The Art of Flow

The Art of Flow (and why it’s so important for an inner and outer glow)

The ability to journey through life, accepting its many pathways, with a graceful, resistance-free attitude, is what it means to flow”. Whilst never an easy task, to live in the ‘flow’ is an important attribute to master. The alternative is to experience a ‘non-flowing’ state; one in which we constantly rail against what we are experiencing, often resulting in stress and an absence of calm – all of which shows up in various ways in our life.

Ultimately, everything is connected. If we aren’t flowing with life, we are not only in danger of feeling congested emotionally, but there is a good chance our skin, or some other area of our body, will begin to reflect our unhealthy state of mind.

Sadly, the bulk of contemporary western beauty treatments fail to address the very modern malady of body stagnation and stress. Instead, in today’s skin clinics, we often find an environment dominated by the use of “skin perfecting” machines; a menu of facials that are focused on deep (and sometimes painful) exfoliating or peeling sessions; and the ever-growing prevalence of injectable treatments, all containing synthetic chemical fillers. 

What all of these techniques have in common is that they fail to re-energize, destress, or balance the skin’s innate life force and flow.

Having said that, there are some western modality spas and beauty therapists who still offer skilled and thoughtful facial massages, and these can be fabulous when it comes to unblocking stagnant areas of the face and stimulating the underlying lymphatic and fascia systems. If you do find a good holistic beauty therapist, they can be like gold for both your skin and even your stress levels!

You can also look towards the holistic beauty ritual of Chinese acupuncture to help bring back life, vitality, and nutrients (by way of increased circulation) to the skin. Amy, a cosmetic acupuncturist at the Origins spa in Herne Bay, explained to me how cosmetic acupuncture (a treatment inserting fine acupuncture needles into the skin) provides an “effect like micro-needling and Botox”, only naturally. It can increase the skin cell turnover rate and stimulate collagen production, yet it is non-invasive and without side-effects. Having experienced the treatment recently, I can vouch for the fact that after only one treatment, my skin certainly looked more firm, relaxed and freshly plumped.

If you wish to try an at-home ‘skin-flow’ treatment, why not try a Gua Sha facial? Gua Sha is an ancient Chinese massage tool that is used to boost circulation and relieve muscular tension.  "Gua" means to scratch in Chinese, and "sha" means disease. 

This ancestral technique, which is traditionally performed by a therapist, involves vigorously rubbing the skin of the back, legs, neck or arms to achieve lymphatic drainage, release toxins and activate blood circulation. You can practice a version of it at home (and perform your own beauty ritual into the bargain) by using a flat crystal stone that has been shaped to fit the contours of the face.

This fun and relaxing treatment can be an excellent alternative to more invasive skin injectables and provides visible effects for the skin, including a more dewy, glowing complexion. 

You can also massage your face with your fingers, of course, but whether you are doing this or using a Gua Sha, work gently on any tender pressure points you find on your way, as this will help release stagnant energy. There are some great resources online to see what pressure points relate to what part of your body and where you may be holding stagnation.

Another of my favourite techniques to stimulate flow in the skin, aside from face massage, is the art of “skin compressing”. This technique can really get things moving, melting away the tension, and it’s another beauty technique easily enjoyed at home.

For your at home skin compressing beauty ritual, prepare 2 hand towels, with one being heavy enough to hold heat for a good period of time. Put one towel under hot water, wring it out and press this to your face, paying special attention to tense areas like jaw, forehead and around your eyes, before proceeding to the sides and back of your neck. Alternate with the second towel, which should be cold. Keep alternating towel compresses as long as you need, while enjoying the feeling of any stored up tension draining away.

You can also take skin compressing up several notches by using fresh spring water, or by adding honey, organic flower hydrosols, or high quality herbal teas, to the water that you soak the towels in. These ingredients can also help keep your skin feel much more hydrated and plump and add a special something to the experience.

In the end, releasing blocked flow and tension is the name of the game as it not only releases stagnant energy but also helps restore optimal circulation. This can result in the softening of deep lines, with the skin becoming more rosy and plump, and the worry and strain lifting from the face. 

As to other tips to get that flow back into your skin, it may be your face simply needs rest, nutritious food, simplicity, love, or more water. Or perhaps a bit of gentle sunshine, community or meditation. Whatever it is, an acceptance of whatever life brings, and the ability to ‘flow’ with it, will hopefully help you love the skin – and the life - you’re in!

This blog post was written for educational purposes only. It is not designed to diagnose, treat or cure. For individual health concerns, The Organic Skin Co. recommends that you consult with a relevant health professional.