One of my treatment specialties is Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, also known as Facial Acupuncture, Cosmetic Acupuncture, or the "Acupuncture Facelift." I like to scan around every so often and see what's online about this specialty to gauge public opinion and, in addition to a picture of Kim Kardashian doing it recently (which I won't subject you too here, but did post on my Facebook page on July 28th), I found this great video from Dr. Oz:
Dr. Oz Show, Acupuncture Facelift
Its from last year but it is a very good presentation by a NY Acupuncturist, Dr. Tsai. By her point selection in the demo, she went through a similar training to mine if not the same one.
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture really can make a difference in your appearance, especially in the realm of fine lines and wrinkles. I often see fine lines disappear and I'd say deep lines can reduce by 50-75% depending on your age and the line location.
Facial Acupuncture is something I really feel passionate about, which I did not expect when I went through certification in 2006. I thought of it as a trend I could capitalize on to help me pay back my (somewhat insurmountable) student loans, but it has become one of my most favorite treatments to do because it is so transformative.
There's something about seeing patients change visibly before my eyes that is magical. It even goes beyond the incredible healing that acupuncture in and of itself creates. I personally find facial acupuncture sessions even more deeply relaxing that other acupuncture sessions of every stripe and color.
One session can brighten your complexion, and when the subtle and lasting changes of facial acupuncture really take hold, I can see in my patient's posture that they feel more confident and seated in themselves. It is something really beautiful to behold. Facial acupuncture often becomes a way to help their outside appearance match how they feel inside a little better, and this gives them more confidence and presence.
The changes Facial Acupuncture creates can be close to Botox, but it takes time - at least 6 treatments at a frequency of 2x/week - to really make it stick. A standard course of treatment is 12 treatments total, the first six at a frequency of 2x/week and the next six at a frequency of once a week, to really get the best results. With regular maintenance after that, results really can last 2-5 years. The younger you are the longer the results generally last. I also find that if you stagger facial acupuncture tune up sessions with traditional facials, the results last even longer.
I think the ideal time to start a full series is late 30's or early 40's. This is when permanent lines really start to become noticeable to the individual - not necessarily to the "world at large" but we are always our own worst critics. I've seen excellent results for people in their 50's and early 60's and fair results for people in their late 60's and early 70's as well, so it is feasible to pursue at any age.
I do not love the term "Acupuncture Facelift," however, I think it is a little inaccurate. The effects of a facelift are very drastic and acupuncture techniques can never truly match that level of surgical intervention. I prefer the term Facial Rejuvenation or Cosmetic Acupuncture because I think it creates a more realistic expectation for the patient.
Call it what you will - the results do stand and are tried, tested, true and completely natural. It is the closest thing you can get to a natural facelift, so I suppose if that is what people want to call it I shouldn't complain. If you meet somebody interested in a natural or acupuncture facelift, however, send them my way and I can set them straight about what actually can and cannot be accomplished!
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.