I have a piece of tape stuck between my eyebrows as I’m writing this. By the time you finish reading, I hope you will too.

You know that expression, “it’s written all over your face”? Well it is. Every line, every wrinkle, every discoloration or scar tells the story of our lives. They also gives us clues as to what’s going on behind the scenes, inside the skin.

If you’ve studied my face recently, you might be saying to yourself, “wow, what super exciting news does she have to share with her patients?” I can hardly contain myself. But first…

If you’re a patient of ours already, you’re probably familiar with the way in which we look at your tongue and feel your pulse to get a read on the workings and function of your internal organs. Did you know we’re also looking for clues in your face? The art of facial diagnosis in China is as old as Chinese medicine itself…so we’re talking thousands of years.

You’re probably an expert at some aspects of facial diagnosis already without being fully aware of it. Let’s see if you can identify the ways in which stress can affect your face.

The two women below are twins…one is recently divorced after 27 years of marriage and one has been happily married for 30 years. All other factors measured in this particular study (environment, diet, lifestyle) were the same for each twin. Can you tell which is which?

Answer: the twin on the right is divorced (note her darker undereye area and deeper frown lines). Can you see how stress levels affect your appearance? It doesn’t have to be divorce. It can be stress from any source: finances, health, marriage, etc.

The presence, shape and location of things like wrinkles, birthmarks, and moles are clues to understanding a person’s constitution. Although you can’t know everything there is to know about someone by analyzing one wrinkle or one area of discoloration on their face, taken together with other features and diagnostic measures (such as questioning, tongue inspection and pulse-taking), a picture starts to emerge.

Want to get to know yourself better? Just take a closer look at your wrinkles.

Horizontal wrinkles tend to mark significant events that have affected us in our lives, good or bad: the year you got married or divorced, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one. The location of the horizontal wrinkle may indicate the time of your life that this experience occurred with the teens being represented along the hairline, the 20s on your forehead, your 30s between and around your eyes, your 40s on your nose, your 50s below your nose and above your upper lip, your 60s on your chin, your 70s around your jowls, and your 80s/90s around your cheekbones.

Vertical wrinkles, on the other hand, reflect patterns of expression that we repeat over and over again. It’s common to see two vertical lines appear between someone’s eyebrows (including mine). This tends to be the markings of either repeated frustration or intense concentration or effort. Needless to say, I’m still paying down the student loans that bought me the twin chasms between my eyebrows.

It’s possible to diminish or even eliminate certain wrinkles on your face by becoming more aware of the emotions that are working to create them. For example, if you have vertical lines between your eyebrows, try the following experiment. Stick a piece of tape on the wrinkle and wear it for a few hours. It helps to wash the area well first so that the tape will stick. When you feel a pull or tension on the tape, check in with how you’re feeling and what you’re doing. If you can become aware of the emotions that underlie the tension in your face and work through them, you’ll eventually stop carrying them on your face and the wrinkles will diminish.

Mellony Ritchie, glowing from the inside out.

If you’re wondering why I’m so focused on your face right now, it’s because we have some really exciting news. Beginning in March, you’ll see a new face around here. Mellony Ritchie, a phenomenal holistic skin care specialist will be joining Family Tree Acupuncture. As I type this, I can feel tape pulling on my laugh lines because of the joy in my heart. What can I say? I wear those lines proudly. Here she is on the right, glowing from the inside out. You can see it in her eyes.

As you may have guessed, we’ll be combining our efforts to create a healing experience from the inside out. Mellony’s approach to skin care blends seamlessly with Chinese medicine’s approach to getting at the root cause of an issue. We’ll combine Mellony’s holistic skin care services with facial rejuvenation acupuncture treatments, full-body acupuncture, and herbal medicine to heal your skin and adjust the balance in your body so that you radiate from the inside out.

Whether you’re new to skin care or you have your dermatologist on speed dial, you’re going to love what Mellony brings to the table. For one thing, her approach to making you glow is chemical-free: no harsh, synthetic or processed ingredients here! As a holistic practitioner with over 13 years of experience, she knows that cleansers, toners and serums alone can’t turn back the clock, erase blemishes or undo skin damage. She goes beyond the (chemical-free) facial masks with the use of touch therapy, stress-relief techniques, and education that includes dietary and lifestyle recommendations: healing from the inside out.

Is this new offering right for you? Let’s see if you can relate to any of the following:

  • You don’t want chemicals like trichloroacetic acid or hydroquinone coming out of your mouth, let alone in your skin care products.
  • You’ve noticed uneven, dry, red or blotchy areas on your face lately.
  • You received quite the shock after your unwilling participation in the “guess how old I am?” game.
  • You’ve tried every acne product on the market, and still no luck.
  • You have tape on your face right now (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, go back and read).
  • Your co-worker just asked if you’ve been crying (you haven’t).
  • Your friend just commented that you look tired (you’re not…or maybe you are).
  • You know exactly what this picture is on the right.
  • You can grease a muffin pan with the oil on your skin.
  • You feel as though your skin has aged 10 years in the last two.
  • You look in the mirror and have said to yourself, “now THAT is one stressed out person.”
  • You live in Florida and have been exposed to the sun.
  • You have a face that you love and you want to take good care of it.

You can start booking skin care treatments with Mellony immediately using our online scheduling system. Her services are available beginning the first week of March: Tuesdays from 9:30am – 1:30pm and Fridays from 11am – 3pm.

Our face tells a story, but that story is still being written. You have the power to change what isn’t serving you. If your face is alerting you to imbalances that need to be addressed, we’re here to help you take that first step.

“What you are is what you have been, what you will be is what you do now.” ~Buddha

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