What is Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture?
Often referred to as Cosmetic Acupuncture, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, is focused on improving the skin naturally. It promotes a healthy glow, from the inside out, and is a gentle, effective and safe way to combat the signs of ageing. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is an alternative to conventional cosmetic treatments such as botox and collagen injections, fillers, micro-dermabrasion, photo rejuvenation, chemical peels and other harsh processes designed to ‘reverse the signs of ageing’.
How does Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture work?
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture aims to minimize of the appearance fine lines and wrinkles. With the addition of Chinese herbal medicine, it can also help address other skin issues such as acne, rosacea and melasma/chloasma (hyperpigmentation).
The face has 57 muscles that gradually lose their tone and mass. Collagen, an integral component of connective tissue, helps keep the skin firm, plump and supple and will decrease as we age. Via the insertion of thin needles locally, on the face, head and neck, and distally, on the body, acupuncture facilitates collagen and elastin production. The “microtrauma” created by the needles encourages the body to go into repair mode. In reaction to this stimulation, the skin will respond by producing collagen which softens the lines on the face. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture not only tones facial muscles and improves blood flow in the face, but it also fosters circulation in the entire body and aims to treat the underlying cause of any blemishes and age spots.
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is more than just a cosmetic procedure targeting the face. Every patient at Raleigh Health & Wellness Center is offered a personalized treatment addressing their individual and specific skin concerns and overall health.
During the initial consult a full medical history is taken. The Acupuncturist will perform a pulse diagnosis, look at your tongue and examine your facial features and discuss any concerns that you may have. A thorough treatment plan and realistic expectations will be discussed with you during the first appointment so that the number of treatments and expectations can be addressed.
If you wear make up, we will help you remove it with a gentle make up remover during the treatment or you can bring your make up kit along and apply it after treatment. The Acupuncturist may also use facial cupping and gua sha during a Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture treatment.
What can Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture address?
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture can address many of the following conditions:
· Fine Lines and Wrinkles
· Ageing Skin and Age Spots
· Crow’s Feet
· Sagging Skin
· Droopy Eyelids
· Dark Circles or Bags Under the Eyes
· Dry and Sun Damaged Skin
· Pigmentation Issues and Uneven Skin Tone
· Open Pores
· Acne Prone Skin and Scarring in General
· Eliminate or Decrease Puffiness
What’s involved in Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture?
During treatment, thin needles are placed on the outside of the ear to promote relaxation and body points are used to address the internal perspective and specific conditions.
Needles are then placed on the face in acupuncture points as well as directly into wrinkles. After the acupuncture treatment, the Acupuncturist may incorporate the use of cupping and gua sha.
Patients should see a wonderful glow with improved circulation and walk away feeling a general sense of relaxation. Patients may also see improvements in sleep, digestion, have more energy, feel less stressed and generally better overall.
The initial appointment, which includes consultation and treatment is 110 minutes in duration. All return appointments are 90 minutes long.
Below is an example of all of the areas that can be addressed. The photo was taken during a class demonstration where I assisted teaching other acupuncturists with Michelle Gellis LAc.
The number of needles used exceeds that employed during a normal treatment. I have a birthmark on my left cheek (my twin brother decided to rest his nose on my cheek while in utero!) as well as some hyperpigmentation and "age spots" that I continue to work on. Stay tuned for ongoing updates!
Facial Cupping and Gua Sha
Cupping has been practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for over 3,000 years and today, cupping is regularly used in over 60 countries. Facial Cupping, although based on a similar premise, where cupping decompresses the muscles and fascia, brings nutrients, new blood and fluids into the area, resulting in better nourished tissue, is quite different to traditional cupping.
The techniques used in Facial Cupping are very gentle. The cups are very small and are designed for use on the face and neck only. The cups are moved along the facial skin and only left in a stationery position for a few seconds, therefore alleviating any potential bruising. Facial cupping promotes an increase in local circulation to the skin, reduces puffiness and dark circles and serves to augment absorption of lotions, creams and serums. TMJ and sinus allergies, as well as rosacea and melasma can be effectively treated with
Facial Gua Sha is a technique where smooth pieces of jade are used to stimulate the skin and encourage blood supply to the region. A gentle massaging technique is used. Facial Gua Sha can also be used to treat skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, melasma and dark circles.
Both Facial Cupping and Facial Gua Sha can be used as a standalone treatment or in addition to a Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture treatment.
What does a Facial Rejuvenation Course of Treatment involve?
Patients will experience optimal results when treatments are completed as part of a series of weekly treatments for a period of 10-12 treatments. The information provided below is a general outline of what patients can expect with Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture treatments.
Week 1 & 2: Clinically, it is not uncommon to see hydrated, softened and glowing skin. Muscles of the face may appear more relaxed, and tension in the brow and jawline can decrease. There is often an increase in color and a brightened complexion.
Week 3 & 4: Often a lifting and tightening sensation can be reported in weakened and droopy muscles. The skin continues to feel softer and large pores may start to minimize. Fine lines may begin to soften.
Week 5, 6 & 7: The stimulation of collagen will become most evident during weeks 5-7. The skin around the mouth and cheeks may feel tighter and the lines around the mouth begin to soften. The face may look and feel lifted, plumper and brighter.
Week 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12: The face will continue to feel firmer, hydrated and taut. The complexion may feel more even, large pores may be even smaller and any redness diminished. The folds off the nose and corner of the mouth (nasolabial and marionette) will often decrease.
Maintenance: Results of a series of 10-12 treatment will vary on age and the body’s ability to respond to the stimulation that Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture treatment provides. It is generally accepted that the healthier you are, the more optimal the results will be. The results of Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, like general acupuncture are cumulative. This means that benefits will often continue to improve with each treatment. Maintenance sessions are recommended every 4-8 weeks and will depend on age and skin type. The results achieved, when maintained, can last for years.
When is Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture Contraindicated?
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is contraindicated if you have any of the following:
· High Blood Pressure
· Problems with Bleeding or Bruising
· Severe Migraine Headaches
· Parkinson’s Disease
· Diabetes Mellitus
· Vertigo or
· Recent Microdermabrasion, Laser, Botox or Dermal Fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse etc)
The Acupuncturist will not administer treatment during:
· Cold or Flu
· A Herpes Outbreak
· If you have Allergic Reactions or any Skin Diseases
· Or under Extreme Stress or Tension
Photos are courtesy of Tina Berisha at Acupuncture Center for Balance and Healing