Facial Rejuvenation -- By Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to treat illness, disease
and pain. Now, it increasingly is used to erase years from faces. U.S.
physicians and other researchers have been studying acupuncture and its
effects on the body and in medicine for several decades.

When 52-year-old Linda S., a medical assistant in New York City, noticed
the creases in her face were getting more pronounced, she thought once
again about plastic surgery.

“In the past, I’ve had collagen injections but there is some pain involved and
I don’t like the idea of a foreign substance being injected into my body,”
says Linda (who did not want her full name used.) “After several
treatments, the collagen only lasts about two months.”

But she heard the physician where she works referring some patients out
for acupuncture treatments. So Linda decided to try acupuncture for facial
rejuvenation after she saw an ad about it.

“After ten treatments over two months, I noticed a big difference in my
facial lines,” she says. “An unexpected bonus was that the acupuncture
treatments also cleared my facial skin and gave some needed lift to a
drooping eyelid.”

Linda was delighted about her improved facial skin because she was, in her
youth, a serious sun worshiper and, consequently, now has some ruddy
complexion which the acupuncture treatments seem to lessen.

More physicians are joining the ranks of acupuncturists who are seeing
their services increasingly coming into demand. Some 2000 M.D.s who
have learned -- and now practice -- the ancient art belong to the American
Association of Acupuncture Medicine (AAAM) and hope to better separate
fact from fiction and myth from reality. The AAAM’s mission is combining
the best of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with the evidence-based
medicine practiced in the West.
In New York, two acupuncturists joined forces to investigate the results of
facial rejuvenation via acupuncture on study subjects.

Diane J. Krause, M.D. and Shellie Goldstein, M.S., both licensed
acupuncturists in the Empire State, studied ten Caucasian women over 40
who were given ten sessions each of a procedure known as AcuFacial in
which needles and a weak electric current are applied to the acupuncture
points on the face. The practitioners took before and after pictures. Later,
based on assessment tests, the researchers reported all the women noted
improvements in skin color, texture and muscle tone. Yet another study
printed in the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture showed that, of
300 people who received facial acupuncture, 90 percent saw marked
results after the first course of treatment.

“I essentially treat the whole patient with acupuncture and TCM but
concentrate on facial muscles which were tightened, resulting in look that is
about ten years younger than the person’s actual age,” says acupuncturist
Goldstein who adds that monthly visits are required to keep the more
youthful look up to date.

Pain Control

Other U.S. researchers have studied acupuncture on a handful of medical
woes. Scientists now know the practice is valid for pain control and a
handful of other common ailments. Additionally, more major universities are
offering acupuncture training for licensed physicians who want to use the
technique as an adjunct to their other treatments and services.

Other acupuncturists – including several M.D.s -- claim the tiny hair-width
acupuncture needles inserted into certain places in the facial skin – and
elsewhere on the body -- can cause fine facial lines to disappear, deep
lines to get smoother and broken capillaries, acne and rosacea to improve.
All the procedure require several half-hour sessions during which your face,
and parts of your body, may come to resemble a pincushion.

“I think acupuncture can make a face look younger because the needles
cause the body to form additional natural collagen which gives human skin
its radiance and youthful, healthy look, ” says Patrick J. LaRiccia, M.D., a
Philadelphia plastic surgeon who performs and teaches acupuncture. “An
acupuncture facelift requires about 25 needles just slightly inserted into the
skin. The needles also increase blood flow to the face which causes many
good things to happen. Additionally, some medical studies have shown that
acupuncture stimulates the body’s own pain killers, the endorphins.”

A Cat’s Whisker

Increased blood flow means more nutrients going to the face while more
waste matter is carried away, invigorating the muscles. Moreover, as we
grow older, blood vessels tend to become smaller in all parts of the body.
Physicians says acupuncture needles don’t feel like syringe needles
because those needles are hollow, sharpened and often force substances
under the skin, all of which cause pain. But acupuncture needles – which
most practitioners compare to the thickness of a cat’s whisker – are not
sharp so they don’t sever nerves, tissues or other bodily structures as they
move through the skin. Moreover, acupuncture needles placed at different
depths produce various results.

“I find that a patient in middle age is the best candidate for an acupuncture
facelift,” says Dr. LaRiccia who reports he can see facial skin improve
before his eyes as he ever-so-gently puts the needles into place.

