The quest for eternal youth and hotness isn't new. We talk a big game about 'ageing gracefully', but what we really want is to hold onto our 20-something elastic skin for a gazillion years.
Lotions, potions (and for some people) a load of botox or toxic fillers are usually the answer. But if you google ‘long-term- botox’ it ain’t pretty.
Lucky there’s a much better option that's been around for centuries. Say hello to your new best friend and secret beauty weapon: cosmetic acupuncture.
What Is It?
“Cosmetic what? Like with needles and stuff?". Yep, cosmetic acupuncture is exactly as the name suggests—acupuncture for cosmetic purposes. Think of it like a natural alternative to toxic beauty practices: a face-lift without the fat injections, or botox without the chemicals. Just some fine acupuncture needles placed on your face creating an instant lift and smoothing out those crows' feet.
Now the idea of sticking needles in your face, just in general, might not have you lining up for an appointment. We get it. But these aren't like your vaccination needles. For one thing, they're solid, not hollow. They're also much finer, with an average thickness of about .25mm (to put that in perspective, a blood-drawing needle is about 1.65mm thick—ouch).
Does It hurt?
It depends. Some people feel next to nothing. Others might feel a dull ache around the base of the needle, or a slight tingling on the skin. It varies from person to person (and practitioner to practitioner). Any sensation is usually pretty brief.
Where does it come from?
You might just be hearing about this for the first time, but cosmetic acupuncture is actually an ancient practice used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It dates back to the Emperors in China and was a common practice used by Geishas and concubines (yep, it’s the secret to why geishas skin looks so damn flawless). Not much has changed since those days—we’re still seeking that youthful glow and paying a fortune for creams that promise to bring it back.
I’ll admit, I was sceptical before my first session. I went to see Dr Abbie of Dr Abbie Acupuncture in Malvern and she promptly told me that her clinic was a “swear friendly zone”. Not really sure what that meant, (or how much I’d appreciate the freedom), I lay down in her beautiful treatment room. After a pulse diagnosis, which is basically her way of seeing into your soul, she began applying the needles, giving me warnings of what the sensations would feel like at each point.
Then the sharp objects came. As someone with a slight aversion to needles, I was reassured by Dr Abbie that I would be fine, and she kept me laughing the whole time. She took extreme care in placing the tiny needles along the acupuncture points, starting with my feet and working her way up to my face where the real magic began.
At times I felt a tiny prick as the needle was applied, and at other points I was grateful for the swear-friendly zone rule. Once my face was full of needles and I could kind of feel the wrinkles melting, I was left to relax and let the needles do their thing. I fell asleep for about 40 minutes listening to chill-out music, and then before I knew it Abbie was waking me up, taking out the needles and giving me a mini Gua Sha treatment (aka, a gorgeous face massage with jade rollers) to soothe me back into the real world.
After one hour and one look in the mirror I was totally hooked. My thought-too-hard-at-uni lines had vanished from my eyebrows and the redness had faded from my skin. Four sessions later, my face looked like pre-teen Emma, and it's been glowing like a diamond ever since.
Dr Abbie calls this the Diamond Factor, “This is the bright and refreshed quality that shines out of my client’s faces. When my clients come to see me in clinic, I take a before and after photo to show you the immediate changes in skin contour and tone, lines and wrinkles, brightness and tightness,” she says.
Cosmetic acupuncture has been known to reduce puffiness, reduce wrinkles, increase collagen in the face and soft surrounding areas (so you can stop ruining your perfectly good coffee by adding collagen to it), relieve stress, give you glowing skin, reduce scarring, prevent wrinkles, and even out pigmentation. It’s pretty much the one stop shop for good skin, so you can put your best face forward without the nasty chemicals.
But don’t take my word for it—give cosmetic acupuncture a go. Head to Dr Abbie Acupuncture, above Street Organics in Malvern and watch as she uses her magic needles to take years off your face. As always with these things, do your research first. See if it feels right for you, and ask your GP if you've got any concerns. Everyone's beauty routine will be different.
Image credit: Family Wellness Centre