San Francisco Acupuncture for Facial Rejuvenation
Kristen Sparrow MD, San Francisco Acupuncturist
Ancient Wisdom for Modern Good Looks
Get a brighter, sleeker you – without the drastic changes of plastic surgery and injections – in my San Francisco acupuncture clinic. There was a segment in December 2011 on the Dr. Oz show about this procedure.
Where did Facial Rejuvenation come from?
Facial Rejuvenation has a rich history in Chinese Medicine. Strategies for fighting ageing and maintaining appearance through lifestyle, acupuncture and herbal treatment is an important mainstay of Traditional Chinese Medicine. By treating the body and the interplay of the organs, with particular attention to the meridians in the face, appearance can be optimized.
What changes can I expect?
- Superficial wrinkles are decreased or even disappear
- Deeper wrinkles can be reduced significantly
- Skin and jaw line are more firm with less sag
- Better circulation to the face means better color and better collagen production
- A more relaxed and brighter look
- Less puffiness and a sleeker look
Herbal formulas can help to reinforce the acupuncture treatment and give a sleeker, more relaxed look without the drastic changes of plastic surgery or injections.
How long will it take?
Typically the patient will need about 8 to 10 visits and then periodic visits to maintain the effect. The facial rejuvenation acupuncture treatment takes longer than a typical acupuncture treatment and costs a bit more.
How long will it last?
You can expect the treatment to last up to 18 months, but it’s better to come in for intermittent “booster treatments.” Some effects are permanent. Traditional Chinese Medicine addresses the same organs as Western Medicine but has organized the treatment and understanding of them in a different way. I explain to my patients that the organs in Chinese Medicine have enhanced functions compared to Western Medicine. For example, the organ of the heart can be treated with acupuncture, but you can also treat the “spirit” through treating the meridians of the heart. ( It makes sense from a Chinese Medicine point of view that a third of all patients who have had open heart surgery suffer debilitating depression post-operatively. From a Western Medicine point of view, it is more difficult to explain.)
During facial rejuvenation acupuncture treatment, a heightened focus is placed on the five organ systems in Chinese medicine:
The lung system, of course, is involved in respiration. But in Chinese Medicine, the Lung also controls the skin, with its external sense organ being the nose. (In Chinese medicine it makes perfect sense that people who have asthma, might also have rhinitis and eczema.) If the lung is not optimized, this will lead to dryness, wrinkles, and a withered-looking complexion, seen in the extreme with chronic smokers.
The liver system plays a major role in the Qi low of all the other organ systems. It is key in the circulation of qi and blood and it can tend to become stagnant without proper exercise, breathing, diet, and control of the temper. The external sense organ of the liver is the eyes. If the liver is not optimized there will be wrinkles from the poor perfusion of the face, dark spots, and a dusky congested complexion. This can be noted in the extreme with chronic drinkers who can tend to have broken capillaries, red noses, and a congested look especially in the eyes.
The spleen dominates the function of making the food eaten into energy and blood. The external sense organ is the mouth. When the spleen is not optimized, the skin will be undernourished with a loss of skin tone, sagging and looseness. There can be a look of puffiness with eye bags. One can even see brownish dark spots on the face.
The kidney system regulates the fluid balance in the body, the external sense organ is the ear. (In Western Medicine, it has long been observed that deformities in a newborn’s outer ear can be associated with kidney abnormalities, also.) In Chinese Medicine, the kidneys are incredibly important besides their role in regulating water. Perhaps because of the proximity to the adrenal gland, the kidneys are seen as key in storing a substance called “essence” which is the basis of health, longevity, and reproduction. (Western Medicine now acknowledges the key role of stress, mediated by the adrenal gland, in health, mood, reproduction, and aging.) When the kidneys are not optimized, one can see dark circles under the eyes, puffiness around the eyes. But if essence is diminished, one can see accelerated aging, loss of hair, and wrinkles.
The heart rules the blood and blood vessels, but also the spirit, as noted above. If the spirit is altered, it can easily be reflected in the face. Many of the anti-wrinkle protocols will serve to calm the heart. The most common result of a heart function that is not optimized is low heart blood leading to poor perfusion and wrinkles. But if the heart blood is not strong, sleep can be affected and that can lead to accelerated facial aging.