Jimi Hendrix famously said, “Castles made of sand melt into the sea, eventually.” Unbeknownst to the late great musician, his words of wisdom help explain cosmetic acupuncture.
Cosmetic acupuncture, also known as facial rejuvenation acupuncture, is being hailed as a natural facelift. Younger-looking skin, no more crow’s feet—no Botox required!
Sounds great, but many people are wondering, does facial rejuvenation acupuncture really work? The answer is yes, but not for the reason you might think.
The real reason facial rejuvenation acupuncture works
We’ve all had the experience of feeling well rested and generally okay, only to have a friend tell us, “Wow, you look tired!” Hey, thanks a lot!
This unpleasant experience leads many people down the path of expensive moisturizers, facials, extreme cleanses or dietary restrictions, and even plastic surgery. But no matter how beautiful your castle looks, it will melt if it is made of sand.
A common misconception is that our physical appearance, our castle, is separate from our internal condition. Unfortunately, years of insomnia—or digestive disturbance or back pain or chronic stress or menstrual irregularities—cannot be erased by slathering on anti-aging cream or drinking lemon juice for a week. At least not for long.
Facial rejuvenation acupuncture works for two reasons: 1) It puts you in touch with your true state of health, allowing you to realize that perhaps what you’ve gotten used to calling “okay” is actually not so hot. 2) It resolves the underlying imbalances that prevent you from feeling vibrant and youthful.
People ask me all the time if facial rejuvenation acupuncture can make them look younger. I usually answer by posing some questions.
If you were able to sleep soundly after years of suffering from insomnia, would that affect the way you look? If you were finally able to enjoy food again, without having to worry about chronic digestive problems, would you look different? If you could truly appreciate the positive aspects of your life rather than feeling constantly overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, would that alter your appearance?
Facial rejuvenation acupuncture works by making us stronger on the inside, which eventually changes how we look on the outside.
How is facial rejuvenation acupuncture different from regular acupuncture?
A facial rejuvenation acupuncture treatment, in terms of the overall experience, is not much different from a traditional acupuncture treatment. The acupuncturist will still ask you a lot of questions, many of which will seem totally unrelated to eliminating wrinkles. Your tongue and pulse will be checked, and you’ll be asked to lay or sit back and relax.
The main distinguisher with facial rejuvenation acupuncture is that in addition to the points that are needled throughout the body, several acupuncture needles are placed in the face. The exact points are chosen based on the location of wrinkles, discolorations, and areas of loose skin.
Facial rejuvenation acupuncture needles are finer in diameter and placed more superficially than acupuncture needles used elsewhere on the body. They are usually left in for about 30 minutes.
So why does placing needles in the face tighten the skin and even out the complexion?
When an acupuncture needle is inserted, the body reacts by sending red blood cells and critical nutrients to the area, essentially stimulating a local immune response. Once the needle is removed, the body quickly realizes that it’s not actually under attack and calls off the immune response.
In the meantime, those areas on the face where needles were placed have been flooded with a new supply of blood and nutrients. This stimulates the production of collagen, the protein responsible for tightness and vibrancy in the skin.
Many patients feel more rested and relaxed, and notice a more youthful glow, after just one or two facial rejuvenation acupuncture treatments. Typically, significant results happen after about 10 treatments over a four-to-five week period.
Looking young isn’t very fun if you feel old. And no one wants to look older than they feel. Facial rejuvenation acupuncture is effective because it aligns one’s inner and outer self, creating a castle that’s made of a lot more than sand.
Photo by Mary Marsiglio
Matthew Ian Preiser is an acupuncturist in Newtown, Pennsylvania. He has worked as an acupuncturist at the San Diego Hospice and Institute for Palliative Medicine, and performed an internship in conjunction with the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.
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