There are countless articles and research papers on the benefits of acupuncture, but did you know that it can also be used to combat the signs of aging? A natural alternative to surgery or Botox, facial acupuncture is merely an extension of traditional acupuncture and Chinese medicine philosophy.
Unlike an injection of Botox or some other filler, facial acupuncture addresses not just the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles but it also helps to restore your skin’s overall health. Now, you might be worried about acupuncture needles placed in your face, but acupuncture is safe and effective and is recognized by the World Health Organization and there are established guidelines for practice just like any other health profession. Practitioners are also licensed by their state’s department of health so you can be confident that you are in good hands.
What to Expect
During a typical procedure, your acupuncturist will insert approximately 40 to 70 tiny and painless needles (like the size of a hair) into your face. The science behind it works like this: as the needles puncture the skin, they create wounds called microtraumas. These small punctures work to stimulate your lymphatic and circulatory systems which work together to deliver the nutrients and oxygen our skin cells need to nourish the skin from the inside out. Another benefit is that facial acupuncture helps to produce collagen which improves the skin’s elasticity which then minimizes fine lines and wrinkles.
Cosmetic Acupuncture vs. Botox
Now that you know what to expect with a typical facial acupuncture session, let’s look at the difference between this and a typical Botox treatment. Unlike facial acupuncture, Botox can’t treat the wrinkles that are due to aging or exposure to the sun. Botox only works on smile and frown lines. Users also might not be able to raise their eyebrows or have other facial expressions.
With Botox treatments, there is also a risk of paralysis of the surrounding muscles, and it could also cause the upper eyelid to droop. Botox also provides only temporary results. Think of it this way, the more you get Botox, the more you need to achieve that same result. And Botox treatments can get pricey with some costing up to $600 every three to four months. And one of the biggest concerns is that the long-term effects are just not that well known.
What the Research Says
A 2013 study found that facial acupuncture contributed to better skin elasticity. Other studies have reported outcomes like the skin becoming more delicate and fairer, diminished wrinkles, brighter complexion and an overall rejuvenation that isn’t just confined to the face.
A typical course of treatment consists of approximately 10-14 consecutive treatments depending on the desired results, two times per week for five to seven weeks. Users may notice positive results after just a few sessions, but the full course of treatments allows for deeper and lasting results. Regular maintenance sessions can help to maintain results.
It’s also important to note that your acupuncturist will not just treat your face, but your whole body as well. Each treatment is tailored to how each patient is aging. No two people receive the same treatments because each person’s aging process is their own. There are a variety of issues that can develop due to aging such as sleep disorders, chronic pain or digestive issues. All of these things must be addressed for any acupuncture treatments to be effective.
Your acupuncturist will do a thorough health intake to assess your issues, address your concerns and answer any questions. If Botox and its side effects have you nervous about long-term use, talk to your acupuncturist about facial acupuncture and how it might get you results that are just as good, if not better, with far less risk. Put your best face forward with facial acupuncture!