When walking past a natural health clinic in the Adelaide CBD on Monday I noticed something different. “Cosmetic Acupuncture Now Available” was emblazoned on the clinic’s A-frame sign which was getting drenched by the heavy rain. Huh? I’ve heard of acupuncture, the branch of Chinese medicine devoted to use of specially designed needles to stimulate the flow of healthy energy (qi) around the body, but didn’t realise that it can be used to enhance someone’s physical appearance!
As I don’t like the idea of undergoing botox (injections and poison – aargh!) or a surgical facelift, I’m always interested to learn more about less invasive methods of slowing the signs of ageing. So once I heard about the concept of cosmetic acupuncture I started to do some research. Here are my musings in article form. I plan to submit this to an magazine where I have had a few articles published before, soon! (I’ll let you guys know if it is successfully published so you can check it out… always fun to have stuff being published outside of my tiny blogosphere!)
What is Cosmetic Acupuncture?
Cosmetic acupuncture is simply an application of traditional acupuncture in which use of particular acupuncture techniques is considered to be able to stimulate the production of collagen from within the skin, leaving you with a more youthful appearance after a course of treatment. It is also reported that use of such techniques will also improve the skin’s circulation helping create a more refreshed and youthful appearance.
How can it help you?
Specific issues that are reported to be able to be helped by this form of beauty treatment include:
- enlarged pores
- dull skin appearance
- rough or uneven skin texture
- tight and strained facial muscles (e.g. tight/clenched jaws if you are a teeth grinder)
What to expect
Unfortunately this is not a “once off” treatment. A course of treatments is recommended for best results. Often this will consist of 10 or so treatments in a block of a few treatments a week, followed up by monthly booster sessions. Costs start from approximately $150 US per 60-90 minute session.
Most sources state that best results are achieved by women in their 30s, and in particular when the treatment is used as a preventative rather than reactive measure.
As happens with most “scientific” literature, usually it is the successful studies which have most chance of being published, for a whole host of reasons. This seems to be the case with the literature in this area, with studies reported by commentators in the cosmetic acupuncture field appearing to be overwhelmingly positive. For example, a study cited by cosmeticacupuncture.ca reportedly found that 90 percent of those who underwent one treatment session noted improvements in the skin’s appearance.
However, when you read interviews with dermatologists and other practitioners, they often seem to be remarking that there is a lack of peer-reviewed research out there. What I noticed in particular is that there appear to be no longitudinal studies. They say it works well on women in their 30s, but how do the same women look when they are 50?
To me it seems the jury is out. Or more accurately, further research is needed. So it is one of those treatments that you may just have to try to know if it will help you or not!
As with any health or beauty treatment, it is important to let the treating professional know of any pre-existing conditions and/or medication you are taking as this may impact upon your suitability for such treatment. Literature indicates that those who have a history of migraines, epilepsy, or high blood pressure should avoid cosmetic acupuncture as it may exacerbate these conditions. This seems contrary to commonly reported benefits associated with standard acupuncture treatment, particularly lowering of blood pressure. Perhaps this is due to the techniques used in cosmetic acupuncture procedures?
Will I try it?
I have not tried any form of acupuncture before, so I think I need to try the standard stuff first. Acupuncture is something that has been on my bucket list for a few years but I still have not tried it (scaredy cat much?!). When I do I will be sure to write about it!
Have you ever tried acupuncture, or cosmetic acupuncture specifically?
Comment and share your experiences!