Facial cosmetic acupuncture is applied by inserting needles into the head, face, and neck. The therapy improves the facial elasticity by restoring the resting mimetic muscle tone. 

What is cosmetic or facial acupuncture?

With the changes in the environment, the females are more suffering from imbalanced oil and water content of facial skin. A higher percentage of dry skin reported in females increased the attention towards traditional methods of rejuvenating the skin. Cosmetic acupuncture is used to moisturize the skin and rebalance the loss of water & oil content. Though no studies have revealed the use of acupuncture in scientific treatments, a significant percentage of humans are adopting this.1

 

Cosmetic acupuncture is a noninvasive treatment that involves using acupuncture to enhance skin and combat the aging procedure. It is frequently used as a substitute for surgical facelifts and other traditional processes said to reverse signs of aging in the skin. Cosmetic acupuncture can help reduce wrinkles, reduce fine lines, remove age spots, and lift droopy eyelids.

 

In the US, the same therapy is termed as Facial Revitalization Acupuncture (FRA) or Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture (FRA). Similarly, it is called Mei Rong in Chinese medical cosmetology.3

Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture for Facial Elasticity

Facial cosmetic acupuncture is applied by inserting needles into the head, face, and neck. The therapy improves the facial elasticity by restoring the resting mimetic muscle tone. Loren et al. studies suggested this possible mechanism. According to his research, facial mimetic muscles gradually straighten and shorten with the increase in age. He used an MRI facility to study the changes in the contour of facial mimetic muscles concerning the ages. Anti-aging therapy is another name given to cosmetic acupuncture. Other possible mechanisms responsible for enhancing beauty with cosmetic acupuncture are increasing or balancing qi, balancing internal Zang-Fu organs, and increasing blood flow by insertion of needles at specific acupoints. Now the question arises on how facial elasticity is measured? Among the several techniques, moire topography developed by Ahn et al. is an optical procedure that does not require any physical contact, and highly precise visualization of the face can describe the three-dimensional shape of the face. Other than the facial elasticity, moire topography is  used in facial palsy, zygomatic fractures, facial morphology, and facial plastic surgery.2

 

The side effects or adverse effects associated with the therapy are bruising, hematomas, headache, and dizziness. The ratio of worsening of the situation is high in cases in which precautions of grounding the qi and release of tight neck muscles are not assured before administration of FCA.3

How does Cosmetic Acupuncture Work?

In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has been used to enhance the flow of vital energy (known as qi or chi) through the body. This critical energy is considered to circulate invisible energy lines that are referred to as meridians. According to traditional Chinese medicine, health problems occur because of blockages in the flow of vital energy. By inserting needles into defined points along meridian lines, acupuncturists aim to restore the circulation of vital energy and, subsequently, improve health.

 

See: Acupuncture benefits & side effects

Cosmetic Acupuncture is purported to enhance skin and act as an anti-aging therapy in part by stimulating the production of collagen (a protein that acts as a significant part of your skin). As you get older, your skin's inner layer loses collagen and, because of this, becomes less supple and firm. However, there isn't any scientific evidence to support the claim that acupuncture may promote collagen production. Cosmetic acupuncture can help rejuvenate your skin by enhancing your overall energy.

 

Effects of Cosmetic Acupuncture

A report of 1996 submitted by the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture revealed 90% of cases in China showing marked results with the course of cosmetic facial acupuncture. The significant effects reported included the following:

     Improvement in skin texture and equalization of coloring

     Increased facial elasticity

     The decrease in facial wrinkles. Deep wrinkles got faded and fine lines eliminated from the face

     Rejuvenation not only confined to the face

     Reduced puffiness of the face

     Minimization or elimination of double chin

     Neuroendocrine effects. The establishment of hormonal balance improved skin acne, and dry skin accomplished with menopause.

     Brightening of skin which is not possible from allopathic routes

The therapy promises to reduce the five to fifteen years of age with significant effects shown from the first course only. The responses are cumulative, and treatment enhances the beauty of skin progressively.3

Contraindications in Cosmetic Acupuncture

There is no scientific study that gives the guarantee of the efficacy and safety of the cosmetic acupuncture therapy. Although research suggests that acupuncture may provide several health benefits (including reduced stress and management of issues such as chronic pain and depression), there's presently a lack of scientific studies analyzing the effects of acupuncture.

