyn talks here about healing dry skin from the inside in her latest post, and will be talking about eczema from (she experienced severe eczema from since birth herself!) next month at the Open Center in NYC.
Dr John Douillard, a leading Ayurvedic doctor talks here about the healing power of traditional Ayurvedic sesame oil massage, and why all skin products are not created equally.
Cheers to health that is more than skin deep this holiday season!