As a physician with over 20 years of experience in Western and Eastern medicines, I’m often asked how I reconcile these two very different approaches to healing. My answer is simple: the body’s basic physiology bridges the two.
In order to recover from insults, injuries and daily wear, the body relies on its immune system’s wound-healing abilities. Injuries to the skin and musculoskeletal system can range from daily sun-exposure to repetitive use, or more significant trauma such as wounds or fractures.
When cells die after injury or over time, they break open, exposing the nearby cells to their contents. These internal cell chemicals serve many functions: they stimulate inflammation, aid replacement and proliferation of cells, and deposit collagen for scar formation, known as remodeling. (IPR).
What is exciting about medicine today is that we are starting to understand roles that minor, controlled trauma can play in healing. For example, in the case of repairing tendon injury, the ancient Eastern practice of acupuncture has been shown to increase concentration, organization and diameter of collagen fibers (1,2). This response to controlled injury may strengthen the tendon, is favorable to healing, but doesn’t produce scar tissue.
Aesthetic medicine also uses minimally injurious therapies, such as microneedling or laser treatments, to stimulate the increase of collagen. The new collagen serves to support the skin without producing scars (3). In fact, these techniques are even used to diminish the appearance of scars. At Amavi Medspa, we offer a number of treatments that can help to improve the look and feel of your skin by stimulating your body’s natural healing response, including microneedling with Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), laser facials, and chemical peels. Each of these treatments relies on creating safe, controlled injury to the skin so that healing can take place to diminish a wide array of concerns, from fine lines and wrinkles to age spots and dullness.
The more we learn about disease processes and healing, the easier it becomes to bridge Eastern and Western medical approaches. In the future, strengths and weaknesses of both healing systems will come more clearly into focus. To learn more about rejuvenating your skin using your own healing abilities, call 631.665.3555 or click here to request a consultation.
- Acupuncture in Medicine February 1, 2015 33:51-57
- Connect Tissue Res 2012;53:542–7.
- J Am Coll Clin Wound Spec. 2012, Mar; 4(1): 2-6