Origins: The practice of facial rejuvenation therapies has an extensive and rich history in Traditional Chinese Medicine from herbs and dietary adjustments to acupuncture. Some say that Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture was originally developed to treat patients with paralyzed muscles from stroke. The result of facial acupuncture was so cosmetically pronounced that it was developed further into a specialized program for anti-aging and beauty. Through a course of facial acupuncture treatment, the results can be akin to getting a ‘face lift’ without the surgical risks (and high expense) of cosmetic surgery.
Philosophy: According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the complete meridian/organ system converges in the face. Proper functioning of the body’s meridian system directly affects the aging process and the appearance in the face. When the internal system is balanced and abundant in Qi and blood, the essence is then distributed everywhere in the body and the face tends to have a healthy glow or ‘qi flow’. When the internal system is unbalanced however, it will reflect poorly in the face from the overall color, condition and feel which can cause acne, premature wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes, dull, dry and flaking skin or pale skin in appearance.
But how does it work? During treatment, tiny stainless steel needles are inserted into the face which manipulate the collagen within the tissues of the skin. This causes a ‘plumping’ effect (due to micro-damage caused by the needles which triggers the body to heals itself with cell regeneration) and fine lines/wrinkles can be erased. A minimum of 10 treatments is suggested for optimal results.
Extra benefits: Facial acupuncture is not only a safe and effective way to firm up the skin but the treatment has value beyond beauty since we can achieve good health - and by default, better looking skin - by balancing out the internal system. Patients can also experience benefits such as better sleep, regular bowel movements, overcoming facial nerve pain to feeling overall relaxed and energized.
What do people have to say post treatment? Many patients report that their skin feels firmer and tighter and some people notice a difference in their skin tone after just one treatment. A common testimonial is that the overall facial appearance looks ‘rested’, that the eyes are brighter and previously sagging skin has been ‘lifted’.
Does it hurt? Mostly no. Some people experience a minor discomfort (upper lip can be sensitive for example), but the discomfort usually subsides immediately after needle insertion. The experience that follows is a very relaxing 30 - 45 minute treatment in which most patients fall asleep. Sometimes patients feel a tingling sensation throughout treatment as the qi starts to move freely and this can sometime feel like a 'tickle'. In comparison to botox injections, acupuncture needles are very tiny and the treatment is a much gentler approach (although you need to undergo several sessions to get a similar result). The other bonus of acupuncture is that there is no "frozen face" syndrome that some people may experience after the over-treatment of botox which can take a few weeks or a few months to wear off.
Choosing a practitioner: Facial rejuvenation acupuncture is becoming a popular holistic alternative to cosmetic surgery and many people (men and women) are choosing it. There is no recovery time (except for some occasional bruising which can be concealed with foundation). If you're considering this course of treatment, ensure that you go with an experienced licensed acupuncturist who is certified in specialized cosmetic acupuncture.