June 8, 2012
Acupuncture face-lifts are gaining popularity for those seeking an alternative to surgery and who are willing to experience the power of chi in the name of beauty.
Good morning America's beauty adventurer Holly Millea underwent the procedure with acupuncturist Russell Korda. Deborah Musso, the director of the Sea Change Healing Center in New York, explained how the system worked, as Koeda strategically placed the tiny needles on Millea's face. The needles are generally painless, but they give some people a slight stinging sensation in sensitive areas.
Korda started out by giving Millea an assessment to check her constitution and see which energy channels are blocked so he could unblock them.
"Certain areas on the face are linked to internal organs," Musso told Good Morning America. "Sagging skin can be caused by weakness in the spleen and circles under the eye is often linked to liver or stomach weakness. So by putting needles in the pressure points relating to these oragns, we can treat teh underlying cause."
Acupuncture face-lifts were popular among in China before the Communist takeover. Now, with aging Baby Boomers trying to stave off wrinkles, the technique is gathering steam again. THe needle therapy can also be used to treat acne, lighten or erase freckles and age spots.
The benefits: it's non-surgical, and doesn't have side effects. Channel Your Inner Energy Acupuncture is based on the Taoist belief tht two life forces, yin and yang, come together to produce a vital energy force called chi, which flows throughout the body along 14 pathways.
When the life forces are out of balance a persone becomes ill, so the insertion of needles along the pathways is designed to stimulate various reespinses in the body, and encourage the release of endorphins and other healing chemicals.
In the case of the acupuncture face-lift, it is and opportunity to blend beauty and healing, Musso said. People under age 40 have a series of six weekly treatments, at a minimum, while those over 40 should get 10, she recommends.
No Match for Double Chin Results become visible after the third and fourth treatment, but then occasional maintenance is needed, Musso said.
Acupuncture experts say that after the treatments, fine lines are erased, deeper wrinkles are less noticeable, and the face has a youthful glow. But even they acknowledge that the results are not as dramatic as those achieved with traditional plastic surgery. If you've got a double chin, or heavy jowls, acupuncture won't make a dent.
All acupuncturists need a license but to do and acupuncture facelift, they need additional certification.
Facial acupuncture is the Hollywood star's shortcut to younger looking skin.
The rich, the vain and the famous (reportedly Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cher) are having weekly "acupuncture facelifts" to ward off their wrinkles.
The "facelift" is administered by a doctor of Oriental Medicine (or OMD), who spikes your face with disposable, hair-thin needles that - allegedly - turn back time and halt the physical manifestations of ageing.
The neddles are inserted into wrinkles and frown lines, eventually making them vanish.
The stimulation brings blood rushing to the face, which makes it look flushed. Apparently, after a few sessions, eyes brighten, skin feels firmer, lips become plumper and blemishes vanish.
"Facial acupuncture stimulates the cells to lay down new collagen fibres under wrinkles, thereby filling them in," says New York acupuncturist Billy Villano. "and the needles relax muscles, which combats sagging in facial areas. The results are amazing."
Determined to find out just how "amazing" facial acupuncture might be, I made an appointment with Clarence Lu, a New York-based OMD.
"Why do you want facial acupuncture?" he asks, peering at my skin. "I've heard it's popular with celebrities and I want to try it for myself," I say.
Lu Looks unimpressed. "I suppose it's a better option than Botox injections,"he says. "The facial acupuncture works by making energy circulate properly around your face, but energy needs to circulate properly around your whole body, not just your face."
Facial acupuncture is indeed ridiculously self-indulgent-but according to Hollywood stars, who incorporate acupuncture facelifts into their prinping routines, it works. It makes you look young and bursting with health, even if you are a chain-smoker who lives on junk food. Part of the beauty of these facelifts is their accessibility; they take about as long as a manicure. Afterwards, there is no scar and no permanently suprised expression.
"This won't be as dramatic as a surgical facelift," he says. "if you had severe wrinkles or a double chin, I couldn't promise that this would eliminate them. But it would definitely make them look better."
I lie back in his Brooklyn office, while he takes my pulse, inspects my tongue and palpates my stomach (from this he can tell the condition of my "qi" and if I have energy blockages that prevent my skin from glowing). Apparently, I have "spleen qi deficiency" which Villano quickly points out, does not mean that there is anything actually wrong with my spleen.
"It means that, going by the Chinese definition of things, your spleen energy is a bit depleted, which might make you appear a bit bloated. It could be caused by stress, or consuming too many ice-cold beverages, or by too much work," says Villano.
Then, he pinches my cheek and inserts tiny needles with a tapping motion. I make the mistake of smiling bravely at Villano and an intense pain shoots from my cheek to my ear. This is good, apparently-it is my stuck qi circulating around my tired face. Two needles are inserted (thankfully painlessly) into my forehead to energise me and brighten my complexion.
Another needle goes into my chin, three into each ear and a few around my eyes, to widen them. The final needle is tapped into the top of my head, to wake me up. But, instead, I drift off to sleep.
After 35 minutes, Villano whisks the needles out (this part doesn't hurt at all). My skin looks markedly brighter and fresher than it did when I arrived. I had planned to go home for a nap after my acupuncture facelift, but I feel so alert and refreshed that I arrange to meet a friend for lunch instead.
"What have you been up to?" my friend asks, when I walk into the restaurant. "Your skin looks amazing."
Cosme-Puncture: Acupuncture Facelift
13 Aug 2004
Acupuncture Facelifts Gaining Popularity
Dr. Brenda Malka, D.C., L.Ac., NMT treats back pain, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, headaches, disc problems, adhesions, whiplash, pelvic pain, hip pain, migraines, carpal tunnel, jaw pain, TMJ dysfunction, neck pain, fibromyalgia, painful scars, scoliosis, sciatica, arthritis, pregnancy pain, ankle pain, wrist pain, tendonitis, shoulder pain, rotater cuff syndrome, radicular arm symptoms, such as, shooting arm pain, arm numbness, arm tingling, radicular leg symptoms, such as, shooting leg pain, leg numbness, leg tingling, sprain, strain, such as, neck sprain, neck strain, golfers elbow, tennis elbow, plantar fascitis neuralgia, bursitis, stiff neck, bell's palsey, addiction, smoking, quit smoking, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, injuries, slip and fall, car accident. Dr. Brenda Malka, D.C., L.Ac., NMT provides services to patients from Encino, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, Studio City, Reseda, Van Nuys, Northridge, Chatsworth, Porter Ranch, Canoga Park, North Hollywood, Burbank, Calabasas, Agoura, Thousand Oaks, Santa Monica, West L.A., Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and many other California cities.