A Healthy Alternative To Botox
Everyone ages, we can’t help it, its the natural order of things just like the change of seasons from Winter to Spring and Summer to Fall. In Chinese Medicine aging is defined as the “natural decline of Kidney Qi” and the amount of Kidney Qi we enter the world with, or inherit, as well as they way we care for this Kidney Qi over time combine to determine how we age.
Sometimes we feel like we age prematurely, especially after stressful life events. In Chinese Medicine, this is because stressful life events, which often combine with declining self-care and eating habits during those stressful events, cause us to draw from our Kidney Qi more heavily than a healthy balanced lifestyle. Life happens, we’ve all been there. Thanks to Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, however, we have an amazing, effective and natural way to turn back the clock.
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, also called Facial Acupuncture or Cosmetic Acupuncture is a natural Botox alternative that can take years off the face. In some cases, up to a decade. Finer lines and wrinkles often completely disappear while deeper lines and furrows can fade to a gentle reminder of their former selves. It is completely natural and highly effective.
Energetically, aging is defined as above - the natural decline of Kidney Qi - but what does this mean physically for the body? How do lines, wrinkles and furrows develop in our skin and why are some people more prone?
Where Do Wrinkles Come From?
Sun damage is primary factor in aging - it thins the epidermis over time and causes collagen breakdown - and the lighter your skin tone, the less natural protection you have and the more you will be subject to “photoaging” over your lifetime. Sunlight also causes free radical damage - free radicals damage the skin by activating enzymes which further break down collagen. Collagen is what gives your skin its firmness and structure, without collagen skin feels thin and cannot hold its structure as well which contributes to increase wrinkle and sag.
Gravity and muscle use are two other primary factors that contribute to wrinkle patterns in particular. Not much can be done about gravity itself. Unless you never want to express emotion on your face, you’re always going to be fighting habitual muscle patters - furrows between the eyebrows, crinkling around the eyes and smile and laugh lines. Habitual facial expressions cause the skin to wrinkle and as collagen breaks down. Furthermore, as elastin is naturally lost over time, these wrinkles become permanent seeming fixtures. Without elastin your skin loses elasticity, stretch and “bounce back” ability.
Facial Acupuncture as a Natural Botox Alternative
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture the closest thing to a natural Botox treatment that you can get. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture works on multiple levels to reduce lines and wrinkles and revitalize the face and complexion by:
Botox works by paralyzing your facial muscles. The synthetic botulism toxin derivative targets the nerves in the face preventing them from communicating with the muscles thus causing a “freezing” or paralytic effect. The visual effect is one of smooth wrinkle-free skin, but Botox doesn’t actually take the wrinkles away, it merely relaxes the muscles underneath the skin by inactivating them.
As described above, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is an incredible Botox alternative because not only does it relax the muscles in the face, it actually changes the lines and wrinkles in your skin. The effect is not as dramatic as Botox, but it is completely safe and natural, and with regular maintenance treatments after an initial series, the results can last for 3-5 years.
If you’re interested in learning more feel free to come in for a free 15 minute consultation anytime!
How Can Acupuncture Help Me?
As a Licensed Acupuncturist with a degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture treatment is a central focus of my practice. One of the most common questions a new patient asks beyond “does acupuncture hurt?” and “what can acupuncture treat?” is “how can acupuncture help me?”
This question is so common that today I’m going to do my best to answer it for some of the more common complaints I see in the treatment room.
Its important first to realize that 3,000+ years ago, acupuncture and Chinese medicine were the only medical options available in China, and therefore they were used (and still have protocols today) to treat everything from colds to acute infections, back pain, and more. With the advent of modern medicine, it is clear that some things - especially anything that would warrant a trip to the ER - are best suited to Western medical treatment while other things are treated very successfully and naturally by Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Here is a short list of some of the ailments best suited to acupuncture treatment:
There’s quite a bit more, but these are most common ailments I see in my clinic. The top two complaints I see are Pain - especially Neck, Back, Knee and Auto Accident Recovery - and Women’s Health Issues.
How Can Acupuncture Help My Pain?
The benefits of acupuncture for pain treatment have been widely researched and show that acupuncture can cause the body to release pain-relieving endorphins and cause the brain to change the way it perceives pain by changing opiate receptor sites. Neither of these completely explain all the benefits of acupuncture, but acupuncture has received endorsement from the National Institute of Health for pain treatment.
Acupuncture uses hair-thin needles strategically placed along meridians and around the site of pain or injury to balance the meridians. When we balance the energetic body, the physical body follows suit finding a physical state of balance to match the energetic one and in so doing returning the body to a pain free state.
Even when meridians, or energetic channels, are treated locally, the whole meridian from its branches connecting internal organs all the way to the skin layer are affected.
This means that the benefits of acupuncture are widespread - not only will acupuncture treat and resolve the pain, but it will also balance the body on a deeper level in order to maintain the pain free state. Many other things are improved as a by-product of acupuncture treatment such as enhanced immunity and stress reduction - two of the most common acupuncture side effects.
This is true for any type of pain, but is especially successful in treating auto accident recovery. After even a minor car accident, your body is in a state of distress - whiplash, rib subluxation, back spasm. You can also suffer from high stress associated with dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident such as managing multiple appointments and dealing with insurance claims.
Acupuncture will treat the physical pain - relaxing muscles, moving stagnation, decreasing inflammation - and also the stress and physical effects of the trauma such as insomnia and anxiety.
How Can Acupuncture Benefit Women's Health Issues?
The same is true in the treatment of Women’s Health Issues such as PMS, menopause and infertility. Not only can acupuncture balance hormones and reduce cramping, irritability, insomnia, hot flashes etc., but it can also help reduce the stress and anxiety associated with difficult or irregular menstrual cycles.
Indeed, I’ve seen patients with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome who haven’t had a regular cycle or unmedicated period in a decade return to normal cycles in as little as 3 months using acupuncture and herbal treatment alone.
How Can Acupuncture Help Me?
So the short answer to the original question, “How Can Acupuncture Help Me?” is that it can help you by balancing your meridians. This resolves both physical and energetic imbalances which can relieve pain and hormone irregularities. Common acupuncture byproducts include stress reduction and immune enhancement so acupuncture can benefit you on many levels, even ones you may not be actively seeking assistance with. Once balanced, acupuncture can help you maintain a healthy state for years to come.
If you have questions or want to know more please don’t hesitate to contact me or book a free consult anytime!
Chinese Medicine has a long history treating women's health and fertility, as you may be aware. I happened to stumble on this "oldie but goodie" from the Ricki Lake show - a brief spot with Dr. Mao. Dr. Mao is one of my favorite Chinese Medicine authors because his books are very simple and make Chinese Medicine lifestyle, philosophies and tips accessible to the wider population.
There's quite a bit of research on Chinese Medicine and fertility, especially Acupuncture in conjunction with IVF for improving success rates. Ultimately, whether you are coming in for fertility, pain, women's health, menstrual irregularity, fatigue or anything else a strong emphasis will be placed on health basics from a Chinese Medicine perspective - balancing your Qi to remove whatever imbalance is causing your symptoms and then stabilizing your Qi to strengthen your constitution long term. The result of this is decreased symptoms, decreased stress and inflammation and increased wellness overall towards a healthier happier you.
Sounds good, right? Right! Go Team Chinese Medicine!
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.