Acupuncture therapy has been practiced in ancient Chinese medicine for over 2000 years to relieve a wide variety of symptoms for many illnesses. This practice is based on the philosophy of balancing the qi (pronounced chi) within the human body for optimum health.
Qi energy is considered to be in balance when both the yin and yang aspects are in harmony. If either is overpowering the other, there is no longer a balance, which is believed to cause health complications although scientific evidence on this theorizing is lacking.
Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that acupuncture works to help alleviate symptoms for many different kinds of conditions, as research has shown. From chronic pain issues to helping one feel relaxed mentally, there are quite a few symptoms and conditions that acupuncture has been known to address.
One such area is aging, more specifically its signs on the face. You might have been surprised to discover this, but a particular kind of facial acupuncture has been used to reduce the signs of aging and promote healthier-looking skin. In this article, you will learn about the different kinds of facial acupuncture, along with how each brings about different kinds of benefits.
The Two Major Types Of Acupuncture For The Face
According to experts at Town and Country, acupuncture of the face broadly falls under the following two categories; facial acupuncture and cosmetic acupuncture. If you find yourself confused by this, don’t worry because the distinction is fairly simple.
Facial acupuncture for the intents and purposes of this article will refer to the treatment offered when treating symptoms of a variety of conditions that affect the facial muscles and tissues. These symptoms include jaw aches, muscle stiffness, stomach problems, headaches, allergies, and even anxiety.
Cosmetic acupuncture on the other hand is therapy offered to rejuvenate the skin both in appearance and feel, all by achieving a balance of qi energies within the body. This idea rests in ancient Chinese belief in yin and yang energies, an imbalance of which may reflect on the body, mind, and therefore, your skin too.
Another distinction between the two practices is that facial acupuncture typically only involves inserting needles within the facial area to address symptoms of pain and discomfort. But with cosmetic acupuncture, the therapist may even insert needles in other parts of the body to prompt the desired response from one part of the facial area.
How Does Acupuncture For The Face Work?
Given that we now have two broad categories for facial acupuncture, the one that specifically focuses on improving the appearance and feel of the skin is perhaps cosmetic acupuncture. It is important to be noted however that in other places facial acupuncture may be considered a single broad category that includes both these types of specificities.
- For facial acupuncture, needles are slowly inserted into the various muscle points within the face and surrounding areas if needed to bring about relief from pain or discomfort. This pain could be a symptom of a disease that a person may have, so in this sense, facial acupuncture is being used as a form of alternative medicine. Usually, this is done in combination with some medicines if the condition is serious.
- For cosmetic acupuncture, needles go into your face and may also be inserted elsewhere in the body to stimulate healing hormones in the body. These procedures can ultimately make the skin look healthier and brighter with a lessened appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. The goal here is to make the skin look younger and fresher.
The science behind all acupuncture practiced on the face is that repeatedly inserting needles into various points in the face creates “painless trauma sites” on the face. This in turn tricks the brain into producing more collagen and elastin, which smoothens the signs of aging on the skin.
At the same time, these processes encourage reduced inflammation and overall pain relief among other benefits that will be discussed in the following section.
Benefits And Side Effects Of Facial And Cosmetic Acupuncture
Quite a few reasons explain why acupuncture for the face is becoming more popular among people. But it is also equally important to be aware of the side effects of facial and cosmetic acupuncture, so that you know what to expect and can prepare for it both physically and mentally.
· Benefits: Why Opt For Facial Or Cosmetic Acupuncture
To begin with, let us first take a look at three of the most incredible benefits of acupuncture for the face.
- Improved blood circulation: The needles when inserted into various points within the face have been found to increase blood circulation to the face that brings more oxygenated blood to your skin cells. This phenomenon also encourages the skin healing mechanisms of the body, rejuvenating your skin for fresher skin and lesser fine lines.
- Increased production of collagen: With improved blood circulation comes more collagen production, as inserting very thin needles into the face induces a painless trauma response from the body, which then tricks the brain into producing more collagen to repair skin cells. This ultimately smoothens out the wrinkles and fine lines in the skin, making it look younger and tighter.
- Better skin elasticity: Over time, the increased production of collagen will also make your skin more elastic, making sure it will not sag as much as you age. A study conducted in South Korea found favorable results in support of this claim.
· Risks And Side Effects Of Facial And Cosmetic Acupuncture
Generally speaking, there are a few side effects that are common among those who take acupuncture therapy, which for the most part, are completely normal and tend to go away in just a few days. These include soreness or pain, slight bruising and/ or redness at the site(s) of insertion, and possibly pain as well.
There are, however, significant risks that must be taken into account when opting for acupuncture for the face, and even for the body. To begin with, you should always seek the advice of a medical professional before you go for acupuncture therapy, as some medical conditions may interfere with acupuncture’s benefits.
For example, if you have the following conditions/experiences, you should not go for acupuncture.
- Having a pacemaker might make it dangerous when considering acupuncture because some forms of acupuncture treatment now incorporate sending electrical impulses to the body via the needles. These impulses may alter the performance of the pacemaker in some ways, so it is a risk one should not take.
- People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should not opt for acupuncture as the needles will cause bruising that does not heal as fast when compared with the healing of someone who does not have type 2 diabetes.
- If you have any kind of bleeding disorder i.e., you are currently on blood thinners, for example, you will have greater chances of bleeding and bruising more aggressively.
- Acupuncture is also not recommended for those going through pregnancy, as the procedure has been found to induce premature labor.
In all of these cases, the biggest takeaway must be the importance of consulting a medical professional who is familiar with your medical history as well as your comfort level with treatment styles. This will set you up to receive the best care possible.
Author Michael Kaliko DC