Updated: Nov 9
In this day and age, it seems like we're all on the quest for "eternal youth", seeking out the latest product or procedure that will turn back the hands of time and give us back that freshness and vigor we had as young adults.
Some choose to take the surgical route, like we've seen in recent photos of the lovely Madonna, whose latest plastic surgery has reverted her face to that of a teen's despite her 63 years young. Plastic surgery is indeed the fastest way to get dramatic results or re-shape our faces, although there are a number of downsides too - the high price tag, considerable recovery time, that the results are only temporary or, worse still, the risk of scarring, infection or being dissatisfied with the end results.
For those seeking a more natural way to look youthful, there are a number of less invasive alternatives, and cosmetic acupuncture has been receiving a lot of buzz lately for its ability to rejuvenate and plump the skin, soften lines, fade spots and scars and help revive your appearance in general.
So, how does cosmetic acupuncture work, anyway?
Let's first start with a fundamental premise of Chinese Medicine: that the exterior reflects the interior, meaning that our face is simply a mirror showing us what's going on inside our bodies (and minds).
By simply looking at the face, we can understand what's happening at a deeper level to ultimately diagnose and then treat underlying patterns - e.g. a sluggish metabolism, poor lymphatic drainage, an underperforming liver, etc. that are causing the signs of aging on your face.
Here's what's called a "Face Map", showing where the various organ systems in Chinese Medicine correlate to different areas of the face.
Photo taken from Lillian Bridge's "Face Reading in Chinese Medicine: Emotional Roots of Disease"
So it's a two-way street: the face helps us understand what's happening inside the body, and by treating the energetic flow in the body we can ultimately create long-lasting improvements to the face.
Once a diagnosis of your particular underlying pattern has been made, then treatment can begin. In a cosmetic session the face is treated with different techniques like acupuncture, gua-sha, pressure point massage, and cupping in order to:
enhance skin tone and texture
boost collagen and elastin production
speed up cellular regeneration and
aid in the detoxification of tissues
First, body points are treated with the insertion of fine, single-use needles in several energetic points, a.k.a. acupuncture points, usually on the arms and legs. This sets in motion a powerful healing mechanism that activates blood circulation and wakes up your immune system, allowing for cells to be better nourished and to release their toxins more effectively. They send messages to the central nervous system, triggering a biochemical response in the form of natural painkiller and endorphin release, and reducing pain and inflammation.
Adequate blood flow in the body declines with age, yet is of vital importance for maintaining health and energy, and for keeping us young. When cells aren't properly nourished, the stage is set for a host of health problems, and even chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer.
In a nutshell, the insertion of acupuncture needles creates a micro "trauma" that signals to the body to come and "clean up" the surrounding area as well as the associated channel and organ.
After the personalized body points are treated, tiny needles (some so small you need precision tweezers to pick them up) are gently inserted into facial skin. They stimulate collagen and elastin production to smooth out wrinkles, increase circulation to make skin vibrant and glowy, and reduce signs of inflammation like puffiness, acne and rosacea.
Of course, we could just work on the face, but the results wouldn't be nearly as powerful as combining it with body treatment. At the end of the day, cosmetic acupuncture strives to work on the root causes of aging, to make sure the organs and various systems - circulatory, digestive, endocrine, nervous system and others - are functioning optimally, to achieve health and vitality from the inside out. This is what ultimately creates lasting results on both your face and in your body.
To get an idea of what a typical cosmetic session is like, click here to see a sample treatment with my fabulous cosmetic acupuncture teacher, Aaron Zizov: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgFMHlVX0ag
The end goal is not about chasing "eternal youth" but about helping the body to work at its best, by keeping your inner life force or Qi flowing, removing blockages and triggering your innate healing capacity. This will slow down aging and help cultivate beauty and a glow that's rooted in true health.
After several treatments, your face will become smoother, tighter and more vibrant due to targeted stimulation of cellular renewal on the face combined with the deep healing taking place within the body.
Effects are cumulative, meaning that each treatment builds on the previous one, which is why a series of 6-12 treatments is generally recommended. After that, monthly maintenance will keep your glow going strong and slow down any new issues from cropping up.
Cosmetic acupuncture can help with wrinkles, acne, puffiness, dark circles, hyperpigmentation, redness and more. So what are you waiting for?
Let me know in the comments section below what your biggest skin challenges are and any tips you'd like me to share :)
Here’s to a beautiful new you!
Encouraging health, youth and beauty all in one treatment with #joyfulheartacupuncture