By Christina Morris, L.Ac.
By now, most of us have probably heard of the many benefits of acupuncture, but an acupuncture facelift? Actually, this is becoming a more popular treatment for those who want to maintain younger, healthier-looking skin. Many people are utilizing acupuncture to reduce the evidence of aging without surgical procedures.
Acupuncture cannot sculpt a new nose nor can it add a dimple in the cheek, but it can offer a safe and effective treatment to revitalize the face. Acupuncture can diminish wrinkles, eliminate fine lines, decrease bags under the eyes and puffiness, firm facial muscles, tighten the skin, lift drooping eyelids, and aid in balancing hormones that can cause acne. Cosmetic acupuncture may also improve collagen production and increase local blood and lymph circulation. Although results can be much slower and less dramatic then a surgical facelift, acupuncture is less expensive and a safer alternative with little to no side effects. Acupuncture simply enhances a patient’s natural beauty, often taking years off of one’s appearance. Some say that acupuncture can erase 5 to 15 years off of the face.
A 1996 article in the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture reported that of 300 cases treated with facial acupuncture, 90 percent had marked beneficial effects with one course of acupuncture treatments. These patients demonstrated improvement in the elasticity of facial muscles, smoother facial skin, less wrinkles and an overall healthier complexion.
Cosmetic acupuncture can be both safe and effective in treating not only surface appearance but also in treating the individual’s underlying conditions associated with the aging process, thus treating overall health and well-being. The way a person ages can say a lot about a person’s internal health. Exterior conditions can be results of interior imbalances. Different areas on the face represent different organs. For example, the kidneys are represented in the area under the eyes. A person may have some kind of kidney imbalance if there are bags or discoloration under the eyes. The mouth represents the stomach and the digestive system, and the cheeks represent the lungs. Acupuncture treats the body as a whole by treating both the current symptoms and the root conditions that have lead to the present symptoms.
During cosmetic acupuncture treatments, very fine needles are inserted into specific points on the face and on the body. The needles are sterile, stainless steel and disposable. Treatments vary from person to person, based on the individual’s needs and traditional Chinese medical diagnosis. In addition to acupuncture, facial massage, herbal formulas, or electrical stimulation may also be used during the treatment. Treatments can vary in length from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. Self care treatments such as facial exercises and diet modifications may also be a necessary step in prolonging the beneficial effects of cosmetic acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective form of treatment for many health conditions. It is important to find a qualified professional. In New York, acupuncturists should be licensed by the state of New York and nationally certified in acupuncture. Although there is no special certification needed for facial or cosmetic acupuncture, there are various specialized classes in facial/cosmetic acupuncture which usually grant certificates of completion to licensed acupuncturists.