Endurance Training

Running

Endurance Training are exercises designed to increase aerobic performance, as well as cardiovascular and muscular stamina. Common forms of Endurance Training include running, swimming, cycling and cross country skiing. Endurance Training is a common element of healthy lifestyle changes. Endurance Training is not generally used as a treatment for acne, but it may have a small impact on acne symptoms in some individuals.

Running the NYC Marathon
Running the NYC Marathon

Sustained Endurance training triggers a range of physiological adaptations that are beneficial for overall health and wellness. Cardiovascular changes include improved heart performance and blood circulation. Muscle stamina also improves in response to increased mitochondrial capacity, glycogen storage and other metabolic changes. Endurance Training is often associated with adoption of other healthy lifestyle changes, such as improved dietary choices. Improving overall health and reducing stress can enhance immune function and this may help improve acne symptoms in some individuals.

Endurance Training Images

References

Endurance Training @ Wikipedia
Dermatologic problems of the endurance athlete. Heymann. 2005.
Training-specific changes in cardiac structure and function: a prospective and longitudinal assessment of competitive athletes. Baggish, et al. 2008.
The role of exercise in the rehabilitation of idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. Alexanderson, et al. 2005.
Haemoglobin, blood volume and endurance. Gledhill, et al. 2000.
Acne, sedentary behaviour, malnutrition, and COPD. Rashid. 2014.

Strength Training

Free Weight Strength Training

Strength Training exercises are designed to increase the strength, density and size of muscle tissue. Most Strength Training exercises use resistance (eg. weight training) to induce the cellular processes associated with muscle growth. Strength Training has many health benefits, including increased ligament and tendon strength, increased bone density, reduced risk of injury and elevated basal (resting) metabolic rates. Strength Training may also induce metabolic and hormonal changes that can affect acne symptoms in some individuals.

Strength Training Squats
Strength Training Squats

Strength Training is not generally prescribed as a direct treatment for acne. Strength Training programs themselves are unlikely to have a significant impact on acne symptoms for most individuals. However, many Strength Training programs are coupled with significant dietary and lifestyle changes. These accompanying changes are much more likely to have a direct impact on acne. Overall, healthier lifestyle choices (eg. Regular exercise, balanced diet, reduced stress, sufficient sleep, etc) are known to improve the function of the immune system and should help reduce the frequency and severity of acne outbreaks.

Extremely rigorous Strength Training programs may induce metabolic and hormonal changes that can affect the development of acne symptoms. However, these changes vary greatly between individuals (and women vs men). The specific relationship between rigorous Strength Training and acne remains unclear. The use of Anabolic Steroids is fairly common among some groups of people pursuing rigorous Strength Training programs. Anabolic Steroids mimic the function of Androgen Hormones, which help support gains in strength and muscle growth. Elevated levels of Androgen Hormones are known to cause or worsen acne symptoms. Many individuals who use Anabolic Steroids experience a significant increase in acne symptoms.

Strength Training Images

References

Strength Training @ Wikipedia
Neuromuscular and hormonal adaptations during strength and power training. A review. Hakkinen. 1989.
The Anabolic 500 survey: characteristics of male users versus nonusers of anabolic-androgenic steroids for strength training. Perry. 2011.
Training-specific changes in cardiac structure and function: a prospective and longitudinal assessment of competitive athletes. Baggish, et al. 2008.
Antiandrogens in hormonal contraception limit muscle strength gain in strength training: comparison study. Ruiæ, et al. 2003.
Effect of testosterone and anabolic steroids on the size of sebaceous glands in power athletes. Király, et al. 1987.
Effects of high intensity interval training and strength training on metabolic, cardiovascular and hormonal outcomes in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A Pilot Study. Almenning, et al. 2015.
Effects of heavy-resistance training on hormonal response patterns in younger vs. older men. Kraemer, et al. 1999.
Muscle hypertrophy, hormonal adaptations and strength development during strength training in strength-trained and untrained men. Ahtiainen, et al. 2003.
Strength training effects on physical performance and serum hormones in young soccer players. Gorostiaga, et al. 2004.

