Cosmetic Acupuncture is not a new concept. While it has recently become quite popular in health and beauty spas around the world, it has its roots in ancient China thousands of years ago. The ancient Chinese understood that the energy, otherwise known as Qi, that keeps us alive and upright can become blocked causing pain and disease to occur. Certain people back then also knew of methods to encourage the energy to flow freely. Hence, the practice of Acupuncture was born. Even in those ancient times, the acupuncturist also understood that when the energy flows freely through the body, it manifests in the appearance of the face in the form of vibrancy and vitality. Cosmetic Acupuncture, moreover, grew out of the knowledge that the face essentially reflects the body's state of health and well-being much like a mirror. Acupuncturists today apply those same healing principles to bring about natural vibrancy and vitality in the faces of our clients.
Most of us are concerned about our appearance. After all, it's how we present ourselves to the world. We like to look good regardless of our age. Over time, our faces become altered in reflection of the myriad changes that occur within the body as we age. Suddenly, or so it seems, there are lines and creases where there were none before. Concern for facial appearance is not restricted to those who have entered their "Silver Years." Even people (men as well as women) in their early twenties are now expressing fear of looking "old." Cosmetic Acupuncture can help reduce those ravages of time and, when treated early enough, can even help to prevent certain changes from occurring in the skin and underlying tissue of the face. Cosmetic acupuncture works naturally with the body's energy in a holistic way to bring this about.
What can I expect from Cosmetic Acupuncture treatment?
Cosmetic Acupuncture is not an instant fix. While there may be a noticeable change in the integrity and quality of the skin after only one treatment, it is cumulative in its nature, so the maximum effects will become more observable over time.
The results of treatment are varied and depend largely on the individual. The more defined lines and changes in the landscape of the face will require a longer span of time to notice a difference. Thus, finer lines and minimal changes will begin to fade quicker. Deep crevices may become somewhat smoother; however, there are no guarantees that they will completely fade. Deep crevices do not appear overnight; rather they have been deepening for a long time. Even many of the most costly facial rejuvenation techniques available today cannot completely undo the damage of several years duration. However, with Cosmetic Acupuncture, those deep lines will become smoother and somewhat diminished. The overall fuller and vibrant appearance of the skin is what people will notice!
There are other factors that will affect the level of results of Cosmetic Acupuncture treatment, such as one's diet and lifestyle. Cigarette smoking and long-term exposure to UV radiation (i.e. tanning) will cause irreparable damage to the skin. The kind of food we feed our bodies is also reflected in our facial appearance. Continuing to smoke, going to tanning salons, and eating unhealthy food will completely undo the positive effects of any facial rejuvenation treatment or cosmetic regimen. For that reason, the maximum results of Cosmetic Acupuncture can only be obtained by being committed to making changes to one's lifestyle and eliminating those obstacles to vibrant health.
Regular exercise is also known to influence the health of the skin and tissue of the face. When one is sedentary, the heart continues to circulate blood and oxygen up to the head of course, but in a limited way. Physical activity, however, increases blood circulation and oxygen flow exponentially to all the cells of the face. Those who make exercise part of their daily regimen have experienced that "after-exercise glow" of the skin that only comes from increased blood and oxygen flow. For this reason, daily exercise (even light level, such as yoga accompanied by deep breathing) is highly recommended between Cosmetic Acupuncture treatment sessions and, of course, upon completion in order to maximize health and wellness and keep the face supplied with those vital elements.
What else should I know about treatments?
The initial intake and treatment typically lasts 2 hours since it involves taking extensive health history in order to create a personalized treatment plan. Each subsequent visit lasts 1.5 hours. One must be able to lie quietly on one's back for 20 minutes while the needles are in place.
The Cosmetic Acupuncture treatment series will require a total of 14 consecutive visits over a 7-week period for maximum results. This twice-a-week regimen requires dedication and commitment, which is not difficult when the goal in mind is radiant health! For those who are unable to commit to twice-weekly visits, a weekly schedule can also be arranged for a total of 14 consecutive weeks.
What issues can Cosmetic Acupuncture help to alleviate?
