Ways to Help Psoriasis

With psoriasis the body produces skin cells five times faster than normal. It is characterized by silvery scaly skin or red patches.

As with any health condition, think about what was happening in your life when it started. What was your body trying to tell you? Thank it for its message. Act on it if you can.

Nutrition helps control psoriasis. Consuming lots of anti-oxidants (those free-radical scavengers in fresh fruit and vegetables that get rid of metabolic by-products in our bodies) has been connected with fewer flare-ups.

Omega-3 fatty acids (found in cold-water fish such as salmon, mackeral and herring) reduce the body’s production of prostaglandins and leukotrines — compounds that cause skin inflammation. Just 6oz of fish a day can noticeably improve psoriasis in six weeks.

Other essential fatty acids are found in flaxseed oil and evening primrose oil, also good for the skin. A liquid mineral supplement (or sea vegetables) provides the minerals that are the building blocks of the body.

My clients reduce flare-ups by avoiding red meat. I could always tell when a particular client succumbed to the 39 cent cheeseburger—his psoriasis was redder and more itchy. Avoiding red meat and other inflammatory foods eases the symptoms. (Different foods cause inflammatory responses in different people—it’s good to see a holistic nutritional consultant about which foods are challenging your body.)

I usually recommend cleanses for skin conditions because the skin is one of the organs of elimination. Liver and colon cleanses are available at health food stores, or get a referral to a good colonic therapist.

Externally, many people have found that applying a cream with Ester-C, a form of Vitamin C, helps soothe the itching and inflammation.

Of course, our bodies reflect our emotional states as well. I have found psoriasis to be linked to poor boundaries. The skin thickens and flares up in an effort to ward off outside influences. If you find you are often doing things because others say you should rather than because you want to, it’s time to sit down and figure out your goals, your principles, your beliefs. Then start saying no to things that are not in alignment with you.

I’ve also noticed that flare-ups are linked to the heat of anger. If you’re suppressing your anger, being a “nice” person, then it’s got to come out somewhere—possibly through your skin. Why not choose a better way? Write your anger. Shout your anger. Dance your anger.

Psoriasis flare-ups are also linked with stress. Deep breathing is an excellent stress-buster and it clears those other organs of elimination, the lungs. Just five minutes of rhythmic deep breathing each day will help you feel calmer and more balanced, which in turn will help your skin.

Remember that your body is your ally. As you listen to it and nurture it, it will respond with greater health and well-being.

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