Skin Tells a Story

Posted on June 20th, 2014 by Shari´ Parks

As a massage therapist I spend more time touching and viewing one organ system than any other system in the entire body. That organ system is the called integument. More popular known as the skin. I notice scars, various types of pigment marks, stretch marks and the like. Not from a judgmental mindset, but from a clinical approach. Additionally, the majority of sensory sensations arises from the skin. This self-renewing, self-repairing organ is the interface between the environment and body. It has many important functions. Some of those duties are:

*Barrier resisting microbial invasions
*Capable of absorbing a variety of chemical substances
*Regulates body temperature; ie sweating
*Reflects the general state of health in the body

The last function tells me quite a bit about a client during a session. Often times a client might be unaware of a skin issue; say on their back. The skin abnormality might simply be a age related change in the skin. Also for regular clients I’ve mentioned a skin concern and am diligent in noting if the area changes in color or size in future sessions. I consider my role as an extension, if not part of, my clients health care team and my duty to bring up these potential harmful skin abnormalities.

If you really think about it, your skin really does tell a story. From the scar you have from childhood. To the acne you had as a teenager. To the stretch marks you might have from your last childbirth. To the wrinkles you might have today. Be sure to take care of the largest living organ you have.

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