Your skin doesn’t breathe by means of taking in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. It breathes in the way that it absorbs things from your environment like nutrients and chemicals. And your skin also breathes out by secreting and excreting substances through your pores like sweat, toxins, and sebum.
This is one of the necessary functions of your skin to act as a semipermeable barrier to protect your body from infections, environmental effects such as pollution, and also to get rid of cellular waste from your body through sweat. Problems arise such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, loss of elasticity when the skin and the lymphatic system underneath it is compromised.
There’s a (in)famous quote by one of my teachers that he used with one of his patients who was afraid of dying and was on bed rest: “If you can’t shit, you die.”
You see, it’s not just one organ performing on its own. When you work with me, I help you look at the big picture of how everything is linked together. Schedule a virtual consultation with me if you need help in these areas. The lymphatic system works best when you move through exercise as simple as walking and through lymphatic drainage. Lymph nodes are located all through your body to help you eliminate cellular waste and metabolic toxins from your blood stream out through heart, sweat, and your digestive and urinary system. The human body is just a filter from the skin inside and out.
In Chinese medicine, the lungs, skin, and large intestine all have a relationship with each other. If you are not breathing well, you cannot do diaphragmatic breathing which helps you digest food properly and also closes the chakras, the energetic centers of your body. If breathing is stops or is compromised, digestion is compromised, and elimination then is compromised.
Do not confuse digestion with elimination.
Digestion is how you metabolize your food through your stomach, spleen, liver and gallbladder. Elimination is how your colon, large and small absorb the nutrients, water, and get rid of the wastes through your pee and poop. So back to the relationship between the large intestine, lung, and skin. The skin is a semipermeable layer; it’s function is to filter in and out substances. The large intestine and the lungs do the same thing – absorbing and eliminating wastes.
So if you don’t poop or have a proper bowel movement, toxic waste metabolites get stuck in your large intestine which then get absorbed back into the blood stream.
Are you getting this? Let me put that in another way.
If your body can’t excrete the wastes from your body, your body absorbs it.
In Maoshing Ni’s 1995 translation of The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, Chapter 8 discusses the relationship between the organs responsible for digestion and elimination.
“The stomach and spleen are like warehouses where one stores all the food and essences. They digest, absorb, and extract the food and nutrients. The large intestine is responsible for transportation of all turbidity. All the waste products go through this organ. The small intestine receives the food that has been digested by the spleen and stomach and further extracts, absorbs and distributes it throughout the body, all the while separating the pure from the turbid.”
This passage goes on to talk about the kidneys and bladder and their actions with eliminating waste. Therefore, your skin is influenced by many factors. One way to get things moving is through easy exercises like walking, swimming, or jump rope. Lymphatic drainage massage is very effective at helping you get rid of puffiness and congestion, too. I teach this to my clients through self-massage and using gua sha tools. Join to find out more about my classes.
Another way is to make sure your digestive system is working properly – no gas, no bloating, no pain or fatigue before or after eating, no weight gain or loss as digestive issues can show in the skin too as acne, rashes, and water retention, and inflammation. Digestzen is a great essential oil blend of Anise Seed, Peppermint Plant, Ginger Rhizome/Root, Caraway Seed, Coriander Seed, Tarragon Plant, and Fennel Seed that you can use to alleviate constipation, pain after eating or abdominal bloating. Just rub it on your belly following the direction of your colon from the right ascending colon, traverse colon and down the left side on the descending colon to ease the tension.