Meditation and Prayer

Meditation and Acne

Meditation and Prayer are both mental practices where one focuses on their own consciousness and its connection to the larger universe. Prayer often involves communicating with God or either deities, and most religions have their own unique prayer practices. Meditation is often more focused on looking inward into one’s own consciousness and freeing it from the influences of external forces. Meditation and Prayer are both common techniques for people with and without acne. However, neither Meditation nor Prayer is widely used on its own as a treatment for acne symptoms.

Muslim Prayer
Muslim Prayer

Prayer and Meditation both take many forms. There is little scientific research on the direct connection between Meditation or Prayer and acne. One possible reason that Meditation or Prayer might help improve acne symptoms is through a reduction in stress. Mental stress is believed to disrupt the balance of the immune system, which could trigger the development of acne. Although there does not appear to be any hard evidence that Meditation or Prayer is likely to help reduce the frequency or severity of acne breakouts, there also does not appear to be any negative risks associated with these techniques. Thus they can be readily incorporated into all holistic acne treatment regimens.

Meditation and Prayer Images

References

Meditation @ Wikipedia
Relaxation, meditation, and hypnosis for skin disorders and procedures. Shenefelt. 2008.
Natural Treatments for Acne. Kroll. 1996.
Complementary therapies for acne vulgaris. Leonard, et al. 2006.
Significance of Serenity Prayer and patient satisfaction. Siegfried. 2014.
Breaking Out: A Woman’s Guide to Coping with Acne at Any Age. Voutier. 2005.

Yoga

Yoga and Acne

Yoga is a discipline that combines physicality and spirituality. There are many different types of Yoga, but most forms of Yoga rely on a similar system of physical exercises that emphasize balance, flexibility and meditation.

Yoga
Yoga

Yoga is routinely incoporated into holistic treatment plans for a wide range of ailments. Yoga is rarely used as a direct treatment for acne, but Yoga is often incorporated into holistic treatment regimens for many diseases, including acne. There have been a few studies which found that Yoga helped to improve acne symptoms, but these studies do not tend to have appropriate controls. The scientific connection between Yoga and acne is tenuous.

Yoga (and other forms of exercise) are undoubtedly beneficial to overall physical and mental well-being. Improving overall health and reducing stress are both beneficial for immune function and may help control acne symptoms. Yoga is an excellent form of relaxation and exercise. While Yoga may not significantly improve acne symptoms on its own, it is an excellent addition to any holistic wellness plan.

Yoga Videos

Yoga Images

References

Yoga @ Wikipedia
Yoga for Skin Diseases. Mayer, et al. 2013.
Can Yoga Help Your Skin Problems? Studies Say Yes. Jalalat. 2015.
Yoga introducing as alternative medicine in some dermatological ailments. Baishya. 1997.
Yoga Asana sessions increase brain GABA levels: a pilot study. Streeter, et al. 2007.
Natural Treatments for Acne. Kroll. 1996.
Complementary and alternative medicine therapies in acne, psoriasis, and atopic eczema: results of a qualitative study of patients’ experiences and perceptions. Magin, et al. 2006.
Effects of a holistic yoga program on endocrine parameters in adolescents with polycystic ovarian syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Nidhi, et al. 2013.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy is a technique that involves using olfactory stimulation to improve mood, relieve anxiety and support a sense of well-being. Application of Aromatherapy can be done topically, via inhalation or water immersion. Essential oils and other plant extracts, as well as many other naturally occurring compounds can be used in Aromatherapy.

Creating Aromatherapy Blend
Creating an Aromatherapy Blend

It is unclear whether Aromatherapy can be a useful treatment for acne itself. There has been little scientific research on the relationship between olfactory stimulation, the immune system and the development of acne. However, there is some scientific evidence that Aromatherapy may help alleviate the psychological impact of acne.

