Cosmetic acupuncture, also known as Constitutional Facial Rejuvenation is a very natural and gentle way to enhance your health and appearance. It addresses inner wellbeing as well as tackling wrinkles, sagging skin and blemishes. It is also used to treat most common dermatological conditions.
While this increasingly popular form of treatment appears to be relatively modern, it is based upon ancient Chinese Medicine principles.
This practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) beautification therapies has a long and rich history, with records of treatments dating back to the Western Zhou period (1121-770 BC). Since that time, countless TCM physicians have expanded and developed these techniques to a fine art. Contemporary practitioners have introduced these to the West, and these treatments are now available in Australia.
How does it work?
From a Western medicine physiological perspective, firstly acupuncture improves circulation to the face bringing increased blood and nutrient flow. By inserting very fine needles into the dermis of the skin, a “microtrauma” is caused and the body responds by increasing elastin and collagen production. This fills out wrinkles and firms the skin.
Sometimes sagging of the face and jowls is due to poor muscle tone. This muscle tonicity is what is neglected in most other facial and beauty treatments. A special technique developed for Constitutional Facial Rejuvenation addresses this problem.
Cosmetic acupuncturist Vivian Tam explains, “You must work with the underlying muscle structure. This can have a sculpting effect on the face”.
For example, patients treated for jaw pain from the Tempero-mandibular joint (TMJ) and surrounding muscles often notice more prominent cheekbones as a result of this type of Cosmetic Acupuncture treatment.
Enhancing beauty from within
The acupuncture meridians connect and branch through the entire body from the hands and feet to the face and head. So when the internal system and meridian channels are in harmony, this reflects in a vibrant facial complexion.
- Promotes the free flow of Qi and Blood and opens up the meridian system. “Only when the blockages are cleared can the channels be harmonised” states the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic written in the Han Dynasty (206BC- 220AD)
- Regulates Yin and Yang. Acne and rosacea are examples of excess Yang fire rising to the face, which can be treated.
- Normalises excesses and deficiencies. For example, if the Spleen (responsible for digestion) and the Kidney (responsible for water metabolism) are deficient, puffiness can develop in the face, and form bags under the eyes.
- Harmonises the emotions. Facial lines that have developed due to stress and anxiety can diminish by inducing a calm emotional state. The feeling of relaxation and tranquillity after a treatment is quite magical.
What results can I expect?
People often ask, “Does it really work?” And the reply they receive at our clinic is “Yes!”
Realistic expectations of Constitutional Facial Rejuvenation treatments include an improved complexion, a gradual increase in tone and firmness, softening of lines and wrinkles and lifting and tightening of skin that has sagged and drooped.
Problem skin such as dryness, acne, age spots, rosacea and eczema can be greatly reduced, if not eliminated, particularly if internal treatment with herbs, dietary and lifestyle changes are implemented.
Improvements can be seen in a mere 1-2 sessions. While the immediate results are obviously not as drastic as Botox or surgery, after the first treatment the skin will likely emit a positive and youthful glow due to the increased circulation of Qi and Blood. The eyes will be bright and clear, and darkness and puffiness under the eyes diminished.
Within 3-4 treatments, fine lines and wrinkles will have faded, and deeper lines will be less noticeable. The skin at this point should be much more soft, supple and radiant, with a smooth and even complexion. It is however, the increased elasticity and muscle tone that patients find the most pleasing.
The benefits of the treatments are cumulative, with improvements after every session. There is no minimum or maximum number of treatments, however, most practitioners advise an initial course of 6-8 treatments on a weekly or twice weekly basis. Of course, if patients are preparing for a special event such as a wedding, a more intensive course of treatment is possible.
The results of a course of treatment can last up to 5 years. Most people opt to have a maintenance treatment once every 1-2 months to ensure they stay looking and feeling their best.
What is involved in a treatment session?
In the initial consultation, you should expect a full and thorough assessment with the practitioner, as Chinese Medicine treatments are individually tailored to each patient.
This assessment includes tongue and pulse reading and an analysis of the patient’s skin. General health is discussed, covering such topics as digestive function, sleep patterns, and specific men’s and women’s health issues. The TCM doctor then forms a holognosis (holistic diagnosis). This is a complete “painting” of the patient’s physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. From this, a treatment plan is formulated.
During a typical session of Cosmetic Acupuncture, sterile single-use, disposable, fine needles are inserted into specific acupuncture points selected according to the patient’s holognosis. These include local areas on the face, as well as constitutional points found on the arms, legs, and torso.
The needles used for Cosmetic Acupuncture are as fine as a human hair and are specifically designed to be used on sensitive areas such as the face and neck, meaning that the treatment is pain-free. Even patients with severe needle phobias find the treatment both relaxing and enjoyable.
Incorporated in the Constitutional Facial Rejuvenation treatment is the use of cool jade rollers and guasha with natural organic oils. These are special ancient Chinese techniques to stimulate and rejuvenate the skin.
Herbal Medicine may be prescribed to balance and re-harmonise the body. This is especially important for conditions due to Yin deficiency such as wrinkles and dryness. Yin is the fluid energy of the body and has the function of nourishing the skin. With age, for both men and women, the Yin of the body naturally declines resulting in dry, brittle hair, and thinning of the skin with less elasticity throughout the entire body including the muscle and tendons. Even prolonged exposure to air-conditioned environments can result in similar changes. Chinese Herbal Medicine works to nourish and boost the Yin, bringing the body and skin back to a smoother and supple state.
Chinese Diet Therapy is also essential to help you achieve the best results. In your consultation, expect advice about the types of foods you should be eating for your holognosis and body and skin type.
Self acupressure massage techniques are often shown to patients to do at home in order to reinforce the benefits of the treatment.
Cosmetic Acupuncture is a gentle, safe and holistic approach to beauty. Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine principles used for over 2000 years, it gives you, whatever your age, the ability to look and feel your natural best.
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