Dr. Oz and Dr. Weil describe benefits of facial acupuncture – but is it a facelift?

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by Jennifer Kotowicz HHP, RAc – Facial acupuncture, rejuvenation and weight loss.

My specialty is facial rejuvenation at The Acupuncture Turning Point health clinic. I have always been reticent to do the stereotypical “before and after” pictures for many reasons  – but I am reconsidering it.

I ask myself, is my reluctance because my treatments do not produce dramatic enough results!? I calm first impulse knowing that the huge marketing of beauty is often empty and fake and superficial — if it were as simple as they show in the sensational magazines and websites, then we all would look “younger” than our age.

I want attract a clientele who doesn’t need to see these pictures in order to be sold on the idea that acupuncture facial rejuvenation can be beneficial. I feel the benefits of facial acupuncture are greater than just physical vanity. But I can’t deny that vanity has a part to play in both me and why my clients seek facial rejuvenation treatments. Perhaps I should start doing before and after pictures with my clients (and myself!) as a way to quantify the subtle results or at least give them the option.  Again I wrestle with this.  Acupuncture is so indirect often, and although it may affect the health and quality of skin and subcutaneous fascia, and relax muscle tone to reduce wrinkles naturally, it is more than that.  When my clients leave and I have given them relaxation-inducing needles in the hands and feet, they look radiate, as if they had a great weight lifted off their shoulders, well face I guess.

I recently searched the web for “acupuncture facial rejuvenation” or “acupuncture facelift” to see what people are saying.   I wanted to clarify my position and better understand what is influencing my clients’ expectations when they come to see me.  Of course I come across famous and medically-oriented icons like Dr. Oz and Dr. Weil.  Dr. Oz has featured acupuncture facelift on his show. and Dr. Weil has commented on Acupuncture facial rejuvenation on his website.

In the clip about acupuncture facelift by Dr. Oz. they do a description and demonstration of what to expect from an acupuncture treatment, which he presents as a natural “alternative” to a medical facelift. The acupuncturist demonstrating describes a traditional Chinese reasoning as well as increased collagen production as benefits and then goes on to show before and after pictures. I am not sure still about how reliable these pictures are. Is the women wearing makeup? Are her expressions are the same in each picture? Regardless, overall I feel like it was a quick taste into a facial acupuncture experience, and not really about face lifting per se.  I see acupuncture on the face and body not as an alternative to a facelift since they are doing fundamentally different things. I did not feel deceived, but rather, I felt there was an over reliance on that acupuncture was doing something physically transformative in some way comparable to a classic facelift.

In contrast, something closer to my way of seeing reality as a practicing acupuncturist, Dr. Weil starts out by saying that nothing can turn back the hands of time — even a medical facelift is temporary.  A facelift hides, not heals, the reality of a woman’s situation. Dr Weil is not sure about the lasting effects of facial acupuncture but he does say it can improve muscle tone and has other benefits including psychological — which of course can reflect in the face!  When he compares the cost of a facelift and acupuncture, of course acupuncture is the cheaper choice. Of course, the complications with facelift are substantial, whereas with acupuncture, it is basically safe. Besides, when we do acupuncture, we are looking after your health mind and body, not just your face.

Again, we cannot turn back the clock, but we can slow it down! Often it is just a matter of us slowing down first and taking time to take care of ourselves a little bit.  The time to enjoy life, get the sleep we need, nourish our body and soul – it reflects profoundly in one’s eyes and face.

So I after my exploration into what the public “experts” are saying, I reconfirmed what I already knew to be true; of what I needed to say to my clients: acupuncture supports and reactivates the natural and miraculous processes of life, but does not reverse aging.

And I have the easy part.  I remind my clients that each of us needs to  our best to live good habits of health and to find our optimal balance of sleep, exercise, nutrition, limiting and or eliminating toxic substances (i.e. smoking, alcohol), staying hydrated and using non-toxic sun protection or cosmetics.

I can help you slow down the aging of your skin and help your beauty shine from the inside out, no matter what your age.