During the Song Dynasty, a thousand years ago, the empress of China relied on acupuncture to maintain her youthful appearance. Fine lines, wrinkles and sagging are all signs of aging that acupuncturists have defeated for thousands of years. Sometimes referred to as the “acupuncture facelift,” cosmetic treatment can also be applied to acne, eczema and even certain types of hair loss.
How does it work?
When it comes to acupuncture therapy, health and beauty are not treated as two separate things. Stress, lack of sleep and a poor diet will affect your complexion just as much as it will the rest of your health. Hormonal imbalance also plays a part. The fundamental concept of all acupuncture and Chinese medicine cosmetic treatment is that glowing skin comes from within.
Before selecting the proper points, an acupuncturist must determine the cause of a particular skin problem. Poor digestion is a major culprit of less-than-perfect skin. It is commonly the first thing an acupuncturist will “fix” in a cosmetic treatment plan. For conditions like acne, hormones are also a factor, so hormonal balance points are emphasized. Wrinkles and looseness of skin result from the breakdown of collagen or poor blood flow. In this case, circulation and overall health is addressed along with facial points to increase collagen production.
Most importantly, lifestyle and environmental factors must be considered. I often must remind patients that acupuncture and Chinese medicine is not a passive treatment—homework and lifestyle changes are frequently required for it to work.
What points are most effective?
This depends on your particular constitution and general health. While body points will vary by individual, facial points are always used to increase circulation to the area. However, don’t dismiss these facial points as purely cosmetic. Acupuncture points located on the face belong to meridians associated with digestive organs; stomach, large intestine, small intestine, and gall bladder meridians all begin or end on the face. In this aspect, the facial points are potent multi-taskers.
Below are some points ideal for self-acupressure massage to relieve puffiness, relax facial muscles, and increase circulation to the face.
• UB 10 – This point is located at the base of your skull, one inch from the midline on each side. The English translation of this point’s name is Heavenly Pillar. Massaging this point helps relieve basic stress and allows fresh blood to flow to the head and facial region.
• Yin Tang – Also known as Third Eye Point, gentle massage of this point stimulates the pituitary gland and helps regulate hormones. It also provides a sense of calm and helps relax facial muscle. It is located where the bridge of the nose meets the center of the forehead.
• ST 2 – The name of this point is Four Whites. It clears the eyes and brings much needed circulation to the face, plumping up the area. It is located at the center of the lower ridge of the eye socket. This point can feel tender, so massage gently.
• SI 17 – Heavenly Appearance is the English translation of this point’s name, which says it all. It is an excellent point to massage to help create glowing skin by reducing puffiness and clearing toxins. It is located behind the jaw approximately two inches below the ear lobe.
What is the advantage?
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is about promoting change from within and restoring energy to the body. It is safe and most importantly, natural. Cosmetic acupuncture is ideal for those concerned with side effects of pharmaceutical treatments such as Accutane and Botox.
Feeling good and looking good never have to be mutually exclusive. After all, the skin is an organ just like any other. Give your skin a gift from the heart and book an appointment today!