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facial acupuncture



Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life (Asquith, 1923).

What exactly is it?

Facial revitalisation acupuncture, also known as cosmetic acupuncture or an acupuncture facelift, is a painless, non-surgical and safe treatment used in fighting the ageing process. It reduces the signs of ageing by encouraging the flow of Qi (energy) and blood to the face. This hydrates and plumps up the skin to boost the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the face, helping to reduce wrinkles and blemishes and giving an altogether more youthful and healthy appearance.

Stress and habitual expressions can take their toll on your skin. Facial revitalisation acupuncture can transform you into a younger, calmer, and less worn-looking version of yourself, while at the same time treating many pre-existing health conditions. It’s all about inner beauty, vitality and serenity.

What does it do?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has always emphasised the inextricable link between mind, body and spirit. Beauty is said to come from within – it is true that when we feel good inside, we radiate that feeling through our appearance.

Facial revitalisation acupuncture works by addressing the physical condition of the face, as well as the underlying causes of imbalance in the body, which may be causing signs of premature ageing.

Using concepts taken from TCM, facial revitalisation acupuncture re-balances the body’s motivating energy, or ‘Qi’. As we mature, the quantity of Qi and blood in the skin and underlying facial muscles slowly begins to decrease, causing a loss of nourishment, support and moisture. The face has a high number of acupuncture points and there are many specific areas that can be targeted. This increases the flow Qi and blood through the skin in that area, boosting the skin’s supply of nutrients and oxygen, giving extra hydration and generally plumping it up, thus decreasing the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes and giving you a more youthful appearance.

How does it work?

The principle of facial revitalisation acupuncture is that beauty comes from within. The skin is the largest organ of the body and any internal imbalance due to stress or poor diet, among others, will manifest in the complexion. If you are ageing in a way that looks and feels unhealthy then it is possible that there is a fundamental, constitutional imbalance causing it. When this balance is restored, you will feel and look more radiant. On a physiological level, acupuncture has been shown to increase the circulation of blood and lymph around the body. Increased blood flow can balance out skin colour and help maintain a healthy appearance and muscle tone.

Can I benefit from it?

If you would like to look and feel younger, while slowing down the ageing process, yes.

You will be treated and evaluated on the body-mind continuum – this is the foundation of holistic medicine. Different methods are used for different people, depending on how the individual is ageing. For example, a person with excess puffiness around the eyes would require a different treatment to someone with dry skin.


While acupuncture is not a replacement for invasive surgery, there is no trauma to the face, no extended recovery time, no danger of disfigurement and no side effects. It is also less costly than plastic surgery and very safe, restoring life, health and radiance without the use of chemicals or toxins.

The needles stimulate natural collagens, which means the skin fills out wrinkles in a totally natural way, without loss of mobility or expression. This stimulation also gives an enviably natural ‘glow’.

But does it really make a difference?

Yes. The effectiveness of acupuncture is due to its direct manipulation of the body’s energy system – balancing, removing blockages or adding energy when necessary.

What does a session involve?

During the first session, diet, lifestyle and expectations will be discussed and suggestions made about any changes that could help in the rejuvenation process.

Very fine needles are then inserted into specific points on the face, ears, neck and body, to regulate the flow of Qi and create balance within the body. This will stimulate cell growth and regeneration and blood circulation to the skin and muscles. Other points may also be used to encourage the body's own mechanisms for maintaining muscle tone, skin texture and that all-important inner glow of wellbeing.

The level of stimulation varies from person to person, and it is the client who directs the acupuncturist as to what is comfortable for them. After the needles are removed, the face is further stimulated by a roller and massaged by hand. By the end of the treatment, the skin and muscles of the face feel relaxed and revitalised.

What are the effects?

Facial revitalisation acupuncture can improve muscle facial tone, lessen bags and dark circles under the eyes by improving fluid metabolism, make skin look plumper by reducing lines and creases, and improve the complexion. It reduces stress evident in the face and improves hormonal balance to reduce some forms of acne. While there is an almost immediate aesthetic difference, the treatment also affects the energy balance of the whole body, making it a treatment for both inside and out.

Are there any other health benefits?

You may also notice a reduction in stress levels, fewer headaches, improved digestion, more energy, improved sleep, increased energy levels and a stronger immune system. You can also address and treat any chronic or recurring pain.

Is there any research behind it?

Facial revitalisation acupuncture is a relatively new technique. However, its benefits are already well documented. In 1996, a report in the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture stated that out of 300 clients treated, 90% showed significant beneficial effects with only one course of treatment. These ranged from a fairer and more delicate texture to the skin, a rosier complexion, improvement in the elasticity of the muscles, a reduction in wrinkles and an overall rejuvenation of face and body.

Is it safe?

Yes, very safe. Unlike other cosmetic treatments, it has no long-term irreversible side effects such as scarring, swelling, paralysis of the face or drooping eyelids. Very rarely, the point at which the acupuncture needle is applied may bruise slightly, but this should disappear after few days. 

It is recommended that you choose a practitioner who is a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC). Membership of the BAcC ensures qualification from one of the UK's professional colleges, having undertaken an intensive and comprehensive 3-4 year course. It also means that an acupuncturist is committed to working to a set of professional guidelines and codes of conduct, clinical hygiene standards and a Continual Professional Development programme.

How soon will the results be noticeable?

Each individual responds differently to the treatment but some people will notice an immediate difference. Much depends on lifestyle prior to and during treatment.

How many treatments will I need?

Generally, it is recommended that you have 8-12 treatments. The effects become most noticeable and lasting on or about the seventh session. Each person responds differently, depending on his or her condition and lifestyle prior to treatment. Once the course of treatment is finished, most people choose to continue with occasional follow-up sessions to maintain their improvement.

Are there any contraindications?

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is contraindicated for some pituitary disorders, heart disorders, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, individuals who have a pacemaker or who have a problem with bleeding or bruising, or who currently suffer from migraine headaches. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture should not be done during pregnancy, during a bout with a cold or flu, during an allergic attack or during an acute herpes outbreak.

Who administers Facial Revitalisation Acupuncture?

The treatment should be performed by a licensed acupuncturist, with training in the specialization of Facial Revitalisation Acupuncture. Not many acupuncturists are specially trained in facial revitalisation acupuncture. Optimally, one should seek out a practitioner trained by an expert in this field. Carmen has studied under Virginia Doran who is a recognised expert in this field and has been lecturing and teaching about this specialist treatment internationally for over 20 years.