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Journal / Special series
Team Tata Tries: Facial Acupuncture
The office has been buzzing about a facial rejuvenation trend that’s been gaining traction among some of our closest friends - facial acupuncture. Yes, you heard that right… acupuncture, but on your face. Acupuncture has been around for centuries. Proven to aid body pains, fatigue, TMJ, chronic allergies, and nausea, the traditional Chinese medicine practice has a list of benefits that goes on-and-on. Now, it isn’t every day we’re excited to have someone poking our face with extra-fine needles, but if it promises to promote a better sense of wellness and rejuvenation we're definitely intrigued to learn more.
We wanted to get to the bottom of what the buzz was all about, so we sent our Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Derek, to give it a try. Derek is no stranger to acupuncture after having gone weekly for 6 years while living in New York City. Already aware of the benefits, Derek was fascinated to experience the treatment with a facial focus.
“Acupuncture was able to help me with chronic pain for years." Derek says. “It made a major difference in my life, so I’m curious to see how this all works.”
He met with our go-to Vermont acupuncturist Jen Etheridge of Integrative Acupuncture who explained that "facial acupuncture works internally to help better your sense of health while also bettering your complexion." An extension from the traditional practice, facial acupuncture is said to help make the skin look more youthful, smooth, and radiant. The ultimate goal? We think so.
SO, HOW DOES IT WORK?:
- To start, Jen takes a look at Derek’s tongue and pulse. By looking at the overall appearance of his tongue, she’s able to see how his body is currently functioning. This gives her indicators of where else she should focus beyond just the face during the treatment.
- Next came the fun part… single-use sterile needles, called “seirins,” were inserted into the shins, ankles, and hands to help increase blood flow and internal movement.
- A warm lavender towel is then draped over the face to begin the facial, which helps promote calmness and relaxation. “It feels like a dream,” Derek says. Next, a special clay mask is applied to the face. Made with a mix of Chinese herbs, this treatment helps gently smooth and firm the complexion.
- Once the mask is removed, an ear massage is given. "The ear is a map to the body, almost like a tiny GPS," Jen tells us.
- Now time for the facial needles. These are inserted in an upward direction on the forehead, ears, jaw, eyebrows, cheeks, and chin of the patient. These points trigger muscles, internal organ channels, and digestive points. Smaller, more intricate needles are then placed into fine lines to plump the skin. This can be done next to the eyes, around the mouth, between eyebrows, etc. The needles are left on the face for about 10 minutes, and the patient is left to relax with minimal movement.
- After the facial needles are removed, a fragrant mixture of essential oils, Frankincense and Myrrh, is applied to prevent bruising and ease any possible soreness.
- A serum mixture of Argan Oil, Blue Tansy, and Lavender is then applied to Derek's face to help moisturize and balance before moving on to the Gau Sha massage. This is where your acupuncturist scrapes the skin to stimulate circulation of the soft tissue and increases blood flow throughout the face. These strokes are made with a smooth-edged instrument known as a gua massage tool.
- In the final steps, Jen performs a facial and ear massage and the needles are removed from the rest of Derek’s body. Ending with a refreshing floral hydrosol spray, the patient is sent on their way feeling calm, restored, and refreshed.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?:
- Immediately after the procedure, the patient is encouraged to drink extra water as they might feel drowsy.
WHO CAN BENEFIT?:
-Those who are looking to unwind, improve wellness, and maintain a youthful look that truly comes from within.
- Facial acupuncture is not recommended for women who are pregnant or trying, experience migraines, have high blood pressure, or any serious illness. Also, if the client has had any laser or abrasive facial procedures done recently, it is recommended to wait a few weeks to let the skin heal before trying the procedure for the first time.
- It is recommended that first timers should go through 6-12 sessions of facial acupuncture to see lasting results of overall body health and improved skin firmness, texture, and tone.
“The experience was something I would definitely recommend,” Derek says.
“Not only do I feel refreshed and rejuvenated, but the treatment was an opportunity to meditate and center myself.” Whether you’re looking for a more organic approach to facial revitalization, or a chance to heighten your sense of wellness, facial acupuncture can bring real benefits to your life. “It’s interesting to see how skincare and your body’s health are intertwined,” Derek tells us. “I’m dying to see how I feel after my next few sessions.”