Transcript for Body+Soul article:
Having experienced problem skin for much of my life, I decided to follow in the footsteps of Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow and give cosmetic acupuncture a try.
It’s mostly used to iron out wrinkles and fine lines, and even Cher has been spiked with disposable, hair-thin needles in an effort to turn back time.
For me, however, the lure was the prospect of combating acne, and I felt in capable hands with my practitioner Vivian Tam.
What is it?
Chinese physicians have practised this form of dermatology for some 5000 years, fixing a range of skin conditions such as broken capillaries and rosacea.
How does it work?
Tam explained how the face lifts itself, via the acupuncture points, through the muscles’ toning and tightening action.
The needles wake up muscles that have loosened and sagged, and relax muscles that are overly tight, causing pulling of the delicate facial skin.
She began the treatment with jade rollers to enhance my blood circulation, before placing fine needles in my face and around my eyes.
The needles are finer than those used in traditional acupuncture treatments, are more gentle and cause virtually no pain. Tam says she takes the “less is more” approach.
We do not stick hundreds of needles into the face; each treatment is tailored to the individual’s needs.
Once the needles were removed, I enjoyed a series of Chinese herbal masks, poultices and moisturisers, just as you would if you were having a facial.
Is it worth it?
Within a couple of sessions, I saw a remarkable difference in my skin. The acne had almost completely disappeared, my skin was softer and more vibrant and friends commented on my youthful glow.
Tam says clients usually have 10 to 15 sessions, each lasting between 60 and 90 minutes.
“People with sagging tendencies, such as double chin and jowls, may require up to 20 sessions, by which time the patient should look and feel five to 15 years younger,” she says.
As well as the anti-ageing benefits, part of the attraction of cosmetic acupuncture facelifts is how easy they are – treatments take about as long as a manicure, and there are no scars.
Plus, Tam says: “If properly maintained with a healthy lifestyle, the results can last a few years.”
Treatments cost about $100 to $150 per session.
Cosmetic acupuncture is not recommended for pregnant women and some other health conditions. Check with your therapist before undergoing the treatment.
Look for a therapist who is registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia and who has specialist training in cosmetic acupuncture.
The writer visited Vivian Tam at Centre of Health, Ivanhoe, Victoria