Benefits of Facial Acupuncture for Anti-Aging
Acupuncture has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries as a way to restore the flow of energy in the body. Acupuncture consists of inserting needles into a selected and targeted area of the body. The application of pressure helps to detoxify the skin, and activate collagen production which helps with aging. Modern scientific studies have suggested that acupuncture can effectively treat a wide range of illnesses from alleviating pain to treating conditions such as scarring, eczema, and psoriasis.
According to DermNet, “they [researchers] believe that acupuncture might work by the stimulation of Raphe nuclei, which increases serotonin production. This, in turn, sets off a series of reactions that culminates in the increase of glucocorticoids that modulate inflammation and other aspects of the body’s immune response. Since many skin conditions are at least in part inflammatory, acupuncture may have a positive effect through the reduction of inflammation.” These factors could also be responsible for healing lesions, as well as the normalizing and thickening of the skin.
Facial acupuncture, sometimes called “cosmetic acupuncture,” has been growing in popularity recently due to its effective anti-aging benefits. Practitioners focus on putting needles in areas of the face in order to stimulate collagen production, improve skin quality, heal acne and scarring. Typically a facial acupuncture treatment will use upwards of about 40 needles in the face which are then left in the skin for about 20 to 25 minutes. Facial acupuncture is all about a holistic approach to healing. Not only does it help to address signs of aging but it can also aid in other ailments such as digestive issues or anxiety.
If you’re still unsure about facial acupuncture, here are some of its anti-aging benefits!
Natural Alternative to Botox
It is believed by many that facial acupuncture can be a natural alternative to botox! Botox causes temporary paralysis in the facial muscles whereas Facial acupuncture will not. Amrit Singh, a registered acupuncturist and founder of 6 Babe Beauty in Toronto, Canada explains to HuffPost that facial acupuncture can be “an excellent option if you don’t want Botox” but that some individuals like (and might prefer) the effects of Botox. “I have had patients who have done Botox and they come and see me and then they don’t do it anymore, or they cut it down by at least 50 to 70%,” she says. “I prefer the cosmetic acupuncture because you’re getting the other health benefits as well from it, and again, you’re boosting your own collagen production, which you aren’t getting with the Botox,” she adds.
But, as is the case with many natural treatments, you shouldn’t expect to see miracle results instantly. Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, a dermatologist based in Miami, explains that you shouldn’t expect fast results or the instant gratification that you get with botox treatments. She explains to HuffPost that while she has treated patients who get facial acupuncture they have been getting regular treatments over the course of the many years. “It seems like it takes quite a while to see results,” she said. “I think one of the problems that most of us have in the Americas is that we want the results yesterday,” she noted.
While we admit that the science behind facial acupuncture’s potential to be a natural alternative to Botox is limited, there is some evidence indicating that it can be. Participants of a small 2013 study saw “a significant improvement” in facial elasticity after five sessions of acupuncture. The study also concluded that more large-scale studies needed to be done for more reliable statistics but the results are promising!
And if you wanted to use both facial acupuncture and botox for maximum effectiveness, that is totally safe to do as long as you put a little time in between your treatments. You should wait a minimum of at least two weeks after having injections before going for acupuncture. Other dermatologists recommend waiting anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. It will really depend on your skin and how well it tolerates each treatment.
Stimulate Collagen Production
Another anti-aging benefit to facial acupuncture is that it stimulates the production of collagen. Collagen production slows down as we age (this typically begins around age 25.) That is where facial acupuncture comes in! The muscles in our face require collagen and blood circulation in order to maintain a healthy and supple appearance. Acupuncture causes something called “positive microtraumas” in the surface of the skin (similar to that of microneedling for those who are familiar) which in turn triggers the healing mechanisms in your body and rushes blood to the area. Not only does this process stimulate collagen production and blood circulation, but it can also help with lymphatic drainage which deflates any puffy areas particularly those around the eyes.
If you’re looking for a stress-relieving, natural alternative to botox give facial acupuncture a try! But remember to be patient, as results may take time to see.
Dr. Wang Herbal Skincare co-founder Steven Wang, MD has enjoyed a long and successful career as a board-certified dermatologist. He currently holds the title of Director of Dermatologic Surgery and Dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge New Jersey. Dr. Wang and his father Gui Wang, a licensed acupuncturist with over 40 years of experience, have teamed up to create Dr. Wang Herbal Skincare.
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