Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation… A Surgery & Chemical-Free Alternative (August 2008)
By Catherine Niemiec, JD, L.Ac
I always find it interesting when I hear about how people will spend more money on beauty treatments and products than on important health issues, but it really makes sense when you think about it. Our face is what we present to the world, and if we don’t look good, we appear “unhealthy”. The face is where we see one’s health first and foremost. Whether we hide our own ailments from the world or ourselves, we cannot hide from our face when we look in the mirror. So, it is often a shock when we start to see those first wrinkles appear…the sign of aging…the fact that we are getting older.
This inescapable truth compels us to buy the latest crèmes and finally look at what we are doing with our bodies to stay healthy. It is also a good idea to look at what ancient Asian medicine has to say about the face and aging. Indeed, the Asian culture, whose women’s faces seem ageless well into their 60’s and 70’s, have a better understanding of what to do to stave off aging and retain youth.
The primary premise of anti-aging in Asian medicine is to keep the blood circulating and keep the organ systems (which are somewhat different than conventional western medicine) strong and healthy. They do this through proper diet, avoidance of cold drinks, a calmer demeanor, regular exercise and through the use of herbs and acupuncture. It truly takes all of these things combined to stay whole and maintain the body’s integrity.
In particular, however, there is a specific acupuncture protocol which targets the face. Facial rejuvenation is the ancient version of the modern day “face-lift” except that there is no surgery, nor any drugs or negative side effects. Indeed, this safe, affordable method is gaining greater acceptance across the United States, mainly because it is so effective. Essentially, a series of small, tiny needles are inserted on specific points on the face, many of which relate to the electrical energy pathway (also called meridian) tied to primary organ systems (relating to digestion and blood-building properties of the Spleen/Stomach system, stress & relaxation as regulated by the Liver/Gall Bladder system, the water-flow systems of the Kidney/Bladder system and the Lung/Large Intestine system both of which nourish the skin, and the blood-pumping, calm spirit system of the Heart/Small Intestine). By addressing points on these meridians, one actually stimulates the organs, all of which affect the aging process, and builds collagen in the skin. So, in addition to getting a younger-looking face, one also gets a healthier body that is closer to youth than old age.
The relatively painless treatment (exceptions are some sensitivity depending on whether one is excessively stressed, menstrual or weak) lasts ½ to 1 hour and can be repeated for at least 10 treatments, after which a monthly tune-up is recommended. I can vouch for its effectiveness…even after 1-2 treatments, I noticed a softening of fine lines, and a brightening of the face due to increased blood circulation. People could not always pinpoint (no pun intended!) what was different, but almost everyone noticed and treated me as if I was healthier, happier, and refreshed. Indeed, getting these spa-like treatments seemed to also uplift my mood and improve my digestion. I even had more energy. What a package treatment!
This is certainly the treatment of choice worth trying before one spends the money on more expensive chemical and surgical treatments. To find a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.) who is most qualified to administer this safer, effective treatment, go to the websites below and ask the practitioner if they have had any specialized, additional training in facial rejuvenation.
Catherine Niemiec, JD, L.Ac. is the President and Founder of the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA), College & Clinic, the Valley’s only accredited college of Asian Medicine.