The skin is our largest organ, approximately 15% of our body weight. It is our interface with the outer environment, open to the effects of weather, chemicals, dirt and other people. It is both sensitive and resilient.
Through our skin, we receive an amazingly massive amount of information, more so than from the spoken language.
Through the somatosensory system of nerve endings and receptors, the skin becomes our sensory organ for touch. The skin has hundreds of thousands of sensory receptors that are classified into four types – mechanoreceptors (eg pressure), thermoreceptors (temperature), pain receptors and proprioceptors (sensing relativity of body parts). Not only are they structured differently, their distribution and concentration on the body vary. Touch receptors, for example, are more numerous on the fingertips than on our back. We also have more pain receptors than cold.
Depending on the location, our skin has different characteristics. The heel is tough compared to the softness of the inside arm, which looks different than our scalp. Form follows function. But our skin is also different because of the season, our diet, our age and many other factors.
How our skin looks and feels is dependent on the interaction of our metabolic and neural poles. When there is excessive toxicity and our liver function is compromised, detoxification and blood filtration become sluggish. Our skin isn’t radiant and doesn’t look healthy because our internal communication is out of balance.
The condition of our skin reflects our internal balance as well as our emotional and mental state. Our face is flushed with a glow when we are happy. The delicate skin beneath our eyes becomes puffy when we cry. It becomes ruddy and congested when our diet is imbalanced.
The Skin meridian (19) is secondary meridian in the double meridian family Liver-Gall Bladder and Master of Heart-Triple Water that is dominant in the season of spring. Even though it may not seem like it in the scorching sun, it is still springtime in Singapore. To stay well balanced, it is important to nourish and activate the meridians from this family. They are more susceptible to imbalance this time of year and require our awareness.
For general skin balance
19 27 03 08 33
19 32 08 33 34
For more hydration and tonicity
Nutri Yin-Nutri Yang 19 22
For capillary issues
Nutri Yin-Nutri Yang 19 03
But it’s more than how our skin looks and feels…are you familiar with the sayings “comfortable in our own skin” or “feeling good in our skin” or being “thin-skinned” or “thick-skinned”? Part of liking who we are is being aware of who we are. Identity is complex but a major consideration is being within our own limits and not breach those of the others. We respect the limits of other people, the way we touch each other is more nurturing and positive.
Along with nourishing Skin (19), activating Master of Heart (35/36) and Triple Warmer (37/38) will help us improve our tactile perception, be aware of our own limits and those of others, as well as feeling comfortable in our own skin.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace medical advice or treatment.
About the Author
Sandra Shih Tonkinson is an alternative health practitioner based in Singapore. She writes regularly for wellness centres as well as for her own practice Jupiter Circles. She is also the Editor of What Therapy, a Singapore-based alternative, complementary, and holistic wellness portal.