Facial acupuncture, an ancient Chinese treatment that reverses the signs of aging and restores a youthful appearance, has been gaining popularity as more people turn to natural anti-aging methods. Recently there has been a backlash against widely popular anti-aging treatments like Botox, mostly because of side-effects and the unnatural, expressionless, and “frozen” look that may result from it.
In ancient times, around 475 BC, facial acupuncture, then called mei rong was a luxury reserved for the Empress and royal concubines. Even then, mei rong was known to reduce wrinkles and erase fine lines, while also restoring facial skin’s youthful volume, elasticity, and glow.
This treatment was and still is part of Chinese medicine, and today China’s universities and hospitals dedicate whole departments to the practice of mei rong or facial acupuncture. This treatment began to migrate out of China in the 20th century, and by the 1990s, it was already known and practiced in many countries in the world.
Natural and modern
At present, facial acupuncture is practiced as a combination of traditional Chinese medicine, tried and tested over thousands of years, and modern medical knowledge. The European Journal of Oriental Medicine described the treatment in modern terms in its report.
According to EJOM, facial acupuncture (referred to as “facial rejuvenation acupuncture” in its report) is a non-surgical way to give the skin a natural, healthy glow. It involves the use of fine needles that target facial tissues to promote blood circulation and encourage the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein that gives skin that youthful elasticity.
When blood circulation is improved, it helps in removing toxins and giving the skin a healthy look. For extra cosmetic effects, local points on the face and head are also needled.
The skin experiences minor trauma when the needles are inserted and that is what stimulates cell re-growth. The treatment not only keeps the skin looking youthful but also releases endorphins, known as “feel good” hormones that reduce stress and create feelings of well-being.
The best candidates for this treatment are the people looking for a natural way to reduce the signs of aging and give their face a relaxed, healthy look. This treatment involves the use of 30 to 50 needles, mainly on the face and neck. Each session of facial acupuncture can range from 45 to 90 minutes. If it is performed correctly, the patient should feel relaxed the entire time and can hardly even feel the needles.
The results of this treatment are gradual, subtle, and progressive. five to 15 treatments are recommended over the course of two and a half months, followed by maintenance treatments every 4 to 6 weeks. People who are pregnant or with any serious health conditions are strongly advised to consult with their doctor first before applying for this treatment.
Benefits beyond cosmetic
Still, there’s another type of facial acupuncture that is more holistic and promotes overall health, over and beyond just restoring youthful looks. It’s called constitutional facial acupuncture.
One of the trusted and respected practitioners of constitutional facial acupuncture is Dr. Mia Hanh, who helps patients at her California clinic, Longevity Easter Medicine. According to Dr. Hanh, the CFA that her patients receive doesn’t just focus on making them younger. Instead, it also addresses other health issues they may have.
Yes, constitutional facial acupuncture does reduce wrinkles, remove fine lines, and restore a more youthful appearance for the face. However, Dr. Hanh doesn’t just put needles on a patient’s face. As a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Chinese medicine, she knows how to take care of the patient’s entire body.
So a patient who comes in for an anti-aging treatment will get much more than that from Dr. Hanh. She’ll be making an assessment of the patient’s general state of health, and address other problems that may be present.
For example, along with signs of aging, a patient may have acne, dermatitis, eczema, or urticaria (hives). Or the patient may be suffering from stress, back pain, and indigestion, among other conditions. Through constitutional facial acupuncture, Dr. Hanh will be able to treat such health issues.
Constitutional facial acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine’s holistic view of the human person. As such, these so-called signs of aging are not isolated symptoms. Rather, they manifest because of underlying issues in the body’s various organs. This is why the treatment is called “constitutional”: it treats not only the face but the entire body. Once the body is restored to its naturally healthy state, these signs of aging would diminish as well. Given all these, it’s no wonder that more and more patients are getting this ancient, yet modern, all-natural treatment.
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