Aromatherapy is often used in combination with other Naturopathic treatments. There is very little risk of side effects from Aromatherapy, and it can be combined with most other types of Naturopathic and Pharmaceutical acne treatments. Overall, the benefits of Aromatherapy are unclear, but it may be a valuable component of a holistic acne treatment program for some individuals.

Aromatherapy Videos

Aromatherapy Images

References

Aromatherapy @ Wikipedia
In vitro bioactivities of essential oils used for acne control. Lertsatitthanakorn, et al. 2006.
Aromatherapy in dermatology. Stevensen. 1998.
The clinical impact and cost-effectiveness of essential oils and aromatherapy for the treatment of acne vulgaris: a protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Agnew, et al. 2014.
The Encyclopedia of essential oils: the complete guide to the use of aromatic oils in aromatherapy, herbalism, health, and well being. Lawless. 2013.
Topical and oral complementary and alternative medicine in acne: A consideration of context. Magin, et al. 2012.
Aromatherapy An AZ: The most comprehensive guide to aromatherapy ever published. Davis. 2011.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture Upper Back and Neck

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment that involves putting thin needles into the skin and superficial tissue of a patient. Acupuncture is an important element of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncture is believed to help redirect the flow of Qi (life force energy) through the body in a way that can be helpful for healing, pain relief, stress reduction and more. The existence of Qi is virtually impossible to prove via scientific methods, and there is an ongoing debate about whether Qi actually exists. There are many strong opinions on both sides of the issue.

Acupuncture in Action
Acupuncture in Action

Acupuncture is commonly used as part of holistic treatment plans for many types of medical conditions, including acne. However, Acupuncture is rarely used by itself as a treatment for acne. There are numerous studies in medical and scientific journals that report treatment regimens which include Acupuncture were effective for improving acne symptoms. But, many of these studies do not have appropriate controls and should not be considered as reliable. Although the scientific evidence for a positive connection between acne and Acupuncture is weak, it is possible that this treatment may be helpful for some individuals. And it should be noted that some people have reported that their acne symptoms improved after undergoing Acupuncture therapy.

Acupuncture is frequently used employed in holistic pain management, as well as many other ailments. There are several possible reasons why Acupuncture may be helpful for the treatment of acne. The most compelling reason is that Acupuncture therapy can reduce stress levels for many people. Consistently elevated levels of stress can suppress the immune system, which can trigger acne symptoms. Acupuncture is considered safe as long as a new, single use needle is used.

Acupuncture Videos

Acupuncture Images

References

Acupuncture @ Wikipedia
Efficacy of ah shi point acupuncture on acne vulgaris. Son, et al. 2010.
Anti-inflammatory effect of Keigai-rengyo-to extract and acupuncture in male patients with acne vulgaris: a randomized controlled pilot trial. Kim, et al. 2010.
He-Ne laser auricular irradiation plus body acupuncture for treatment of acne vulgaris in 36 cases. Lihong, et al. 2006.
Acupuncture, electrostimulation, and reflex therapy in dermatology. Chen, et al. 2003.
Therapeutic effect observation on treatment of acne with acupuncture plus moving cupping and blood-letting. Wang, et al. 2008.
Evaluation of therapeutic effect and safety for clinical randomized and controlled trials of treatment of acne with acupuncture and moxibustion. Li, et al. 2009.
Treatment of acne with ear acupuncture–a clinical observation of 80 cases. Xu. 1989.
Advances in the acupuncture treatment of acne. Dai. 1997.
Acupuncture in dermatology: an historical perspective. Tan. 2007.
Randomized control study on the treatment of 26 cases of acne conglobata with encircling acupuncture combined with venesection and cupping. Liu, et al. 2008.
Clinical and experimental studies on combination of acupuncture with medicine for treatment of female delayed and persistent acne of different TCM syndrome-types. Lan, et al. 2004.