By Dr Lim Xiang Jun
Facial acupuncture or cosmetic acupuncture is one of the wonderful timeless beauty therapies practised by the Chinese since the Sung Dynasty (960-1279AD). It is said to be one of the basic Traditional Chinese Medicine methods for preserving the youths and beauty of royalties such as Empress Dowager Cixi and the only female emperor in Chinese history Wu Ze Tian. Even up till today, this method has been highly popular among the rich and famous such as Madonna, Cher and Gwyneth Paltrow who are said to have committed to their weekly facial acupuncture sessions to ward off their wrinkles.
While most information surrounding the effectiveness of facial acupuncture is anecdotal, a 1996 research reported in the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture showed that 90 percent of 300 individuals who tried facial acupuncture saw positive results, including softening of facial lines, improvement in skin tone, reduction of under-eye circles and a general facial glow.
What good can I get from needling my face?
So to sum it up, this is a short but not exhaustive list of the wonderful benefits of facial acupuncture:
-Firms sagging skin
-Helps to minimize fine lines and wrinkles
-Reduces dark circles and puffiness under the eyes
-Lightens blemishes and scars
-Reduces double chin
-Improves skin complexion and gives a healthy glow
-Makes face becomes smaller and resculpts facial features
-Improves hormone-based skin conditions
-Treat dry skin and oily skin acne
-Less costly and safer than surgery, chemical peels and injections
-Restores balance to the body and create a sense of well-being
How can facial acupuncture achieve those above?
-Increases muscle tone - firm up sagging skin
-Stimulates cells to lay down new collagen and elastin fibres under wrinkles and pores - filling them in and minimizing them
-Promotes lymphatic drainage - detoxifies and drains blockages in the face which are causing dark circles, puffiness, blemishes, double chin and poor skin complexion
-Promotes increased blood flow to face - new blood brings fresh oxygen, nutrients etc to nourish the face - healthy glow
-Fat burning effect of acupuncture - reduce size of face and reshape facial features
-Rebalances hormonal systems !improves hormone-based skin conditions, oily or dry skin
-Balances organ systems through face mapping, in which accupuncturing different facial parts can affect different internal organ systems - restores balance to body and create a sense of well being.
Needles over chemicals and knife?
For facial acupuncture, stimulation of the body’s own healing capability and aging reversal powers is the key to this aesthetic procedure. Therefore, since patients do not take chemicals or undergo anaesthesia and surgery, there’s little if any controversy over the safety of this method, not to mention side effects.
Furthermore, facial acupuncture do not just tackle your face, it works to balance your whole body and organ systems and get them working well so that your face can exhibit the healthy glow from within and not just skin deep at the face. This is unlike methods such as Botox injections, Restylane fillers, chemical peels and surgical facelifts where the face, and only the face, is addressed.
However as this is a fully natural method to rejuvenate the face and cut back a number of years on the biological age exhibited, time and effort is required of the patient to upkeep the sessions for accumulative effects of acupuncture to take place. Normally, the ideal recommended frequency for facial acupuncture to fully come into effect is to undergo the procedure once every alternate day, 20 sessions as 1 course of treatment, 20 to 30 minutes for each session. However, if one is too busy to keep up with the intensity of the ideal treatment sessions and frequency, then the basic frequency of once to twice every week is recommended, with 40 sessions as 1 course of treatment. In this case, more treatment sessions are needed as the wider a patient spreads out the treatment frequency, the longer time is needed for the effect of acupuncture to accumulate.
So are you ready to needle back the hands of time?
Dr Lim Xiang Jun is registered Dr of Traditional Chinese Medicine Physician whom first completed her BSc(hons) in Biomedical Sciences in Singapore before completing a BSc in Chinese Medicine, MSc and PHD in Acupuncture in Beijing. She is also qualified in Yoga and is a certified Ayurveda Practitioner.