|Written by Rachel|
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Your skin is an organ in its own right. It needs to be flexible, strong, resilient and kept in good condition.
It is important not to neglect skin care. When your skin becomes dry, it hardens and becomes immobile.
Over time, it will lose flexibility and tear more easily.
You breathe through your skin as well as your nose.
During tai chi practice your skin becomes blotchy as the capillaries open and you breathe.
Aim to drink 5-8 glasses of water a day. It will help hydrate your skin.
Whilst your body will shed dead skin naturally, it is beneficial to scrub using a cactus brush.
Scrubbing will remove dead cells, invigorate the skin, and stimulate healthy blood flow.
A decent cactus brush can be bought from many shops e.g. Body Shop.
In the time of Chuang Tzu, moisturisers were used to keep the skin in good condition.
When skin becomes damaged and dry it will split.
The ancient Chinese found that this was a serious disadvantage if you wanted to hold a weapon and wield it effectively in combat.
Moisturising is an easy and effective way to keep your skin healthy and soft.
Massage is an excellent way to keep your skin pliable, toned and healthy.
Feet (in particular) usually suffer from neglect, which seems absurd given how much we use them.
We teach self-massage as part of the qigong syllabus.
Lizards are cold-blooded and lay out in the sun to increase body heat. Human beings are not lizards.
It is unhealthy for you to lay out in the sun. You can become dehydrated, receive sun stroke and seriously damage your skin.
Years of sunbathing will make your skin dry and wrinkled, lizard-like...
Ideally we should make our own skin care products.
It is a fun activity.
A home made product contains no harmful ingredients and can be tailored to suit your own particular skin type.
Historically, men are very neglectful (and clueless) when it comes to skin care.
This is easy to remedy.
Basics for men
I have provided an example list of basic skin care products than can be easily obtained and applied daily:
Salt of the Earth
natural deodorant spray
- armpits, after showering
Clean & Clear deep action face wash
- face; twice daily
Clean & Clear blackhead scrub
- face; twice weekly
- face; twice daily after washing
Simple eye balm
- eyes; twice daily after washing & toning
- face; twice daily after washing & toning
Body Shop shea body butter
- hands and feet, twice daily
Body Shop maca root shave cream
Body Shop maca root razor relief
Body Shop rainforest moisturising shampoo or Simple baby moisturising shampoo
Body Shop cactus brush
- body; twice weekly
Original Source shower
- body; once or twice daily
These are just example products. If you have your own preferences, that is good. Try to avoid strong smells, products that clog the pores, harmful chemicals, pungent deodorant/cologne etc.
Partnered massage (in class)
If you are partnering with somebody in class for 'clothed' massage, please note that hygiene, odours and cleanliness are paramount concerns.
Nobody wants to be in close proximity with a stinky person. Your uniform should also be clean. Also, if your skin is dry and flaky, this is not so good for massage.
Losing means shedding
psychological barriers to the reality of the way,
barriers created by self-assertion and the accretions of mundane conditioning.
18 April 2009
Last updated 19 November 2018