Facial Acupuncture - What Is It And Everything You Need To Know Before - Iremia Skincare

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Facial Acupuncture - What Is It And Everything You Need To Know Before You Try It

I recently had the opportunity to try facial acupuncture and I just couldn’t pass it up. There has been so much talk about its benefits and results, that I wanted, no needed, to find out more. I was initially hesitant because, well, needles in face anyone? But curiosity got the better of me, so I forged ahead and decided to test it out.

You might have heard a lot about facial (or cosmetic acupuncture) recently and its benefits, but what is it, and where did it originally come from?


What is Acupuncture?

According toAcupuncture Canada, “Acupuncture stimulates the balance and flow of Qi energy that in Traditional Chinese Medicine is considered essential to health. When the body is healthy, Qi (pronounced chee), flows smoothly through the meridians that make up a conceptual network of pathways throughout the entire body. When the balance or flow of Qi is deficient or obstructed it may be diseased or susceptible to illness. Acupuncture treats both the symptoms and the root causes of the patient’s illness.” 

Acupuncture has traditionally been used in Asian medicine and is based on a 5000-year-old practice. The goal of each treatment is to create balance in the mind and body as well as provide a way to harmonize internal imbalances to prevent illnesses from recurring. I have personally used acupuncture as a way to balance my body when I was experiencing hip and knee pain from my pregnancies, and it made a difference in decreasing the pain after a series of treatments.


So What Is Facial or Cosmetic Acupuncture? 

Facial or cosmetic acupuncture helps to stimulate collagen production by creating microtraumas. It sounds scarier than it is, as the needles are tiny and you don’t feel a thing. Needles can be inserted into actual wrinkles or scars, or to sagging areas and stay in for about 20 minutes. As with all good and natural things, acupuncture doesn’t provide a quick fix. It takes time and its benefits are compounded over time: Increased collagen stimulation, brighter complexion, reduced scarring and stress reduction.

I had the pleasure of meeting and working withDr. Tanvi Tijoriwala, ND. She is a licensed naturopathic doctor who runs a general practice with a focus on skin health and stress management. Her mission is completely aligned with Iremia’s purpose, which is to provide a sense of calmness while you are on your journey to holistic healing. 

Dr. Tanvi believes that beautiful skin begins with feeling good on the inside. She works with her patients to achieve their health goals through the prevention and treatment of the root cause of the condition. Dr. Tanvi achieves this by doing three things – providing education on good lifestyle choices, using naturopathic modalities to heal the health concern, and empower patients to be their best self. To educate, heal and empower is what she truly stands for.

What Are The Benefits Of Facial Acupuncture?

According to Dr. Tanvi, facial acupuncture is great for anti-ageing, acne, facial scars, dark spots, facial rejuvenation and other conditions affecting the skin. She even wrote an entire article on theBenefits of Facial Acupuncture, which I will quote below:

Collagen Production
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body, which makes up the framework of the skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments.Having sufficient collagen is important to prevent wrinkles and dry skin. Inserting tiny needles in the skin (especially around wrinkles) causes microtrauma to the area that is not visible to the eye. Areas with microtrauma stimulate the healing process which in turn increases collagen production in the area. In this way, the natural production of collagen is stimulated without permanent injury to the skin, which leads to smoother wrinkles.
To reach the skin muscles, deeper acupuncture needles are inserted. Deeper needle insertions lead to decrease in facial tension and toning of the skin muscles. Acupuncture needle insertion in the area also allows for increased blood flow which nourishes and moisturizes the skin.
Stress Management
If you saw Kim Kardashian’s post from 2013, her caption read, “Just Relaxing.” A facial acupuncture treatment is just that! Not only is it relaxing, but it also helps with the repercussions of living a stressful life. These include puffiness around the eyes, stress lines and other constitutional symptoms that go beyond cosmetics.
Holistic Health
While most patients get facial acupuncture for the beauty benefits, it is not just for cosmetic use. As a naturopathic doctor who believes in whole-body medicine, I look at what conditions contribute to the skin issue. For example, if a patient has chronic constipation which is retaining toxins in the body, it is most likely to show up on the skin in different ways. During facial acupuncture treatments, I would also treat constipation and any other conditions affecting the skin. This busts a common myth as well that facial acupuncture is only for elderly women. THIS IS NOT TRUE! Facial acupuncture is for men and women over the age of 25 that are affected by any skin condition or just want to look and feel their best.


What Was The Process Like?

After arriving at Dr. Tanvi’s clinic in Mississauga, she first did a quick intake of my health history and assessed my skin. This process is used to find out if any underlying causes may be affecting or impacting your skin health. All treatments are an hour long.

The initial assessment is followed by a customized treatment plan. Everyone is different and will have a completely different holistic plan put in place, which is implemented in follow-up visits.  

While I was relaxing on the treatment table, Dr. Tanvi started off with a facial massage in order to prepare the skin. It was done with our Restorative Facial Oil, infusing the skin with omega fatty acids. She then proceeded to gently insert the acupuncture needles. Two types of needles were used in my treatment - intradermal needles and regular acupuncture needles. The intradermal needles are extremely tiny and need to be held with tweezers. These are used for wrinkles and scars on the face. The regular acupuncture needles, still very thin (although thicker than the intradermal needles), are used to tone the muscles on the face and are also used on the body (see next paragraph). 

I didn’t feel anything when Dr. Tanvi was inserting the needles, although there were some spots that I could feel some pressure. The one thing to remember is that with facial or cosmetic acupuncture, a whole-body treatment approach is used. Meaning, there will be needles strategically placed on your body as well as your face to treat the issue holistically. For example, if someone is suffering from constipation, their body is not eliminating toxins effectively. These toxins can show up on the skin as dark spots or accelerated ageing. In this case, we would treat constipation which can be associated with the presenting skin issues.

After Dr. Tanvi was done inserting the needles, I was left to relax for about 20 minutes. It did take me a few minutes before I started to feel a deep sense of relaxation. It almost felt like my body was a balloon that was being deflated of pressure and stress. Once the needles were removed, Dr. Tanvi completed the treatment with a lymphatic massage using a jade roller to soothe the skin.


How Many Facial Acupuncture Sessions Do I Need To See Results?

With facial acupuncture, its effects are compounded over time. It generally takes 6-10 treatment visits to see results. According to Dr. Tanvi, most patients see results within the first six treatments. After the initial treatment, one maintenance treatment is recommended every 1-2 months to maintain that bright, glowing complexion!


When Should You Start Getting Facial Acupuncture?

Collagen starts depleting from our skin as early as 30 years of age. It is a myth that only men and women above 50 will benefit from graceful ageing medicine. To maximize collagen preservation and prevent wrinkles, treatments are beneficial for men and women - 30 years old and older.


What Is The Investment For Facial Acupuncture?

It varies between naturopaths. Dr. Tanvi charges $130-$150 for an hour treatment. 


The Consensus - Is It Worth It?

Facial or cosmetic acupuncture helps to stimulate collagen production by creating microtraumas. It also takes into account your entire health history and looks at treatment holistically. Given it’s relaxing and stress-releasing effect on my body (including my face), I would highly recommend incorporating this into your health plan, especially if you are looking for a more natural way to increase collagen production, tone your skin and decrease stress!