Can You Rejuvenate Your Face With Acupuncture

May 16th, 2011

Can you rejuvenate your face with acupuncture? The skin care industry and spa goers are abuzz with the new trend in skin rejuvenation, they are calling it, The acupuncture face-lift. But is it just plain acupuncture in a new marketing package?

In order to expand my base of knowledge in skin care I’m always researching and applying what I know to boost the results of my facials or skincare treatments. My clients know that I’m always discussing new found technology or exploring new ways to improve upon proven, results oriented techniques.

I immerse myself in my craft so I can fully understand your skin and give you the results you want. And in doing so, I recently found an article in the New York Times about facial acupuncture. The entire article is full of controversy and I can honestly say that I’m NOT endorsing it as a form of skin care.

However, what I can say is that acupuncture works! And what results people are getting is probably due to the fact that an overall health condition has been improved. Ultimately your skin reflects your health and improving it with acupuncture will probably show those results in your skin.

Due to the length of the article I include it a link at the bottom of the page so you can go to the NEW YORK TIMES site and read the entire article. The below excerpt is a New York Time article named: “Hold The Chemicals, Bring On The Needles”

Natasha Calzatti for The New York Times


JANE BECKER, a composer and solo pianist, celebrated her 50th birthday at the dermatologist, paying $1,500 for shots of Restylane and botox. But three months later, their wrinkle-smoothing effects wore off. So, she turned to a less-artificial youth tonic: facial acupuncture.

Like many women who have tried acupuncture in pursuit of beauty, Ms. Becker hoped that having needles strategically inserted into her face would be cheaper and last longer than her birthday injections.

Ms. Becker, now 53, started with 10 sessions in five weeks ($1,000) and has gone for monthly maintenance since ($105 a session).

Acupuncture didn’t end up being much of a bargain, but it pays in other ways, she said.

“I can really see a difference in my face,” said Ms. Becker, who sees Steven Sonmore, a licensed acupuncturist in Minneapolis. “It looks younger, smoother, brighter and uplifted.”

Early adopters like Ms. Becker first spread word of the virtues of a so-called acupuncture face-lift. Then before the 2005 Academy Awards, a crew of facial acupuncturists descended on Soho House, a makeshift celebrity hangout in Los Angeles, and A-listers jumped at the chance to transform their skin from the inside out.

Now, thanks to more robust marketing, cosmetic acupuncture has caught the attention of more of the wrinkled public. Its holistic approach appeals in particular to women who want to slow signs of aging, but don’t want to undergo surgery or to inject chemicals.

Whether it is called facial rejuvenation, acupuncture face-lift or cosmetic acupuncture, the aim is to tackle wrinkles, muscle tension that may be causing unsightly lines, as well as systematic issues standing between you and glowing skin. Just as with traditional needling, putting needles on acupuncture points stimulates the body’s natural energies, called qi, but with added benefits.

Whether cosmetic acupuncture works has yet to be proved. Some randomized, controlled studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective adjunctive treatment for hypertension, chronic pain, headaches and back pain. But there is no peer-reviewed research demonstrating that acupuncture diminishes wrinkles.

Still, an industry devoted to needling for youthful skin has grown in recent years.

“There’s a rise in interest all over the country,” said Martha Lucas, a licensed acupuncturist who helped create the Mei Zen cosmetic acupuncture system in 2003. She teaches a dozen seminars annually to rooms of more than 30 budding facialists. “L.A. used to be the biggest market. But now we get people from the Midwest calling.”

Practitioners of this style of cosmetic acupuncture called Mei Zen (“beautiful person” in Chinese) offer their services in 16 states.

Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, a licensed acupuncturist who headed the 2005 Oscars event, has trained more than 2,000 teachers in 40 states in her technique: constitutional facial acupuncture. This year to date, she has trained almost 1,200 practitioners, up from 100 in 2001, she said. “For centuries, the ancient Chinese have promoted health and beauty,” Ms. Wakefield said, “but we’ve taken it to another level.”

Part of the reason is savvier marketing: Ms. Lucas’s monthly seminars include pointers on taking effective before-and-after pictures, and creating fruitful relationships with dermatologists. She even passes out T-shirts that proclaim “Cosmetic Acupuncture Works.”A half-dozen women interviewed for this article said they have seen puffiness decrease, under-eye bags disappear and lines diminish or soften.

Dr. Richard G. Glogau, a clinical professor of dermatology at University of California, San Francisco, said these changes were quite possible. “It’s obvious that people carry around a lot of muscle tension in their face, which gives them frowns and wrinkles,” he said. “My take on this is that they are producing relaxation in the muscles.”

But Dr. Glogau doesn’t believe that facial acupuncture can increase collagen, another claim of some practitioners.

Read the full article by following this link.

Share