Part 2 – Checking in to Skin Rehab
I’m not going to lie, looking at these photos and sharing them publicly is tough. I mean wow! My skin and my body were crying out for help in a very direct way and as the pictures prove my skin really was worse than it had ever been. And well, it wasn’t pretty. Sandra Lanshin, my trusted skin wonder woman of Brooklyn’s Treatment by LANSHIN, and I decided to share both of our perspectives throughout this process. From the very beginning it was clear that my struggle to clear my skin was more than just skin deep- it was emotional as much as it was biological. I know that my struggle with acne, stress, balancing wellness in a hectic city setting and breaking a codependency on quick-fix Rx is a struggle that so many women can relate to. As much as I would like to pretend, I’m not perfect and my skin wouldn’t let me hide it any more so I figure, why should I?!
July 19th, 2013
Although I was in distress over the state of my skin, I felt super optimistic about treatment. I was clear on my decision to go holistic for my skin but I’d only done acupuncture once before so I was a bit nervous. But truth be told my skin was so out of whack I was willing to go for anything Sandra had in store for me.
What I really like about Sandra and her treatment studio is the air of relaxation and warmth when you walk in. My only other acupuncture experience was in this cold, fluorescent-lit clinic where the Doctor just popped needles in me and left. But here the space has this understated warm luxury, and is beautifully designed and clean. The surroundings alone made me feel I was being taken care of in a beautiful way.
During my treatment, Sandra asked questions I’ve never been asked before – like about my diet. “What have you been eating? How have you been feeling emotionally? How’s your sleep cycle?” I never even considered these things were important in treating my skin.
I shared with Sandra my history of skin treatment, including the years of taking antibiotics. She carefully explained to me her belief that the antibiotics had most likely damaged my gut lining. I started to understand the connection between the state of my inner health and my skin. Apparently, if your gut is damaged it can affect the quality of your skin. This made me aware that I needed to eat better, and be more careful about what I put in my body – not just of what I put on top of my skin.
Sandra asked me what was going on in my life and if there was anything I felt anxious about. I knew that I needed to be open and honest about how stressed and anxious I really was. It was hard to admit even to myself, and the truth is, I felt and still do feel embarrassed about it. At first I didn’t understand what this had to do with my skin, but to her this was very connected. Stress can totally aggravate skin issues. And of course logically I knew this but like a lot of women, I felt that my stress and anxiety wasn’t a choice, but a bi-product of being a busy woman in a crazy city balancing a million things at once. I knew I wasn’t the only one stressed in NYC, but felt like I was the only one who’s skin was showing it. I was out of balance trying to balance being a model, actress, TV host and the co-founder of SERENE (not to mention the roles I have as a young women dating, spending time with friends and family). It was just too much and I didn’t want anyone to know, but my skin was saying it loud and clear and I started to see even in the first treatment that all of this was tied together and couldn’t be ignored any longer.
Once I went into the treatment room, Sandra told me that according to Chinese medicine my body was too “hot” and that we needed to release this heat. So she did something called “bleeding cups” on me. She pricked the nape of my neck and then put a suction cup over it to draw blood. As scary as it sounds it felt kind of cool! And it really didn’t hurt.
After cupping, Sandra needled my body to balance and level out my hormones, regulate my digestive function and calm my nervous system. While I rested with needles, she gave my face a reset with facial acupuncture. I remember her telling me that this would “help your skin move out the wastes and toxins that get trapped trying to get out at the surface.”
The treatment was an overall a calming experience that really was not painful. I just want to note that if you have never had acupuncture, don’t worry. The tiny prick lasts only for a split second and is gone! Once the needles were in, I actually didn’t feel it and forgot about it altogether!
As I got up from the treatment I felt so different. Not to sound dramatic, but I actually thought to myself, “I think my life has been changed.” I walked out of the treatment room as if on a cloud, not caring about anything. Whereas I had walked in tense and anxious without even really knowing it!
Sandra sent me home with a bottle of Chinese herbal pills to calm the acne, and her favorite probiotics to help bring back a more healthy gut lining that may have been damaged by the antibiotics. She also had me try an Evan Healy Blemish kit because of the brand’s insistence on high purity and quality ingredients. I couldn’t wait to get home and try it all and see where this new journey would take me!
Want to know how my skin responded? Stay tuned for Part 3