Not a lot of people may have heard about facial acupuncture but it is, indeed, a growing treatment nowadays. Essentially, this type of acupuncture is being offered as a healthier, safer alternative to Botox injection treatments.
As many now know, Botox (short for botulinum toxin) is a widely popular anti-aging procedure that’s used to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles. Botox is able to do this because it paralyzes the facial muscles at the injection site. Once these muscles are paralyzed, the skin smooths out. Like many other medical procedures, however, botox has side effects ranging from mildly unpleasant to some that would require medical intervention.
Mild side-effects would include pain, swelling, or bruising at the injection site. More serious side-effects—more unlikely but still possible—would include muscle weakness, vision problems, trouble breathing, or even loss of bladder control. A more recent study on even found that Botox treatments may trigger depression. Another study found that it causes changes in the brain, but researchers still need to find out if such changes are harmful.
Making the choice
So how does one decide on whether to get a botox treatment or facial acupuncture? The most prudent step to take is to get informed about both. Find a medical professional who can discuss the benefits as well as possible risks for a botox treatment, usually a board-certified dermatologist. Before booking an appointment with the doctor, do research beforehand from reputable medical sites such as Mayo Clinic, which has a section dedicated to information on botox.
As for acupuncture, as a therapy or a treatment based on Chinese (non-Western) medicine, it’s no longer the exotic activity it was during, say, the 1970s when it was still beginning to be introduced in the United States. Today, while it has not received unanimous acceptance in the medical community, acupuncture is considered safe and effective in treating ailments and disorders. However, Chinese medicine and Western medicine still disagree on the set of ailments/disorders for which acupuncture is effective.
The World Health Organization already published its official position on acupuncture in 2003, in a report titled, “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trial.” In that report, the WHO presents a list of conditions for which acupuncture is effective.
Some of the conditions on the list include headaches, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, nausea and vomiting, hypertension, dental pain, and as a treatment for adverse reactions to cancer treatments (radiotherapy/chemotherapy).
But how about facial acupuncture? This procedure mainly addresses the signs of aging in the patient’s face. It diminishes wrinkles and erases fine lines and helps reduce eye bags and sagging skin. It also tightens pores and lifts drooping eyelids. Facial acupuncture also triggers collagen production, resulting in improved muscle tone and youthful elasticity. It also restores a youthful glow to the face.
Beyond beautiful skin
While facial acupuncture has not been studied in a controlled clinical trial, there’s been a lot of anecdotal evidence over the years about the procedure’s effectiveness. Reporters from various news organizations have submitted themselves to the treatment and wrote about beneficial effects.
A Huffington Post reporter, Sara Nelson had a positive review of facial acupuncture, specifically for adult acne breakouts, saying her face cleared up two days after treatment. Another reporter, Sarah Vine from the Daily Mail, tried the treatment for wrinkles. She called the results “impressive,” Back in 2007, the New York Times also published a report on cosmetic acupuncture, where a patient, Jane Becker, reported her face became “younger, smoother, brighter and uplifted”.
On the internet, beauty forums like Real Self have satisfied patients sharing their stories on cosmetic acupuncture.
But there’s an even better acupuncture procedure that goes beyond beauty: constitutional facial acupuncture. It is called as such because it helps the body’s overall constitution become younger and healthier. Constitutional facial acupuncture restores youthfulness in the face but also addresses health issues in the body, like the physical effects of stress, back pain, digestive problems and much more.
One of the respected medical practitioners who offer constitutional facial acupuncture is Dr. Mia Hahn of Longevity Eastern Medicine. According to Dr. Hahn, constitutional facial acupuncture “helps the face and the entire body both look and feel more youthful.”
Patients under Dr. Hanh’s care get advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a proper diet, sleeping habits, and more. Dr. Hahn offers a timeline of the many benefits of cosmetic acupuncture over the course of a 12-week treatment plan.
As Dr. Hanh says, it’s not enough to seek simply youthfulness and beauty, but rather a total, holistic way of living a healthy life. Constitutional facial acupuncture can be a way to achieve not only in beautiful, youthful skin but also physical well-being, inner peace, balance, and happiness—something that Botox may not be able to achieve for many who tried it.
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