The Skin We're In: Facial and Dermatological Acupuncture
Our skin is what we present to the world. It can be distressing or embarrassing for some if they perceive it to be less than perfect. I struggled with acne for years, so I know the feeling well; whether it is acne, eczema, psoriasis or even just the natural process of aging, it is an area many of us can be sensitive about. Naturopathically, I look at each person individually, understand why the concern is present and treat the root cause. So, the first and most important thing with respect to treatment of the skin is understanding what the disharmony is that needs to be addressed whether that is a food sensitivity, a hormone imbalance, immune disruption or oxidative damage. All of this simply means radiant skin starts from within. However, this can take some time and we all want results quickly.
This is why I have invested in additional learning and training in cosmetic and dermatological acupuncture. Acupuncture is one of my favourite tools as it looks at health and the body in a completely different perspective from Western medicine; in assessment, diagnosis and treatment, Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a unique ability to provide results for people. These courses have focused in on skin health that has been an incredible adjunct to addressing internal factors such as food sensitivities or supplementation to help people with skin concerns.
Anti-aging and Cosmetic Acupuncture
We all know aging is a natural, inevitable process and for many it doesn’t phase them. However for some, fine lines, wrinkles and reduced facial tone are an area of concern. Facial acupuncture works in three ways:
Improving facial tone: Needles are placed in particular acupuncture points into the muscular layer; these help to tone the muscles of the face and provides a ‘natural facial lift’.
Collagen production: Extremely small intra-dermal needles are placed in the most superficial layer of the skin. This improves blood flow and causes collagen production in areas that have fine lines and wrinkles. If someone has had botox in the past, these intra-dermal needles are an incredible adjunct to improve and maintain those results.
Addressing the constitutional picture: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we use symptoms, tongue, pulse and skin to understand what is happening in the body. Certain points are picked based on these factors which maximize the effectiveness of the facial points and help to treat the root cause of the concern for long-term effects.
For maximum results, 8-10 sessions are required over the course of 4-5 weeks and the appointments last around an hour. Following that there are maintenance appointments that are assessed on an individual basis. The length of the results varies based on the individual but most see results months after treatment and with maintenance every 1-2 months, they can last much longer. While it is can be seen as symptomatic management, I am also ensuring that the underlying processes are addressed so you have the long-term benefits.
Dermatological acupuncture focuses on the Traditional Chinese management of skin conditions such as discolouration, acne, psoriasis, eczema etc. Particularly with skin conditions like these, there is an internal disharmony that will be determined with careful history taking; this will be addressed with many other modalities such as nutrition, herbs or supplementation but one powerful tool is acupuncture. For example, with regards to acne, there is typically ‘dampness’ present in Chinese medicine. By this treatment principle of clearing dampness with acupuncture, we are able to access principles and forms of treatment that are not otherwise available.
Similar to cosmetic acupuncture, the maximum benefit is seen with treatment twice per week for 4 weeks.
Often people are most critical of themselves and my goal is for each person to be comfortable in their own skin. The work to know your beauty is not in facial acupuncture, botox or microdermabrasion; it is much deeper than that. I know that each person who walks in is beautiful and my aim is to help with that recognition. “I am affirming beauty that is already there. It helps to give back what they have given to others”1.
Over the next 4 weeks, the girls at Whole and Holistic will be writing about topics they are passionate about and giving a little more information to who is 'behind the blogger'!
1. Dr. Stephanie Duerkopp Fadis, DACM, Lac
Photo by Tim Chow on Unsplash
Disclaimer: As always, this is for information purposes only and is not intended to replace advice from an HCP. Talk to your ND or MD about your health goals to help optimize health safely and effectively.