Is Facial Acupuncture Safe & Effective?

Article by Maxine Hopley MD

It’s not just me is it? Or is it? Are we being asked more and more unusual questions about Cosmetic Aesthetics because of the shortage of go-to clinic solutions during lockdown? Well, the question has been asked of me, remember when I did a doctorate in Alternative Medicine? And it was very acupuncture orientated? Well, here I am answering the question does facial acupuncture have a role to play?

During the doctorate I remember writing so much about the way acupuncture could make the skin younger. The science wasn’t that clear but many people testified that it had done exactly that. As well as testifying that Chinese Medicine generally was able to eradicate pain, dissolve headaches and facilitate surgery without general anaesthetic. Very bold claims and evidence. A lot of really bright capable women were explaining that additional benefits for the skin like elasticity and the smoothing of wrinkles were worth pursuing in themselves. You know me, I will literally try anything if it works and is safe.

During the practical’s we would repeatedly apply needle acupuncture safely to client and model faces for whom the alternative was either Botox or filler. Now I’m not shy and I don’t mind saying that in Cosmetic Couture we teach the safest Botox and filler delivery in the country. So standards of acupuncture had to match that.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you choose something alternative in cosmetic treatments, then the natural safe option could be facial acupuncture. The word natural is an easy word to misrepresent, look at all that I’ve written on the natural processes of healing in skin that the vampire face lift entails and employs to confirm this, but nevertheless, facial acupuncture’s claim is that skin looks smoother, fitter and more youthful.

I don’t mind injections, I’ve done a million of them, but acupuncture of the face tries to avoid the connections, focusing not just on age related signs of stressed skin, but also the health of your skin in general.

To this extent facial acupuncture at Cosmetic Couture is part of a holistic approach to health, in parallel to helping your skin appear brighter.

Time and again I’m asked if procedures are safe. My answer is , look at the CQC clinic next door to CC, Hope Medical. A procedure is only a safe as you make it. Facial Acupuncture has had thousands of years to be tested, and is pretty safe when the correct procedures are followed. Around the world its safety and efficiency is complemented by World Health Organization guidelines. In the UK NICE has accepted alternative medicines should be permitted where safe. There is a scheme in the UK for trained acupuncturists to register.

It’s not science as we know it. If you train at CC for Botox, Hyaluronic Acid filler, Actfast or Vampire Face Lifts you will know that we get the science bang on. I love it and I want you to understand it comprehensively so that you can give educated answers to you fee paying clients. I’ll admit it’s a bit more difficult with Acupuncture.

Most of the science of Acupuncture involves whole body science, and to that effect the facial acupuncture we are offering is normally only presented as part of a whole body acupuncture service, why, because the effects of acupuncture are body wide. However, once the whole body is covered the face can be focussed on without further ado. Energy line and focus points need to be balanced, as I remember, and that requires the whole person. It’s quite a task to use acupuncture needles on the face in a way that avoid discomfort and migraine. The way to avoid this is to create a full flow of energy around the body, one that will complement the facial effects. Compared to Botox or Filler injections the number of needle insertions is modest, around fifty of the tiniest needles.

I’m not going to get caught out here and make claims beyond what I can safely report, which is that the tiny puncture wounds, traumatizing the skin, leads to a modest clotting and repair process. The repair is part of the body’s reaction. You’ve heard me talk about this a thousand times in micro needling manuals and lectures, in discussion of the Vampire Face lift, and so on. Of course 50 micro traumas in many times less than micro needling, which produces thousands of such traumas during the rolling phase of the procedure.

So, all the claims about micro needling are true here, but on a much reduced scale, all the stimulation of the nerves, the clotting response, the circulatory excitation, the hormones, the lymphatic production, and so on, thus the increased supply of both oxygen and nutrients essential to the skin’s well being, all being supplied internally by the natural processes of healing and regeneration.

Have a look at any of the Micro needling or Vampire Face lift manuals for this part of the acupuncture equation. Suffice to say that complexion improvement is expected. Collagen, elasticity added, wrinkles and stress reduced.

So Facial Acupuncture is realistic option if you want to change your game a little. It isn’t too expensive, and can be a lot cheaper that some of the longer courses of Botox and Filler, and of course is a lot less expensive that surgery. We are charging it in a way that makes it affordably safe, according to our clinic costs anyway. Here are some comparable prices. …?????

Don’t expect miracles from facial acupuncture please. Yes it will raise the colour and brightness of your facial complexion. Yes it will give your skin a good shake and bring it around from the coma of inactivity. Yes oxygen, blood, nutrition, lymph and healing clots will revive it. But no, it doesn’t fix looks quickly the way Botox or Hyaluronic Acid will. We have to challenge overambitious expectations please.

If your client has become anxious during lockdown, with a tense, nervous headache, then facial acupuncture produced skin tone, collagen, softened look and relaxed outlook will help.

In my experience most people do see improvements after facial acupuncture, but it takes four to ten sessions over a month. Then you can try and just keep it together with consolidation sessions once a month. It becomes a lifestyle changer involved with relaxation and rejuvenation. Holistic. You know Cosmetic Couture, we’re here to help. Facial Acupuncture is a lifestyle changer, diet, exercise, meditation, nutrition, hydration, an affordable, functional aesthetic programme.

Like every treatment in the clinic there are side effects, bruising being the main one, look to all my notes on injections for the calibration and amelioration of such. Bruising only happens around a quarter of the treatments, and it almost always heals itself, depending on their general health and well being, which of course should be screened before proceeding. Avoid those with diabetes, blood disorders or skin infections.

Acupuncture is a bit of a gamble, but you would be well advised to try it. Plenty of people report excellent results, and I’ve got many happy return customer clients for it, particularly those who already use acupuncture for stress, pain, headaches and other minor ailments.

Maxine Hopley

Cosmetic Couture, Hope Medical.