 Therefore, the treatment for a cautious purpose is not meant for the following cases:

     Pituitary disorders such as pituitary tumor

     Cardiovascular diseases including diabetes and bleeding disorders such as hemophilia

     Individuals significantly prone to bruising

     Migraine

     AIDS or HIV positive cases

     History of hepatitis

     Facial lymphoedema. Patients in these cases are more prone to infection

     Asthma especially the individuals reporting constant wheezing

     Pregnancy

     Acute or severe chronic illness reporting headache, nausea, flu, allergic reaction, hangover or intoxication

Apart from this, treatment requires cautious measures for the ones who have undergone plastic surgery, botulinum toxin injections, and other allopathic cosmetic therapies.3

 

Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture (FCA) vs Botox

FCA is found to be a safer alternative when compared to risk involved procedures such as botox. Fewer costs involved with minimal side effects (only bruising is prominent) make cosmetic acupuncture a better alternative to cosmetic surgeries, which include higher disfigurement risks. Moreover, unlike the other therapies, which require a more extended recovery period from swelling and discoloration, the acupuncture offers no late trauma.3

 

Comparing cosmetic acupuncture with botox, let’s see what the two options offer individually:

Botox is the toxin of the bacteria which is responsible for causing botulism. It is a condition in which paralysis of specific facial muscles occurs. With the Botox injections, one is not able to move the muscles, which reduces facial wrinkles. Hence, the patients started assuming the absence of lines on its face. But the fact is when the muscles regain their elasticity, wrinkles appear again. Moreover, the therapy requires trained professionals as if the target muscle, while injecting is missed severe drooping, allergic reactions, bruising, and local irritations may occur.4

 

On the other hand, the facial rejuvenation acupuncture helps in boosting skin’s natural collagen production within each wrinkle. It results in increased circulation, balanced oil & moisture content, increased facial elasticity, and improved muscle & skin tone. Therefore, a relatively painless, non-toxic, safe, and effective mode of therapy, i.e., cosmetic acupuncture, proves a better alternative to botox therapy.4

Clinical Studies with Miso Facial Acupuncture

Clinical Studies on Treatment of Facial Wrinkles with Miso Facial Acupuncture

Objective:The purpose of the study was to measure the effects of miso facial acupuncture on facial wrinkles with facial skin photographing system.

 

Methods: A total of ten times with three times a week, the therapy was performed on six-middle aged women having no diseases. The counts of wrinkles in the three facial parts was measured two times pretreatment and posttreatment

 

Results: The count of wrinkles on an average decreased significantly. The improvement of eyelids was the best whereas the lines outside of the lip reduced a very little5

 

Conclusion: The increase in dry content of skin due to abrupt changes in the environment leads to higher acceptance of cosmetic acupuncture by females. The therapy is minimally invasive, and relatively negligible side effects make this therapy a preferable one. But due to the lack of scientific studies, the treatment is restricted in a large number of cases. Moreover, the results depend on the skills of the professionals opted and the age & other conditions of the patient.

Cosmetic Acupuncture in Practice

Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture

Mei Zen means "beautiful person." This cosmetic procedure based in Oriental medicine that addresses the internal and external causes of aging. Throughout a cosmetic acupuncture therapy, an expert pulse diagnosis is used to determine where the imbalances are that may be impacting your ability to age well and be the healthiest that you could be. Then the practitioner needles skin on the face, neck, and/or abdomen for the cosmetic results

 

Microneedling Collagen Stimulation

Microneedling can also be known as Collagen Induction Therapy and can be used as a remedy to reduce wrinkles and lines. The skin is rejuvenated by needling into skin in which the rejuvenation variables are abundant using a tool that's called a dermapen. Microneedling is the skin care therapy that has the chance to excite keratinocytes, melanocytes, and fibroblasts of elastin and collagen.

 

Oxidation Restoration Therapy aka Activated Oxygen Treatment and Ozone Therapy

Activated Oxygen, also known as ozone (O3) is created naturally in our atmosphere when the Earth's oxygen meets the sun's rays. Ozone comprises three oxygen atoms as opposed to the two which we usually breathe. This 3rd atom becomes a scavenger destroying viruses, bacteria, free radicals, etc.. Medical Activated Oxygen (what I use in my practice) is used to;

- treat skin problems (topically),

- heal pain both topically and with injection treatment

- oxygenate your blood, make it fitter through insufflation

- kill infections through insufflation, topically, or via ozonated water.

References

1.    Donoyama, N., Kojima, A., Suoh, S., & Ohkoshi, N. (2012). Cosmetic acupuncture to enhance facial skin appearance: a preliminary study. Acupuncture in Medicine, 30(2), 152-153.

2.     Yun, Y., Kim, S., Kim, M., Kim, K., Park, J. S., & Choi, I. (2013). Effect of facial cosmetic acupuncture on facial elasticity: an open-label, single-arm pilot study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013.

3.     Doran, V. C. (2007). An introduction to facial revitalisation acupuncture. European Journal of Oriental Medicine, 5(5), 4.

4.     Lindsay Self, N. D., & Blog, B. H. Looking for a Botox alternative?.

5.     Lee, K. M., Lim, S. C., Kim, J. S., & Lee, B. H. (2010). A clinical study on facial wrinkles treated with miso facial acupuncture-measured by the facial skin photographing system. Journal of Acupuncture Research, 27(1), 101-107.

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