Monday, August 9, 2010

Look Better, Feel Great!

I often receive questions about Cosmetic Acupuncture- What is it?  Does it really work?  How does it work?  How many treatments will I need and how will I maintain the results?  So, here it is.  Everything you might want to know about using Cosmetic Acupuncture to look your best.

What is it?
Mei Zen, or Cosmetic Acupuncture, is a relatively non-invasive procedure that is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and is good medicine from the inside out.  Treating imbalances inside the body and using needles to increase the balance of Qi and blood to the face is the best "anti-aging" medicine available.  It brings about results that are more than skin deep.  What you see on your face is indeed, at least in part, due to the state of your overall health.  For example, dark circles under your eyes indicate an imbalance in a particular organ system.  By balancing this system, not only will you see a reduction in dark circles, but overall health will be improved.

Does it really work?
 The most common benefits include having softer, more vibrant, and firmer skin; reduction of deeper wrinkles; possible elimination of finer wrinkles, a clearer complexion and improvement in jowl lines.  Although not visually as dramatic as a surgical procedure, Cosmetic Acupuncture has farther reaching health benefits.  Besides the visual changes, patients have reported improved digestion, better quality of sleep, reduction of hot flashes, reduction of anxiety and depression, improved energy and an overall sense of well-being.  Of course, there are poor habits that could minimize the results of treatments, such as smoking, excessive drinking, sun exposure and poor nutrition.  Nutrition and habits are are addressed and recommendations are made based individual life styles.

How does it work?
From a TCM perspective, the treatment balances overall Qi and blood, thereby improving general health.  Qi and blood are brought to the face, Qi is lifted and the body's energetic systems are balanced.    From a western medical standpoint, Cosmetic Acupuncture works because the needling causes micro-traumas in the skin to which the body can respond by increasing blood flow and the production of collagen and elastin for wound healing.  The needling, which is done at the level of the dermis, also may stimulate neurotransmitter production.  

How many treatments will I need and how will I maintain the results?
The course of treatment is twice a week for 5 weeks.  Sessions take approximately 75 minutes.  To maintain good results, I recommend getting two treatments quarterly; with a minimum of at least two treatments every six months.

Other considerations:
Cosmetic acupuncture is not for everyone.  It is contraindicated for patients who have a history of certain conditions and it is best for patients with overall good health. Candidacy is determined during the initial consultation.  Bruising is a possibility, and should be taken into consideration before proceeding.

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