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Constitutional Facial Acupuncture

While most people wouldn't mind looking a few years younger, the notion of allowing a surgeon to take a knife to your face is more than a little off-putting. As a non-surgical alternative, cosmetic acupuncture can deliver a fresh faced radiance whilst diminishing the signature signs of aging. More importantly the treatment addresses the underlying causes of ageing, which can be preferable to masking the symptoms with invasive procedures.

facial rejuvenationCosmetic Acupuncture has recently attracted much media attention. The Irish Times recently acclaimed this treatment as "a viable alternative to cosmetic surgery and the effects can run much deeper than simply improving appearances". This remarkable treatment may erase as many as 5 to 15 years from the face. And there's also needle-less "Turbo-Acupuncture".

Improving physical appearance with the help of cosmetic acupuncture has a history, which dates back over 800 years to the Sun dynasty, when the empress and the emperor's concubines used it to maintain their youthful allure.

So why is this ancient technique now becoming so popular? One of Minneapolis's leading acupuncturists, Gretta Graceland, has been instrumental in introducing the treatment to Minnesota patients. Not surprisingly, New York and LA waiting lists for cosmetic acupuncture are often over a year long and populated by the rich and famous (reportedly Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cher Telegraph 13/8/2004).

So how does the Acupuncture facelift work? A number of hair-thin needles are skillfully inserted into specific acupuncture points and manipulated to encourage blood and energy flow. This energy, or "Chi", is said to regulate the body's innate healing processes and invigorate the facial area. Proponents of cosmetic acupuncture say it can offer measurable results after only a few sessions, eliminating fine lines and reducing deeper wrinkles. Bags under the eyes are reduced, droopy eyelids are lifted, sagging and puffiness are smoothed away. The needles stimulate blood and circulation, which improves facial color and brightens the eyes. Other long term benefits can include increased moisture and elasticity in the skin, the activation of collagen production, better muscle tone and jaw-line definition, tightening of the pores and improved hormonal balance.


  • Improves acne (caused by hormonal imbalance)
  • Helps menopause, PMS and other GYN issues
  • Helps sinus congestion and headache
  • Improves hyper and hypothyroidism
  • Reduces symptoms of toothache, TMJ, trigeminal neuralgia, and Bell's palsy
  • Helps headaches (except severe migraine)
  • Treats diarrhea and constipation (most digestive issues)
  • Helps to eliminate edema and puffiness
  • Benefits eyes, ears and brain
  • Can help insomnia and dizziness
  • Helps depression and aids self-esteem


  • Improves collagen production and muscle tone
  • Helps reduce bags and sagging tendencies
  • Helps eliminate fine lines and diminish larger wrinkles
  • Helps reduce double chin and lift drooping eyelids
  • Improves metabolism
  • Tightens pores and brightens eyes
  • Increases local blood and lymph circulation
  • Improves facial color
  • Reduces stress and promotes total health and well-being

Is Facial Acupuncture for Everyone?

It would probably be more instructive to list the few contraindications for facial acupuncture, because, for the vast majority of prospective clients, it is a safe and beneficial treatment, not only for prevention of wrinkles, but also the reversal of the customary signs of aging.


  • Severe high blood pressure (it is OK when the blood pressure is under control and the patient is seeing a medical doctor)
  • Severe migraines (if the patient is having a migraine only once every 3 months or so, they can receive facial acupuncture treatments)
  • Be aware that it takes a patient 3 weeks to recover from laser resurfacing on the face. Do not needle during that time; wait a week after microdermabrasion.

Do not perform during:

  • Pregnancy;
  • Colds or flu;
  • Acute herpes outbreak; or
  • Acute allergic reactions

In the latter 3 instances, once the condition has passed, the patient may receive a facial acupuncture treatment.

How Long is the Treatment?

