Cosmetic Acupuncture – Is It Right for You?

Cosmetic Acupuncture – Is It Right for You?

Cosmetic Acupuncture – Is It Right for You? blog pic

            Cosmetic acupuncture gives patients the opportunity to address any cosmetic concerns with their skin as well as the underlying issues potentially causing those skin problems. Cosmetically, our skin naturally does go through many changes as we age, and there are many factors that contribute to that, making is rougher, looser, and more fragile. The result of these skin changes? We get wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes, droopy skin, etc., and many patients become very uncomfortable with these changes as time goes on.

Fortunately, cosmetic acupuncture can be a remedy for a wide variety of patients making it appealing on both a results level as well as an all-natural face-lift level. It is tempting for patients to seek out quick fix options like Botox, fillers, lasers, etc., but the notion that stands out the most other than the results with cosmetic acupuncture, is its long-lasting effects, and knowing exactly what you’re getting.

Skin Aging Explained

            Undeniably, our skin changes with age. The skin becomes much thinner and no longer appears as smooth or plump as it did in our younger years. All of those years that patients have spent being out in the sun without skim protection or piling on stress brings out wrinkles, dry skin, cancer, aging spots and more on the skin.

Types of Skin Issues:

  • Dry Skin – this occurs on older patients often on the elbows, and lower legs and arms with a rugged and scaly texture.

    • This can be due to poor hydration, smoking, stress, spending too much time in the sun, losing oil and sweat glands from aging, and being in a dry air environment. It can also be caused by health issues like kidney disease or diabetes.

    • To aid dry skin, in western medicine and often the advice given in conjunction with their acupuncture treatment is to utilize moisturizers, use a humidifier, and take fewer showers while using mild soap.

  • Wrinkles – this occurs with age, but also due to other environmental factors. There are of course an infinite number of products and services that claim to eliminate wrinkles some are painful, some can be dangerous, and almost all options tend to waste money with no results.

    • Wrinkles can be caused by UV light from the sun, gravity simply from aging, and smoking.

  • Age Spots – this occurs most often by spending too much time in the sun and show up as flat brown spots that show up in the face, back, feet, hands, and arms.

    • Ways to protect against these are being sure to use a broad-spectrum sunblock which protects against both UVA and UVB rays to prevent age spots.

The skin is the body’s largest organ, and it does a lot of things from allowing one to feel touch, pressure, and pain to controlling body temperature and fluid balance. It also protects people from the environment. The problem with this is that it takes the brunt of the physical and environmental factors that people come face to face with on a daily basis from the time they’re born.

The skin has multiple layers that contain tissue with collagen fibers to provide elastin fibers to give strength and flexibility in the skin. When people age, it is difficult to tell normal changes in the skin related to age versus those skin issues that are related to a disease or disorder. The vast majority of our older patients have some type of skin issue cause by an underlying condition, from aging alone, climate or environment, or even clothing.

Cosmetic Acupuncture vs. Botox

In the case of Botox treatment, this has become a popular treatment option for a variety of issues since its cosmetic approval in 2002 including both cosmetic issues as well as other issues that it has claimed to help with like pain, tight muscles, and eye problems. The issue is that although there may have been some success with improving cosmetic issues, patients are legitimately being injected with a toxin to paralyze the muscles that cause wrinkles. Additionally, Botox can cause unfavorable side effects such as swelling, drooping in the treatment site, bruising, and diminish facial muscles. Perhaps most importantly, there is a lack of research on the long-term effects of Botox treatment, so it is important that patients understand the risks before committing to Botox.

Potential Risks of Botox:

  • Muscle weakness/paralysis

  • Headaches

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Vision issues

  • Can potentially take weeks/months for results to show

  • Droopy eyelids/eyebrows

  • Pain at the injection site along with possible bruising, redness, or swelling

  • Allergic reactions

  • Can lead to more serious health issues if a botched treatment is received, and if the Botox spreads past the injection area, it can cause difficulty breathing or swallowing.

The biggest noticeable factor, especially in the eyes of patients, is the cost of Botox when compared to cosmetic acupuncture. On average, acupuncture can cost anywhere from $90 – $150 per session depending on the region the patient resides in, while Botox can cost upwards of $400 – $600 per injection. Cosmetic acupuncture is absolutely more cost-effective, especially noting the fact that Botox needs to be re-done roughly every 3 – 4 months while after a single session of cosmetic acupuncture, the effects may last for several months.

Cosmetic Acupuncture Benefits

            Many patients are now moving over to the idea of cosmetic acupuncture as it is a natural, toxin-free way to get Botox results for cheaper and more lasting results. The beauty industry has grown exponentially, but the thing that has changed is patients are unwilling to sacrifice their health to obtain results like they did in decades past. Being that cosmetic acupuncture is a multi-faceted modality treating the whole person rather than one singular issue, it is no wonder it is becoming the more popular choice for facial rejuvenation.

The best part about those patients who are on the way to aging skin in 2024 is that they are open and honest about the stresses of daily life, and want to make changes to rectify that for future generations with natural skincare. This includes taking care of themselves in every way, both physically and mentally. Fortunately, cosmetic acupuncture treats both. Aging is a chronic, whole body issue, and as acupuncturists, we must look at how to slow the aging process as an entire picture.

Acupuncturist 4 Main Protocol Factors for Successful Cosmetic Acupuncture Treatment:

  • Balance – Balance cell function in the skin and body which is often abandoned with traditional beauty treatments as these treatments focus solely on the skin.

  • Fibroblasts – Stimulate the division of fibroblasts and an immune response through micro-trauma to the skin through proper needling.

  • Preserve – Preserve the integrity of the epidermis through proper needling.

  • Train Muscles – Re-engage facial muscles to bring ton back to the muscles while disengaging other muscles to relax resolving wrinkles.

One of the most important factors that makes cosmetic acupuncture successful is that it increases blood circulation and collagen production allowing for the smoothing out of fine lines and wrinkles. However, there are way more benefits to cosmetic acupuncture besides that.

Top 10 Benefits of Cosmetic Acupuncture:

  • Treats conditions along with a more youthful appearance including Bell’s Palsy, TMJ, headaches, vertigo, sinus problems, trigeminal neuralgia, cataracts, and tinnitus.

  • Singles out motor points in the muscles of the face to lift and tone the skin

  • Stimulates collagen and elastin production to firm up soft tissue

  • Enhances blood circulation and oxygenate the blood to produce a more evened out complexion.

  • Addresses other skin issues like acne by encouraging healing.

  • Stimulates cell regrowth by creating micro trauma to the skin not unlike the micro tears in the muscle fibers from exercise which is a good way for patients to understand how cosmetic acupuncture is working.

  • Stimulates the skin’s healing process triggered by the release of energy from fibroblasts increasing production of elastin and collagen allowing for the skin to regenerate itself.

  • Fills out sunken areas, decreases puffiness under the eyes, and brightens the complexion.

  • It benefits the whole body

  • Enhances the long-term health of the skin rather than the superficial signs of aging unlike Botox.

The benefits could really go on and on. Cosmetic acupuncture also minimizes pores, decreases jaw tension, and improves skin texture. Overall, cosmetic acupuncture benefits far outweigh those of traditional beauty treatments like Botox, and achieve this in a natural way. According to a study in 2018, Acupuncture for Cosmetic Use, acupuncture for cosmetic use produced positive results. While Botox is still the number one procedure for cosmetic improvements encompassing 7.4 million people in the United States, cosmetic acupuncture is hot on its heels with the higher focus from the new generation on overall health and natural health.