Michael Huffman is a sensitive skin coach, a yoga consultant, a Skin-Yoga retreat leader and the author of:
Why Skin and Why Yoga?
SKIN - Michael's sensitive skin issues began in childhood. His eczema was so red, weepy and itchy his mother would apply the dermatologist-prescribed topical steroid creams so that he could attempt to play on little league baseball and swim teams with more ease. Through college and his early twenties he continued to apply steroids and conventional skin care products recommended by doctors and pharmacists to keep the inflammation and dryness in check. Most of the over-the-counter creams would only irritate his skin further - frustratingly, none seemed to actually improve his eczema. Other than noting that eczema outbreaks usually happened during times of stress at school, work and home there was no other evident solution.
A few years into his internal audit career at big corporations like The Kroger Co., H.J. Heinz, Deloitte and Intel he became interested in applying the same concept of root cause analysis he was using at the office to find a remedy to clear his eczema. Since he successfully used root cause analysis to find solutions to problems in work-related financial and operational processes, he decided to apply the same principles to find skin solutions.
He started by asking his dermatologists if there might be potential root causes related to sleep, food or skin care products as possible eczema triggers. They had no idea except to propose that eczema was hereditary. Since Michael was adopted as a two week old infant he didn't know anything about his biological family! It seemed like a dead end - at least until 1992 when he almost went blind on a train through Germany en route to the fiords of Norway. Doctors in Europe and Ohio USA thankfully doused his eyes with steroid and dilated pupil medicines for months, but they always asked for his genetic medical history while doing their own root cause analysis of his dangerously inflamed irises.
The first clue that he was on the right track was the day he met his biological parents, his four full-blooded siblings and two grandparents. It was intimidating to have eight familiar-looking strangers inspecting his refrigerator simultaneously. His father literally tossed the milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt and ice cream in the trashcan and said, "Sorry Michael, but you and everyone in our family can't process any of those products without having headaches behind our eyes and nasty skin breakouts." His biological mother continued, "You also need to eat a lot of green leafy vegetables, take fish or flax oil daily and avoid excess sugar and red meat. Your three sisters and I all take dance lessons and walk in the woods regularly to reduce stress. If we don't do these things we get skin issues."
Michael promptly found a psychotherapist and told her that while it was comforting that his biological family physically resembled him - they were from the planet Mars! Little by little though he changed his ways then moved to Portland and Seattle where he found both a whole/slow food culture, a life-changing Iyengar yoga studio and an alternative medical community that didn't exist back where his progressive biological family lived in Cincinnati.
After two decades of trying various healing modalities like acupuncture, naturopathic and Ayurvedic medicine, making dietary changes, as well as attending yoga classes and meditation retreats he developed a routine that cleared his eczema (after the steroid withdrawal symptoms abated). Though he has been clear for many years he realizes he has and will always have sensitive skin that is susceptible to irritation. The Zen Skin Philosophy that he developed is based on years of experience clearing his own eczema to become free of topical steroids. The Zen Guy platform, books, iPhone apps, online course, and Bali 'Skin Yoga' Retreats are how he helps others learn holistic techniques to clear their own eczema and to properly maintain and care for their own sensitive skin.
YOGA - Michael started studying yoga in July 2000 as a way to de-stress from his corporate internal audit career at Intel Corp. In 2009 he completed his Yoga Alliance RYT-200 hour certified yoga teacher training program at 8-Limbs Yoga Center in Seattle. In 2011 he became a teacher of non woo-woo yoga techniques to other office professionals and frequent-flyer 'road warriors' like himself. To help his students outside of the classroom, a.k.a. conference rooms, and the 1x1 yoga sessions, he published the books and iPhone apps Office for Yoga Professionals and Airplane Yoga.
As part of healing his own eczema and other eczema sufferers he published all TWENTY of the SKIN YOGA poses in his book 'Zen Skin Care - Clearing Eczema Without Steroids & Caring For Sensitive Skin'.
Michael also is available for private 1x1 yoga lessons by SKYPE.