Cosmetic Acupuncture is not restricted to the facial area; rather it involves treatment on the scalp and around the ears, eyes, and neck. Because of this broad scope, Cosmetic Acupuncture can address many issues centered in the head and neck region, bringing about the following favorable effects:
- Reduces headaches due to stress
- Eases eye strain and brings clarity to the eyes
- Stimulates hair growth (when scalp points are used)
- Relaxes the jaw for people who grind their teeth or those with TMJ
- Keeps the sinuses clear to reduce sinus infections
- Good for the ears and hearing
- Increases blood circulation and lymphatic drainage in the face, neck, and scalp
- Improves muscle tone and restores dermal contraction
- Stimulates collagen production
- Tightens pores and evens skin tone
- Reduces acne
- Eliminates fine lines and softens deeper ones
- Reduces appearance of scars
- Reduces eye puffiness and bags under the eyes
- Lifts droopy eyelids and sagging neck skin
As part of each visit, the entire body is treated in order to address any underlying core issues that may be contributing to changes affecting the health and overall appearance of the face. The combination of body, scalp, and face points work in conjunction to rid toxins from the body as well. In essence, Cosmetic Acupuncture is not only relaxing to the face but also to the entire body. The overall cosmetic effect is glowing, healthy skin and more youthful appearance.
If I have back pain or pain in my ankle, will my acupuncturist address those issues during Cosmetic Acupuncture treatment?
We are committed to providing maximum quality of care in support of wellness. For conditions or issues other than those listed above, a separate regular acupuncture treatment schedule should be arranged in order to concentrate on those areas of concern specifically. In regard to acupuncture (as well as any other form of therapy), the more focused the treatment, the better the outcome.
What are the advantages of using Cosmetic Acupuncture over other facial rejuvenation techniques such as Botox?
Many of the other facial rejuvenation methods that are currently popular are painful and cause trauma to the tender tissue of the face. They each have their share of side effects such as swelling, bruising, and tenderness that can last for days, and even increased risk of permanent disfigurement following some procedures. There is always the chance that you don't get quite what you paid for.
Cosmetic Acupuncture is completely safe and causes no trauma to the face since it works naturally with the body's energy to bring about the desired effects. The needles used are designed especially for the face and are very tiny to allow for smooth entry into the skin with no pain. The most one can expect is a tiny initial prick!
Each Cosmetic Acupuncture treatment involves the use of other materials and methods along with the needles that are designed to create a relaxing spa treatment while stimulating and distributing the flow of energy through the face. Each treatment is very soothing and calming to the entire body. The only lasting effects are a feeling of well-being, vitality, a pleasant tingling sensation in the skin, and a noticeable difference in the appearance of the face!
In addition, Botox treatment does not last. A dreaded injection is required every three months in some cases. Beyond 9 months, the skin returns to exactly the way it looked prior to the injection -- and in some case, worse. With Cosmetic Acupuncture, because of its cumulative nature, the results can last up to five years with an occasional maintenance treatment that one can actually look forward to!
The other facial rejuvenation techniques focus on the face alone, whereas Cosmetic Acupuncture treatment is very comprehensive in its scope and not limited to the face. Therefore, as an added bonus, any of the physical issues involving the head as listed above can be alleviated.
Also, the cost of Cosmetic Acupuncture is far less when compared to the other facial rejuvenation techniques!
For anyone who has received any type of cosmetic injections such as Botox or injectable dermal fillers or gels such as Juvederm, we welcome the opportunity to discuss the benefits of switching to the more natural and non-invasive Cosmetic Acupuncture that involves no trauma to the face, costs less, and lasts longer than many of the methods of facial rejuvenation currently available!
Is Cosmetic Acupuncture safe for everyone?
While cosmetic acupuncture is a safe procedure, it is not recommended for those who have a history of any of the following medical conditions:
- High blood pressure not controlled by medication
- Any history of stroke
- Coronary heart disease/history of heart attack
- Migraine headaches not monitored by a medical doctor
- Unstabilized diabetes mellitus
- Any seizure disorders or organic brain/cognitive disorder
- Parkinson's Disease
- History of blood disorders or taking blood thinner medication
- Tendency to bruise easily
- Acute skin issues such as contact dermatitis (i.e., poison ivy) or hives
- Herpes outbreak (i.e. cold sores or shingles on the face)
We request a waiting period of at least 60 days after laser skin resurfacing or chemical peels before beginning Cosmetic Acupuncture in order to allow the skin to heal adequately.
Theresa L. Spradlin, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM) Board Certified Licensed Acupuncturist