Have you ever contemplated trying acupuncture, but were too nervous to actually go through with having needles stuck into your body? This woman shared similar sentiments, but was willing to overcome her fear for, well, the sake of our many inquiries. Below, she shares her experience and reveals why acupuncture has many beneficial properties.
I’m lying on a bed, but instead of a doctor’s office or spa, I'm in a company meeting room in my office. And instead of calming whale noises, there's a steady chime of fire engines and car horns from the street. But regardless, Dr. Vivian Tam is about to delicately poke some needles into my face.
I'm seeing Dr. Vivian for facial acupuncture, which sounds scary, but trust me, it’s actually not. Facial acupuncture--also known as cosmetic acupuncture and facial rejuvenation--has been widely used (for more than 5,000 years) to “assist in softening lines and wrinkles, lifting sagging, increasing firmness, and boosting blood circulation,” as Dr. Vivian details on her website. And this is the first time I've tried it.
Facial acupuncture is very popular in Asia, and is a part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). A pilot study by the Kyung Hee University Hospital in South Korea researched the benefits of facial cosmetic acupuncture and found it made a positive improvement to the skin's elasticity.
How does acupuncture work? More importantly, does it hurt?
Very fine needles are gently inserted into your face through the skin and into the muscle layer. I had nine needles stuck into my face and, when inserted, they felt like I had someone very softly pricking me with a pin. I barely felt them. I can’t emphasize enough that it didn’t hurt (promise).
Each needle is inserted into various points on your face, which targets specific concerns and lines. Needle placement might vary from person to person.
Dr. Vivian warned me that some people experience bruising where a needle is placed, but this is very uncommon, and I wasn’t worried. However, that evening, about five hours after my treatment, I noticed a faint, tiny purple spot on my face about the size of a pearl pin head. The bruise wasn’t sore or tender and has faded almost completely overnight. I also very easily covered it with concealer.
What are the benefits of facial acupuncture?
The benefit of cosmetic acupuncture over invasive treatments is that it requires no downtime, is natural and chemical-free, non-toxic, and targets more than one area of concern each session. Cosmetic acupuncture also works to heal your skin and force it to repair from the inside, rather than treating the problems as they arise.
Along with the actual acupuncture treatment, Dr. Vivian addressed some of my other health concerns through traditional TCM, which is common practice when you book in for treatment. The skin on your face is connected to your entire body, so digestion issues, stress and anxiety can all manifest themselves as problems on your face. TCM looks to address the issue as a whole. It was also a very relaxing process, even though I had gone from my computer to the treatment and back to work.
What can facial acupuncture treat?
The areas of concern for me when it comes to my skin are sun damage, dehydration, and a few fine lines from frowning and stress. Dr. Vivian recommends six to eight treatments to see results, however, I think my ‘11's’ lines (vertical lines between your eyebrows) were significantly reduced from just one treatment, possibly due to muscle relaxation.
Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of concerns from quitting smoking, adult acne, anxiety, and sleep problems. However, facial acupuncture is the next big thing in anti-aging, and something to try if you are looking for a non-invasive treatment that is remarkably relaxing--even if someone is sticking needles in your face.
This post was written by Amber Elias. For more, check out our sister site Now To Love.