Cosmetic acupuncture is one of those treatments that leaves you pondering: can acupuncture actually make me look better? The answer is both yes and no, and it depends on your expectations of ‘looking better’.
Acupuncture has been recognised as having impacts on the body in a therapeutic way for a multitude of health conditions. We still aren’t sure how it works (meridians, energy flow, chi), but if acupuncture can affect the body in a positive way, it can certainly have an impact, in some people, some of the time, when it comes to improving the way the body looks.
These aesthetic impacts might be a secondary effect of, say, clearing the lymphatic system (to reduce under-eye bags); helping to effectively clear the liver (to improve one’s complexion); or boosting energy levels via who-knows-what mechanisms (making us look more rested and thus appearing healthier). Boosting circulation to the face can’t hurt either, since blood flow means tissue is plumper and healthier.
The skin is the largest organ in the body, so improving its function might sometimes the purpose of acupuncture, which aims to streamline our energetic pathways and thus improve the function of our cells and systems.
Where has cosmetic acupuncture come from? Hollywood, naturally. According to certain unreliable sources, the likes of Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston are using cosmetic acupuncture to help keep their skin looking more youthful for longer. (These women no doubt have a team of excellent dermatologists at the ready too.) People who are scared of anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers are increasingly searching for alternatives, which includes another form of needle: acupuncture.
So what are cosmetic acupuncturists claims? Possibly reducing wrinkles and fine lines, giving lift to sagging skin and improving the tone and texture of skin. Apparently the effect of three treatments lasts for three months and one treatment is about 45 minutes.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese form of healing that uses very fine needles inserted at specific pressure points in the skin. Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, and is used commonly in Australia for all manner of maladies from back pain to fertility issues. Some acupuncture is even subsidised. The needle point in the pressure point stimulates energy and blood flow, which in turn stimulates cell rejuvenation. (We’re not too sure about much more than that, but it does some interesting and useful things.)
Cosmetic acupuncture involves the whole body
When you go in for a cosmetic acupuncture ‘facial’, the whole body is treated, not just the face. This is because in Chinese medicine, the body is one functioning organism, and is not separated out as it is in Western medicine. When you are making the face look healthier, it could be by targeting the kidneys, liver, or general energy and blood flow.
Does cosmetic acupuncture work?
Whether cosmetic acupuncture will work for you to achieve your aesthetic goals is up to you and your acupuncturist to find out. In the meantime…