Getting to Know: Dr. Heidi Keating, Acupuncture Practitioner

Getting to Know: Dr. Heidi Keating, Acupuncture Practitioner

Meet Dr. Heidi, a nationally board-certified acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner, licensed to practice in California. Her journey into natural healing began on the Big Island of Hawaii, where she developed a profound appreciation for nature and energy medicine. As a child, she faced unexplained health issues, igniting her lifelong passion for understanding the healing power of food and holistic practices. Dr. Heidi's path led her to specialize in Facial Acupuncture and Root Cause Internal Medicine, blending ancient wisdom with modern techniques to promote skin health and overall well-being. Her experiences have shaped her into a dedicated healer, committed to sharing her knowledge and helping others achieve optimal health through natural means.

What do you suggest the first thing people should do each day that is best for their skin?

Drink a tall glass of warm lemon water. By getting the digestive system functioning optimally with stomach acid, bile flow, and supporting the lymph system, this practice is so easy and simple for internal health to ensure things are flowing for the skin.

How much do hormones affect skin?

Androgens are in the dermal layer of the skin, where our nutrition and immune system gives us our complexion and shows us the true health of our internal body. Having a hormone imbalance can be reflected in many ways- from maintaining a healthy skin barrier, to being a factor in acne, hair loss, hair growth, wound healing, and melasma, to name a few.

In Chinese medicine, we identify the organs that are not functioning as optimally and address them. The liver channel travels to the brain and the pituitary gland, the CEO of the hormone system and down to the reproductive system. The Kidneys also travel to the brain and the reproductive system, and influence the lymphatic system and water metabolism in the body. The spleen / pancreas system is responsible for filtering blood and management of the microbiome in the gut. When these three are in balance they influence the hormones to be in balance.

What do you recommend for sun protection?

My grandmother always said “what’s the difference between a grape and a raisin? … sunlight!”

I’m a big fan of UV protective clothing (I love my slipin body suit), large brim hats, and an umbrella for beach days or outings. I also strongly encourage getting the highest UV tint possible on your car, a hat and driving gloves because most sun damage is one sided from either the drivers side or the passengers side, depending on which seat you’re in the majority of the time for commuting and road trips.

For topicals- It’s also important to note that sunSCREEN is different than sunBLOCK. If you’re exfoliating regularly, be aware that the skin barrier is more vulnerable and sunblock will be needed because sunscreen doesn’t provide enough protection, since it will still screen in UVBs and hyperpigmentation may manifest as a result of stimulating melanocytes with UVB rays. It’s also important to note that for every 10, that’s an hour- so reapply in 3 if you’re wearing 30!

I wear sun + stone sunscreen and ilia tinted sun serum, and avoid the sun completely for a few days after I exfoliate.

When you talk about Fire, damp etc - can you elaborate on what that means and what people can do?

Dampness is a condition from a spleen and pancreas imbalance internally, but damp can also manifest externally. If you think of a foggy morning near the beach- that’s damp, but inside of your body. Damp is also a condition that arises from wearing wet clothes for too long- after exercise or a swim suit for too long. If you think about pathogens that send the gut microbiome out of balance, they come from damp environments such as mold, parasites, bacteria, etc. The way they manifest in the body depends on where the dampness is affecting the organ or channel.

Some examples of damp symptoms I see most commonly are tinnitus, GI issues, weight gain, cold feet, edema, poor appetite, heaviness feeling, and lack of energy (to name a few). Chronic worrying can also be a symptom of dampness and once the spleen is balanced the worrying will subside.

Fire is a condition from either suppressed emotions, or consuming too many hot temperatured foods or drinks, such as alcohol, smoked meats, roasted foods, or spicy foods. It’s important to balance hot natured with cooling natured foods to create a balance. With suppressed emotions, the liver is responsible for the flow of energy and qi in the body. When emotions are held in, it creates a stagnation, and as that stagnation builds it creates a combustible fire internally, and the energy of the liver rises to the head and face- if it goes there, imagine migraines, headaches, red eyes, anger outbursts, ear ringing and dizziness or vertigo! Whether it’s dampness or fire, the organs need to be addressed to bring the body back into balance. Expressing emotions appropriately and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and free, is one of the best things you can do to start expressing emotions if you’ve had a pattern of holding them in.

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