Cosmetic Acupuncture is also known as Facial Acupuncture, Facial Rejuvenation or Aesthetic Acupuncture Facial.
The treatment includes acupuncture, Gua Sha, gentle (non marking) facial cupping and LED light stimulation in addition to full body acupuncture.
Your questions answered
Lets start with a brief overview of the face and aging process.
Younger skin is full and plump with very fine to no wrinkles. The early signs of aging begin at:
Stage 1 - Ages 25 to 35
Fine wrinkles appear on the forehead, lines of expressions appear – laughing, smiling, frowning, crows feet and raising the eyebrows. Collagen and elastin production slows down and elasticity reduces slowly over time. Acne scarring and discoloration impedes skin quality and radiance diminishes.
Stage 2 – Ages 35 to 50
This stage is marked by more visible wrinkles around the eyes and forehead. Nasolabial folds in the face are more prominent and marionette lines appear on the outer edges of the lips. Eye changes occur with fine lines around the eyes at rest, eye bags and possible darkening of the area under the eye. Cheeks and the lower jaw may sag due to loss of volume. Signs of sun damage are more prominent. Pores on the nose appear larger and fine blood vessels may appear on the cheeks and nasal area. The skin may appear thinner.
Stage 3 – Ages 50 to 60
Visible wrinkles on the entire face are present at rest. Skin around the eyes are loose and eye bags more prominent. There is a significant volume loss due to diminished elastin resulting in the skin looking thinner and hallow with a possible change to facial contours.
Stage 4 – Ages 70+
Very deep and prominent wrinkles are visible with deeper nasolabial folds causing cheeks to sag around the chin area. Loose eye skin is visible with a collection of wrinkles around the eyes and cheeks. Sun damage is more noticeable on the face and body.(Torgerson, 2019)
What is Aesthetic acupuncture?
Aesthetic acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the motor points of muscles in the face, responsible for facial expression. These needles create microscopic needle-point marks or “wounds” in the skin. The body then responds to this bystimulating elastin and creating collagen bridges between each pinpoint. (Tortora & Derrickson, 2012, p. 146,169-173)
This mechanism of action may restore a more natural looking youthful appearance. Using additional body acupuncture points makes this a holistic treatment as it activates the body’s natural healing mechanism correcting underlying imbalances contributing to aging. Furthermore, the use of Gua Sha, LED pulsing light therapy and facial cupping are added to enhance the treatment.
What is Gua Sha and why use it?
‘Gua’ means to scrape/scratch and ‘sha’ is red and when used on other parts of the body, the aim is to obtain a petechial reaction as part of the treatment. However, when used on the face, this type of reaction is not the required result but instead, a gentle stroke of the tool is used to smooth out fine lines and relax tight muscles; gently break up adhesions and detox the skin. (Pritchard, 2010, pp. 113–115)
Facial cupping and why it is used
Traditionally we use heat in our cupping but the face cupping is more gentle and without heat. The special type of cup used brings blood circulation to the skin and muscles; stimulates blood to the tissues to stimulate collagen and elastin production; increases fibroblast activity; smoothes fine lines and relaxes tight muscles and moves out stagnant lymph, fluids and toxins. For most clients, this is the best part of the treatment and a session always ends with cupping. (Pritchard, 2010, pp. 111–112)
Explanation of Light Therapy
Light Emitting Diode (LED) phototherapy is the application of light energy to tissue to obtain therapeutic benefits. The energy is used to improve cellular performance. Phototherapy is known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties and has a variety of applications across many medical fields. Research has shown that phototherapy can: increase circulation, accelerate tissue repair, kill acne bacteria, decrease inflammation, improve skin tone, texture and clarity, ease muscle and joint pain, stiffness, spasm and arthritis. (Chung, et al. 2012)
The Celluma LED Therapy:
Blue, red and near-infrared are the most commonly used wavelengths in LED phototherapy. These specific wavelengths are well researched and scientifically proven to produce therapeutic benefits. Blue penetrates through the epidermis and is known to kill P.acnes bacteria. Red penetrates into the dermal layer and has been shown to enhance collagen and elastin production through photo-biostimulation of fibroblasts. Near-infrared penetrates deepest and increases micro-circulation (tissue repair), decreases inflammation and attenuates pain. Using this technology takes our treatment to the next level as far as rejuvenation and repair. (Celluma, 2016)(Calderhead & Vasily, 2016; Sawhney & Hamblin, 2017; Solar, 2018)
Al, H. C. et. (2012). The nuts and bolts of low-level laser (light) therapy. Annals of Biomedical Engineering,40(2), 516–533.
Calderhead, R. G., & Vasily, D. B. (2016). Low Level Light Therapy with Light-Emitting Diodes for the Aging Face. Clinics in Plastic Surgery, 43(3), 541–550. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cps.2016.03.011
Celluma. (2016). Biophotas Illuminating Vitality.
Pritchard, S. (2010). Tui na A manual of chinese massage therapy. Edinburgh.
Sawhney, M., & Hamblin, R. (2017). Low level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) for cosmetic medicine and dermatology. Wellman Centrer for Photomedicine Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, 2, 2. Retrieved from https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0116/2710/2265/files/Low_Level_Laser_Light_Therapy_LLLT_for_Cosmetic_Medicine_and_Dermatology.pdf?11744034527471674737
Solar, E. (2018). Dual Effect of Photobiomodulation on Melasma:11(4), 28–34.
Torgerson, D. C. (2019). The different stages of the aging face.
Tortora, G. J., & Derrickson, B. (2012). A & P principles of Anatomy(12th ed.). USA.