Chinese Medicine dates back over 3,000 years, and its longevity alone is testimony to its effectiveness. Acupuncture continues to gain recognition as a resource for health & wellbeing-from arthritis and back pain, to insomnia, migraine and PMS. Celebrities Gwyneth Paltrow, Sandra Bullock, and Sex in the City’s Kristin Davies, are known fans of Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, and clearly radiate vitality and an inner-glow. The acupuncture facial draws on this ancient tradition’s success in cultivating wellbeing by directing that inner-glow of health onto your face.
What is it?
Acupuncture activates your body’s natural healing intelligence by tapping into seas and rivers of energy, or “Ch’i”, through “acupoints”—areas on the skin where Ch’i is accessed. Much like a river valley, made lush, fertile, and pristine by nutrients and moisture of its passing river, the flow of Qi and Blood nourishes all of our organs and tissues, including the skin.
Unfortunately, the strength & flow of these energy rivers wane and become sluggish as we age. Collagen production slows, circulation becomes less efficient, and our skin sags, wrinkles, and dulls. And stress, lifestyle and environmental factors just compound these effects. Acupuncture, in general, helps re-establish and safeguard clear, abundant, and free-flowing Ch’i energy within us -so we can enjoy health and vitality, and slow the ageing process down instead of it slowing us.
Does it work?
Facial acupuncture is nothing new. The World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health have long recognized acupuncture as effective treatment for sagging facial paralysis like Bell’s Palsy. One study showed that among 300 cases treated with facial acupuncture, 90% had market beneficial results with only one course of treatment (International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture, 1996). Given the powerful lifting effects clinically demonstrated on facial paralysis, acupuncture facial clients may reap similar benefits— without the risks and telltale signs of facelift surgery or Botox. As with any procedure, genetics, environment, and lifestyle will influence overall outcome and longevity of results. Due to such factors, “booster” treatments are occasionally suggested to extend results.
How long before I see results?
Single treatments are beneficial, however, because our body’s natural collagen synthesis occurs over 3-5 weeks, synchronizing a series of 10 facials within this timeframe is strongly recommended to optimize results. Facials incorporating Chinese herbal medicinals and micro-current are often combined for even greater results.
What results should I look for?
The acupuncture facial activates key acu-points on the face and body to supplement and direct Ch’i to your face and the systems that support your skin. Specifically, you may notice:
- A lifting effect from “waking up” key facial muscles, like the jaw and brow-line.
- Diminishing of fine lines, deeper wrinkles, & puffiness
- Improved elasticity & facial colour
- Improved acne conditions
- Reduced stress & enhanced wellbeing
Does it hurt?
A common question. The answer is not much-at most, people feel something akin to a good eyebrow plucking. Some find it extremely relaxing, especially when combined with a pampering herbal facial.
What about side effects?
Tiny bruises can occasionally occur due to the large amount of capillaries naturally occurring on our face. Bruising risk and duration can be minimized by using arnica, a homeopathic remedy. Other reported side effects are overwhelmingly positive— improved sleep, digestion, energy and a deepened sense of wellbeing and total health. Considering recent reports of disastrous side effects from expensive cosmetic procedures, facial acupuncture seems increasingly deserving of attention. Less risk and expense, and you still look like “you. ” Just more vibrant and glowing…inside and out.
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A member of the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance, Michele Fry, L. Ac. , holds a Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine, is a certified practitioner of Mei Zen Cosmetic AcupunctureTM, and attends ongoing post-graduate and professional studies at the Institute for Classical Five Element Acupuncture in Santa Monica, CA. She currently practices in Solana Beach, California. For more information: