BeautyAudio: We thought this article was interesting because it goes beyond the facial acupuncture discussion and into a more holistic use of acupuncture for cosmetic purposes. It cites studies effectiveness and talks about whether or not you are the right candidate for cosmetic acupuncture.
By Lorraine Harris
Move over, Botox and cosmetic surgery. At a time when consumers are bombarded with miracle cures that promise to restore a youthful appearance, cosmetic acupuncture is an age-old solution that really works for an age-old problem.
In contrast to the bruising, swelling and lengthy recovery associated with plastic surgery, cosmetic acupuncture is a facial rejuvenation procedure that is relatively painless and requires no recovery time.
Although a relative newcomer to our western culture, the procedures used in cosmetic acupuncture were used by the Chinese nobility for thousands of years. It takes a whole-body approach that produces more youthful and toned skin without the use of drugs, surgery or electrical stimulation. It works remarkably well on the face and abdomen.
One form of cosmetic acupuncture that is gaining popularity in the U.S. is called Mei Zen. Practitioners of Mei Zen acupuncture are highly specialized acupuncturists. They follow a very precise protocol and incorporate unusual needling techniques. Its teachings are rooted in the ancient Chinese medical texts that stipulate the precise location and configuration of needles so they can work synergistically to restore balance to the body and rejuvenation of the complexion. The placement of the needles work to effect change in three ways: 1) improved circulation of blood and chi (pronounced “chee”) through the dilation of local blood vessels resulting in better distribution of nutrients to the cells to aid regeneration; 2) the increased production of elastin and collagen that reduce wrinkles; and 3) the underlying elevation of health that shows naturally in our appearance.
A facial rejuvenation course of treatment entails two one-hour sessions per week for a minimum of five weeks. During treatment, tiny, less than hair-width needles are inserted into selected points superficially into the skin’s surface.
With facial acupuncture, fine lines disappear, deep lines lessen, and there is an overall improvement in the complexion. Even skin conditions such as rosacea and acne are improved. Because acupuncture is based on the idea that optimal health is achieved when the body’s systems are in balance, there are other benefits from treatment as well. For example, women who choose facial acupuncture can expect reduced depression and less anxiety, better digestion and sleep cycles, and fewer hot flashes and night sweats. Those who opt for abdominal acupuncture are likely to benefit from increased fertility and/or sex drive. Those who have experienced cosmetic acupuncture often report feelings of warmth, tingling, lightness and lifting immediately following a session, as well as an overall feeling of wellness.
The technique is gaining popularity, and there is evidence that it works. A study published in the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture showed that of 300 people who received facial acupuncture, 90 percent saw marked results after their first course of treatment.
From a consumer standpoint, one of the most attractive features of cosmetic acupuncture is its cost, which is a fraction of most other forms of cosmetic enhancement. Additionally, maintenance is relatively inexpensive.
Cosmetic acupuncture is not for everyone. A practitioner must carefully evaluate a patient to determine if the procedure is appropriate and whether or not there are any underlying imbalances that must be addressed first. Those who suffer from serious chronic diseases, seizure disorders, high blood pressure, or have had a stroke are not suited for this procedure, but may find relief from these conditions in other forms of Chinese medicine.
The Mei Zen Cosmetic acupuncture program is comprehensive in that it provides many supportive aspects to the 5-week procedure. One important component is the use of Chinese herbal formulas. These formulas contain herbs known to benefit the skin and treat the body’s imbalances. They are quite specific and formulated in accordance with each individual’s particular needs. Another important adjunct is the inclusion of food therapy that outlines a customized program of foods that will help rebalance the body while nourishing the skin. Qi Gong exercises may also be added to the program to facilitate the restoration of health and vitality.
Although the individual results of cosmetic acupuncture will vary, this holistic approach will yield noticeable improvements. How long the new look will last depends on how much a person addresses other areas off attention such as nutrition, exercise and stress reduction. But at a fraction of the cost of surgery, cosmetic acupuncture is a sound alternative that can restore a radiant glow both inside and out.
Lorraine Harris is a licensed acupuncturist and nationally certified practitioner of Oriental Medicine. She is the only Mei Zen trained acupuncturist in Western North Carolina. She specializes in women’s health, fertility and anti-aging programs. She can be reached at 828-215-8185 or at her website http://www.ChiMedicineWorks.com