Constitutional Facial Acupuncture™ involves the patient in an organic process, in which a series of treatments is necessary to achieve maximal effect. After an initial session, practitioner evaluates the patient's response, and then can determine the number of follow-up visits that will be required.

After this evaluation, and taking into consideration other variables such as stress, diet, lifestyle, genetic inheritance, proper digestion and elimination, sleep, emotional balance, and age, the following durations of treatment are customarily recommended:

  • Usually 10-12 treatments;
  • 20 treatments for smokers or people whose skin tends to sag, i.e., who manifest jowls, "turkey wattles," droopy eyes, etc.

It should be noted that age is not as crucial as might be estimated; an older patient with a healthy lifestyle may in fact have a better prognosis than a younger person who is prone to dissipate themselves.

Treatment Timeline:

  • 2 times a week (if possible), for 45 minutes to 1 hour; or
  • 1 treatment per week, 90 minutes

Booster Treatments:

Within the normal parameters of aging, the completion of a series of treatments should be effective. To maintain the results, ongoing booster treatments are recommended:

  • Every 2 weeks for 2 months following the completion of a treatment series, then once a month for an indefinite amount of time;

  • Of course, the patient can also embark upon a subsequent series after a week's respite

The Use of Chinese Herbs

The Constitutional Facial Acupuncture™ treatment protocol incorporates Chinese herbal masks, poultices and moisturizers. Jade rollers, which enhance blood circulation, remove fine lines and age spots, and prevent premature aging, are used to massage moisturizer into the skin. The ancient empresses of China used jade as a precious stone to be worn, not only around their necks, but also to attract yin and nourishment into their skin. The stone served a double purpose of promoting beauty and for magical protection.

Short and Long-Term Effects of Facial Acupuncture

Acupuncture FaceliftAfter the first treatment, one usually observes an increased glow to the complexion, the result of increased Qi and blood flow to the face. The person's face appears more "open", there is a clarity in the eyes ("clear Shen"), and the patient appears to be more rested; wrinkles start to lessen and the skin appears more toned.

A significant difference in their appearance can be ascertained following the 5th to 7th treatments; even more marked changes in wrinkles, skin tone, etc. The impression of relaxation and calm is more pronounced; they appear as if they have returned from vacation. Lifting of the jowls, neck and the eyes has begun and is usually noticeable. With continuing treatment, constitutional issues like digestive complaints have been ameliorated or subsided.

Acupuncture FaceliftBy the end of a series, the patient should look and feel 5-15 years younger. These results may vary slightly, depending upon how well the patient has taken care of themselves during the process, and afterward. At this stage, booster treatments provide ongoing support within a normal process of aging.

Acupuncture FaceliftConstitutional Facial Acupuncture™ is non-invasive, less costly than surgical procedures, and draws upon the ancient Chinese wisdom related to longevity, beauty and balance.

But is it painful? Well, less painful than you might think. A thorough eyebrow plucking from a trained beauty therapist can cause more eye-watering pain than 10 acupuncture needles combined. The treatment is also much easier than going the surgeon's knife, with full anesthetic and waking up with a face full of bandages and bruises. Unlike the injection of potentially harmful chemicals into your skin, cosmetic acupuncture's only side effect is an improved sense of health and well-being!

But what is the scientific support for Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture? A recent research study, found that out of 300 test subjects, over 90% showed significant improvements after one series of treatments.

The weakness of most conventional cosmetic therapies is that they do little or nothing to enhance the client's underlying health condition. It's primarily because cosmetic acupuncture fully embraces the principle of 'inner health/outer beauty' that it works so well - and that results last longer. I liken cosmetic acupuncture treatment to a gardener tending the soil of a plant to produce a healthy flower, rather than superficially trying to polish a petal.

While the initial desire to look younger may be a simple case of vanity, the effects can prove far more profound than merely improving one's appearance. As a practitioner of Oriental medicine, our aim is to help people to profoundly improve their lives. Many people come looking for cosmetic acupuncture, but return for the health benefits.