Can acupuncture really give you the face you thought you’d lost forever? Yes, say the acupuncturists who offer the procedure. Not really, say more conventional cosmetic surgeons or dermatologists who love to inject Botox, and dermal fillers.
Martha Lucas, PhD, LAc, a Colorado acupuncturist, says after a series of 10 treatments (twice a week for five weeks), skin becomes more delicate and fair, and there are fewer wrinkles. She says the treatments also result in an erasing of fine lines and a reduction of deeper lines, less sag, a lifting of droopy eyelids, and a clearing or reduction of age spots. And, as an added bonus, she says, there is an overall rejuvenation that is not confined to your face.
Rhoda Narins, of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, says she thinks acupuncture has its place, especially as a pain reliever. But she doesn’t believe in it as a replacement for cosmetic treatments such as surgery, Botox injections, and the like. “Acupuncture doesn’t stop the muscle movement that creates lines,” she says. “Botox does.” Nor can acupuncture tighten or “fill” the skin as surgery or injectable fillers such as Restylane can.
Here are three of the more popular variations of facial acupuncture now being used. See if any of them will have you running to the phone to make an appointment.
Constitutional Facial: Fine needles are placed at a variety of acupuncture points on the face, neck and around the eyes to stimulate the body’s natural energies, or Qi. Since muscle groups are addressed as well the acupuncture points, the face lifts itself, via the acupuncture points, through the muscles’ toning and tightening action. The needles also stimulate blood and circulation, which improves facial color.
Mei Zen System: A typical Mei Zen protocol consists of a series of hour-long treatments that occur twice a week for a minimum of five weeks. Small, hair-width needles are inserted into specific points just under the skin’s surface to promote change on three levels: 1.) The underlying restoration of health that shows naturally in our appearance; 2.) Improved circulation of blood and chi through the dilation of local blood vessels, resulting in better distribution of the nutrients that aid in cellular regeneration.
Acupuncture with Microcurrents: This style incorporates microcurrent stimulation on pressure points to rejuventate the muscle. Can be used with or without the needles.
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