Put on a Happy Face: Cosmetic Acupuncture for a Youthful Glow

By: StacyAtZeel

In the pursuit of the perfect complexion, some men and women are willing to go under the knife for unsullied, wrinkle-free skin. But could alternative therapies like acupuncture provide similar clarity as more aggressive procedures?

WebMD recently dubbed acupuncture "the new facelift," and Our Experts tend to somewhat agree. Find out what licensed acupuncturists in our extensive network of complementary and alternative healthcare providers are saying about cosmetic acupuncture-and what consumers should know.

Not an "alternative," but effective nonetheless. Says Teresa Green, owner of Green AcuClinic in Ashland, Va., "Acupuncture is not an alternative to getting a facelift," however facial acupuncture can dramatically improve wrinkles, sagging skin and jowls. "It also causes the skin to look healthy and vibrant," she adds, explaining that facial acupuncture usually takes between 10 and 12 weekly visits, each session lasting up to three hours.

Teresa cautions, "Be sure to go to a licensed acupuncturist, since even facial acupuncture must take your overall health into consideration. Doing multiple needles on the face without a balanced treatment can cause headaches, insomnia or light-headedness."

A safe, effective and drug-free approach. That's how nationally licensed massage therapist Lejla Fazlicic describes this rejuvenating process. Lejla also describes facial acupuncture as a technique that can "improve muscle tone on the face and neck while addressing underlying imbalances that may contribute to the aging process."

Much like the application of acupuncture for any other condition or concern, facial acupuncture seeks to improve the flow of 'qi' through the body. "With acupuncture," Lejla says, "we will improve the flow of qi through meridians, toning muscles on the neck and face, which will reduce signs of aging."

A quantifiable, complementary technique. Glendale, Calif. licensed acupuncturist Aram Akopyan explains that acupuncture relies on a mechanism called microtrauma, in which needles are inserted along the various trigger point or directly into wrinkles to induce collagen and elastin formation. A "safe and effective alternative to more invasive treatments such as Botox or surgery," facial acupuncture produces measurable results and is often combined with other techniques for a complete and comprehensive solution, he adds.