Martha Lucas, PhD., an acupuncturist at the Colorado Center of Traditional
Medicine in Denver says after a series of about ten treatments, facial skin
becomes more delicate, with fewer wrinkles.

“Acupuncture treatments can remove fine lines on the face and reduce the
deeper folds, lift up droopy eyelids, clear age spots and firm up sagging
facial skin,” says Dr. Lucas. “The treatments are also good for removing
crow’s feet.”
No Incisions, Scars or Anesthesia

Acupuncture lifts are largely desired by people who do not want incisions,
scars or going under anesthesia. Results usually last three to five years.
Acupuncture would not, however, be able to change the shape of the chin,
nose or ears according to Peter G. Hanson, M.D., who uses acupuncture
for facelifts, scar reduction and vein removals, among many other medical
afflictions.

“Acupuncture is absolutely evidence-base medicine,” says Dr. Hanson.
“And, no, we do not throw hands full of rice to the four winds before setting
the needles. At first, Western doctors thought acupuncture cures were
affected because of a belief system. But acupuncture has been used with
good results on thoroughbred Kentucky race horses. And horses don’t have
belief systems.” Dr. Hanson is also a former officer and current member of
the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.

“Traditional Chinese Medicine concentrates on the health of the whole
person,” adds Dr. Lucas. “So the concept would be insuring the remainder
of the patient’s body – as well as the face – is healthy.”

Consequently, Dr. Lucas says some facelift patients have noticed, for
instance, their digestion or arthritis, also improving after facial treatments.

“Many women are just afraid of surgery,” says Dr. Lucas who reports the
number of patients seeking facial acupuncture treatment has quadrupled in
the last three years. “They don’t want to take chances they might come out
of an operation with not only an ice bag on their face but with some more
serious side effects.”

Some types of acupuncture place needles directly within facial wrinkles.
Yet another type of non-surgical cosmetic rejuvenation applies electric
current, ultrasound or radio frequency waves to the traditional acupuncture
locations – but without the needles. And some acupuncture practitioners jab
needles into the traditional places and then apply small amounts of
electricity. One common use, for instance, is helping stubborn long broken
bones knit better -- by driving one needle into one end of a broken bone,
another needle into the opposite end and then applying a small current.
“I’ve used micro current in association with acupuncture to tone the muscles
in the face,” says Marshall Sanger, D.O. a Philadelphia physician and past
president of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. “Western-
trained physicians have a real edge because the placement of acupuncture
needles is precise and depends on expert knowledge of the underlying
anatomy,”

China had 5000 years to experiment with acupuncture and hit on some
amazingly effective treatments.

“TCM describes an important acupuncture location in the neck,” says Dr.
Hanson. “Eventually, Western medicine also discovered the importance of
that gland we now know as the stellate ganglion. Nonetheless, most M.D.s
who use acupuncture don’t say the practice is a replacement for plastic
surgery, just an addition.”
Many patients report yet another major reason why they chose
acupuncture over going under the knife for a facelift: Chinese Medicine is
free of side effects and, while not cheap, is much less expensive than
traditional cosmetic surgery.

Because acupuncture patients going under the needle for facial rejuvenation
also sleep better, have more energy and better digestion, they know their
treatments are something more than just skin deep.


What is Cosmetic Acupuncture?

Cosmetic Acupuncture or an Acupuncture Facelift is a non-surgical
procedure that will help rejuvenate and revitalize your whole body. It will
improve blood and energy circulation, nourish your skin and increase
collagen production to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles,
sagging and dull skin. Cosmetic Acupuncture is based on the principals of
Traditional Chinese Medicine. Chinese Medical practitioners have a clear
understanding of the meridian system or energy pathways of the body.
Through the use of fine disposable acupuncture needles an acupuncturist
can help balance the energy within these pathways to restore and maintain
health.A practitioner specializing in Cosmetic Acupuncture is able to utilize
the meridians that either end or begin at the face to stimulate and balance
the energy and at the same time, treat the underlying factors that
contribute to the aging process. This involves the insertion of hair-thin
disposable needles into specific areas on the face, ears, hands, legs and
torso. The needles are inserted into the energy pathways or meridians to
improve the flow of Qi (energy). As the movement of energy improves, a
greater amount of energy and blood are circulated to the face, nourishing,
hydrating, toning and diminishing the appearance of wrinkles

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