Facial acupuncture might sound like too much to try (you’re going to put needles in my face?), but it really is beneficial to overall health and wellness. In a cosmetic facial acupuncture practice, the practitioner uses acupuncture points on the body to treat the underlying patterns of disharmony and local face points to address facial symptoms. Facial acupuncture is typically not done as a standalone treatment, rather it works best as part of a whole body approach to wellness.
What to Expect
Each practitioner and each patient are different so the procedure may vary slightly but typically facial acupuncture involves inserting thin, tiny, and painless needless into acupuncture points on the face to create micro trauma or microscopic wounds that then stimulate the lymphatic and circulatory systems of the body. This stimulation then creates an environment where nutrients and oxygen can be delivered more efficiently to your skin.
However, facial acupuncture is also used to treat conditions that impact facial muscles beyond just rejuvenating the skin. Facial acupuncture is also used to address muscle stiffness, allergies, jaw pain, and headaches.
Patients will first notice a difference in their complexion; i.e. fewer and less noticeable wrinkles and fine lines, a firmer skin texture due to additional collagen production and improved elasticity. Patients also may notice tighter pores, improved muscle tone, smoother texture, less pigmentation and/or discoloration, fewer age spots and blemishes, and a reduction in the puffiness under the eyes.
Whole Body Benefits
As mentioned previously, facial acupuncture is rarely done as a standalone treatment because it has some amazing whole-body benefits as well. Each patient is unique and deals with different body imbalances and issues but some of the additional benefits of facial acupuncture include improvements in:
- Hormone balance (i.e. menopause, perimenopause, premenstrual syndrome, and even thyroid function)
- Sinus congestion
- Headaches (including migraines)
- Jaw Pain (including symptoms of TMJ)
- Bell’s Palsy
- Quality of sleep
- Reduction of stress
It can take up to 24 hours to experience the full impact of a facial acupuncture treatment. Your acupuncturist will work with you to develop a treatment plan but it is common to begin with weekly sessions for approximately 6-8 weeks to achieve desired results. Once you and your acupuncturist feel you are at your goal, regular maintenance appointments can help you maintain your results and keep them for up to a year in some cases.
It’s important to remember that facial acupuncture is not a quick fix like a dermal filler or surgical treatment. However, if you are looking for a safe and effective and non-surgical option, acupuncture is a great choice.
Talk to your acupuncturist about any possible contraindications as you might want to wait for treatment if you have had other procedures done in the last few weeks (i.e. unhealed surgical scars, laser resurfacing, fillers or Botox, or microdermabrasion or other dermal fillers).
If this is something you’d like to explore, you would check to see if an acupuncturist has facial rejuvenation training. This isn’t something that I (Lori Guynes, L.Ac.) has pursued, but there are other fine practitioners that do provide this service.