Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Book Review: “Nourish Your Skin and Body with Traditional Chinese Medicine” January 13, 2010


For some time I have been very interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  About six years ago I had a very positive experience with acupuncture which made me even more curious about Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Once I started learning to be an esthetician I wondered if there were any books available that would discuss Traditional Chinese Medicine and skincare.  I found  Michelle O’Shaughnessy’s book Nourish Your Skin & Body with Traditional Chinese Medicine to be a comprehensive introduction to the subject of Traditional Chinese Medicine as it relates to skincare. 

My first comment about the book would be – I want more!  I wish the book was twice as long and went into greater detail.  Having said that it is a great introduction to how Traditional Chinese Medicine principles and philosophies can be applied to taking care of your skin.  The information in this book is certainly not limited to use by the trained professional.  Anyone interested in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and skincare will find useful information this book.

What made the purchase of this book extremely worthwhile for me was the pressure point massage or the facial acupressure massage as it is called in the book.  Each step of the massage is clearly outlined and explained.  Each step also has an accompanying photo.  I tried the massage both on myself and on a client who suffers from acne.  As estheticians know a “regular’ facial massage might be too stimulating for a client suffering from acne.  Estheticians usually do some sort of pressure point massage on clients who have acne.  The client that I tried this facial acupressure massage on really enjoyed it and found it very relaxing.  I plan on incorporating some of the pressure points from the facial acupressure massage into my “normal” facial massage that I do on most clients.

Though the book is only 162 pages it manages to cover a wealth of topics including (but not limited to) the history of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese herbs (with photos – very helpful), tongue diagnosis, an introduction to acupuncture and facial acupuncture, and recipes for soups that nourish and help the skin.  I found the chapter about the meridians of the body very interesting.  As it will become very clear from reading this blog I am personally very interested in acne so I found it fascinating to read about the ren meridian.  This meridian is in charge of most female issues.  Women who suffer from monthly breakouts on their chins can “blame” this on an imbalance in the ren meridian.

Bottom Line:  A great introduction to how Traditional Chinese Medicine relates to skincare.  The facial acupressure massage is wonderful!  You don’t need to be an esthetician to take advantage of this massage.  Anyone can practice on themselves.

Links and Extras:

I purchased my copy of Nourish Your Skin and Body with Traditional Chinese Medicine through at a reasonable price.  I was surprised to see the price for the book when I looked for it today on  A little research lead me to Michelle O’Shaughnessy’s clinic’s website.  Through her website you can purchase her book Traditional Chinese Medicine: An Esthetician’s Guide.  So what is the difference between that book and the one I have reviewed above?  The book I own was published in 2009 and is 162 pages long.  The book that can be purchased through Michelle O’Shaughnessy’s website was published in 2008 and is 132 pages long.  Without having seen the second book I cannot really comment about how different they are.

I found it very interesting to look at the blog section of Michelle O’Shaughnessy’s website.  The case study presented in the blog is fascinating.  I just wish the blog had been updated.  The last entry is from almost two years ago!

One final note.  Michelle O’Shaughnessy will be speaking at the Face & Body Conference in Chicago in March, 2010.

If anyone has had any experiences with Traditional Chinese Medicine as it pertains to skincare I would love to hear from you.


2 Responses to “Book Review: “Nourish Your Skin and Body with Traditional Chinese Medicine””

  1. Neta Perico Says:

    Someone dropped a link to your site on Twitter and that is where I first found your site. I totally loved your blog posts and want to read more! Are you on Twitter? We should connect.

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