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Dr. Mao’s Wellness Central: Wrinkles and Age Spots: Secrets from the Empress:

The Chinese healing tradition has specialized in age-defying skin solutions for thousands of years. These natural skin-beautifying secrets to freedom from wrinkles, age spots, and uneven skin tone are described in this article.

It all began in the Imperial Court in China. The empress, in order to retain her power, was compelled to do everything possible to maintain her youthful appearance. She summoned the best physician of her time to design an anti-aging program to rejuvenate her and preserve her beauty. Her rejuvenating program was handed down through the ages, following the Chinese custom of the empress passing down to the princesses her skin-beautifying recipes and preparations. Here are but a few of the beautifying secrets that still exist.

1. Facial Exercises

To tone up your facial muscles, try these facial exercises, twice a day, five repetitions apiece.

1. Raise your eyebrows as high as you can and then relax them.

2. Try to move your nose from side to side.

3. Inflate your cheeks as if you were blowing up a balloon, and then relax.

4. Open your mouth as wide as it can go, and stick out your tongue as far as you can. Hold for five seconds.

Finish up with a renewing facial massage. Using a circular motion, gently stroke your whole face to warm it up. Then with the thumb and first finger of both of your hands pinch five times along your eyebrow line, from inside to outside. Press along both sides of the nose, where it meets the cheeks, from top to bottom, five times. Press the area around the outside of the mouth five times. Lightly pat your cheeks with your fingers to stimulate the sides of your face. Press the lines on your forehead between your eyebrows five times. Now press the edges around your eye, being gentle above the eye and under its lower rim.

Finish your facial exercise and massage by using a roller made from jade stone that is used literally to “iron” out the wrinkles in your face. Jade is used traditionally as a healing and protective stone and has the property of “soothing and smoothing” one’s complexion. You can find it at the Wellness Living Store.

2. Diminish Age Spots

Age spots, sun spots, liver spots, freckles, and skin blotches exist on the topmost layer of your skin, called the basal cell layer. The hormone melanin, which is responsible for your natural skin tone, increases production to protect you from sun exposure; however, when too much pigment is produced, unwanted discolorations can result.

Unlike Western medicine, which might use lasers and dermabrasion to remove these discolorations, traditional Chinese practice has always observed that one must treat the underlying cause of excess pigment deposit. Melanin is produced by special skin cells called melanocytes that are triggered by environmental and hormonal signals. Because Chinese medicine regards the hormonal system as part of the kidney’s organ network, these skin spots reflect a kidney imbalance. You can rely on foods, herbs and supplements to effectively restore the healthy function of your kidneys:

• Eat more black beans, sesame seeds, and mulberries. My Regenerating Cream contains a sesame oil base to nurture the skin cells and minimize the appearance of aging, scarring, and help improve overall skin health.

• Helpful Chinese herbal combinations include Chinese yam, Asian cornelian fruit, and goji or lycium berry.

• Alpha-lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, and quercetin are healthy supplements that help the skin regenerate and remove pigment deposits.

• DMAE (dimethyl-amino-ethanol), a nutrient found in anchovies and sardines, is a powerful membrane stabilizer that reverses age spots on the skin.

3. Herbs For Complexion

The process of skin aging is hastened by the environmental toxins we come in contact with, ranging from pollution to pesticides to preservatives in our food. The skin is your body’s largest elimination organ, but can become overloaded and unable to expel the toxins. A fundamental principle of Chinese medicine is that you help the body cleanse itself so that toxins do not cause internal imbalance, which shows up on your skin as premature aging. Traditional herbs and foods that are used to help your body eliminate toxins include seaweed, bitter melon, Chinese cucumber, burdock, lotus root, and ginger. Try to include one of these in your diet every day.

I hope this advice gives you the secrets you need to rejuvenate your skin!

May you Live Long, Live Strong, and Live Happy!

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao, is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has appeared on Dr. Oz, the Doctors and EXTRA. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica and Newport Beach. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness over 25 years ago. In addition, he is the cofounder and Chancellor of Yo San University in Venice/Marina del Rey. To subscribe to a free newsletter please visit taoofwellness.com To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at [email protected]

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