All You Need To Know About Cosmetic Acupuncture05.04.2022
Since the pandemic, many people have sought a holistic approach to beauty. This is especially true for skin care. The beauty industry is buzzing with terms like gua sha and jade rolling facial massages, as well as cupping. According to Jenelle Kim, DACM and LAc, cosmetic acupuncture, an ancient Chinese practice, it’s one of them.
This article will cover everything you need to know about cosmetic acupuncture. Its history, side effects and cost are all included.
What is cosmetic acupuncture?
Cosmetic acupuncture is also known as facial acupuncture. It focuses on the aesthetic condition of the patient and usually concerns the face. It is similar to traditional acupuncture in that it involves strategically inserting sterilized needles into various areas of the skin with a view to stimulating blood flow and balancing Qi (which, when translated from Traditional Chinese Medicine, means “vital energy”)
Although the skin is the most common target area, the procedure uses acupuncture points all over the body and face. Although clinical research on its cosmetic benefits is lacking, traditional acupuncture clients have become more interested in it, as dermatologists and other acupuncturists have both spoken of its potential positive effects.
“Cosmetic Acupuncture can increase the production of collagen through micro-injury of the skin, stimulate immune responses that lower inflammation, and activate any number functional points that have different responses like relieving jaw tension or anxiety,” Stephanie DiLibero (licensed acupuncturist, LE), founder of Gotham Wellness, a New York City acupuncture clinic. Jenny Liu MD, a Minnesota-based dermatologist, believes cosmetic acupuncture can be beneficial in these areas.
What is a cosmetic acupuncture treatment?
Your practitioner may ask about your digestion, menstruation, sleep, energy, and diet. This will help you to understand how your current mental and physical state affects your skin, DiLibero says.
The acupuncturist will then create a treatment plan. This will include mapping out the areas where the needles will be placed and how long they will stay there. LED therapy, guided meditation and microcurrent are some of the options for enhanced treatments. You should note that your licensed aesthetician should be involved in any hybrid treatments, including LED therapy or facials.
Who is cosmetic Acupuncture for?
DiLibero says, “Anyone who is looking for a holistic and functional approach to beauty and health is a candidate.” Botox and filler users should wait two weeks before they seek this type of treatment. Dr. Liu advises that this time period allows swelling to decrease and Botox to fully kick-in. Before you try cosmetic acupuncture, or any type of acupuncture, make sure to consult your doctor.
Jenelle Kim, DACM and LAc, a doctor in Chinese medicine, has some words of wisdom. She warns anyone who has a blood clotting problem or takes blood thinners to consult their physician before they undergo any acupuncture treatments. She says, “I always recommend that someone talk to their doctor first to see if there are any reasons to discourage them from trying cosmetic acupuncture.”
Angela Chau Gray, LAc is an acupuncturist who cofounded the traditional Chinese medicine-inspired wellness brand Yina. She advises that anyone looking for a quick solution to their skin-care problems should look into other options.
What are the potential benefits of cosmetic acupuncture
- Improved Collagen Production
Rebecca Marcus, MD is a Dallas-based board-certified dermatologist. Dr. Marcus explains that this will stimulate collagen production which can reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
- Acne is reduced
Facial acupuncture might be a good option for acne-prone skin types who are looking to supplement their creams and over-the-counter treatments. Although it is not proven to cure any skin condition, Dr. Marcus claims that there have been some reports of facial acupuncture helping with acne. It may help to eliminate toxins that can contribute to breakouts by encouraging lymphatic drainage.
Dr. Marcus states that acupuncture is not recommended as a single treatment for acne. However, he says, “If a patient was interested in using it to complement other science-backed treatments, I would certainly not discourage them.”
- Jaw Tension and Inflammation Reduced
Dr. Kim says that acupuncture needles can be applied directly to acupuncture points to increase blood circulation and reduce inflammation. It can also “help release trigger points within various muscles of your body,” Dr. Kim says, such as those in the jaw.
What side effects can cosmetic acupuncture have?
Dr. Liu states that side effects include bruising, minor bleeding, muscle twitching and temporary worsening of symptoms. These side effects can be treated by either removing the needles or applying pressure directly to the bleeding areas (during the session) and, in cases of bruising using topical and oral arnica montana, as prescribed by a doctor.
Dr. Kim stresses the importance of working alongside a licensed practitioner with at least a master’s in the field. It is important to find someone licensed and with extensive experience in cosmetic acupuncture. This will help reduce the chance of suffering side effects.
What is the cost of cosmetic acupuncture?
Cosmetic acupuncture sessions can range in price from $100 to $500 depending on where you are located, how long the treatment takes, and whether other treatments are included.
Cosmetic acupuncture is a natural option to Botox?
No. Although facial acupuncture is often referred to as “natural alternatives” to Botox in terms of how it affects the skin, it is not the same. Botox doesn’t cause muscle contractions in the same way as cosmetic acupuncture, but it stimulates more blood flow to a specific area. Michelle Henry, MD, a New York City dermatologist, believes that cosmetic acupuncture works by stimulating collagen levels, which could make the skin plumper and reduce wrinkles.
Cosmetic acupuncture can take longer to show results. “Most cosmetic treatments for acupuncture are meant to be done in a series of 10, well, generally 10,” DiLibero says. Follow-up appointments are highly recommended because of the cumulative effects of acupuncture.