Facial FAQs:

Do you do facial rejuvenation Acupuncture?


Wait, facial rejuvenation Acupuncture? What’s that about??

So glad you asked! Facial rejuvenation Acupuncture, sometimes called an “Acupuncture face lift,” is a series of treatments that release neck and facial tension, stimulate circulation to the face, and helps promote collagen formation in the skin. Additionally, body points are used to help promote overall good health as a person’s health is reflected in their looks. Appearance wise, this means:

* Reduction in major folds and wrinkles in the face caused by overexertion of facial muscles (such as forehead and eyebrow lines),
* Reduction and sometimes elimination of fine lines and wrinkles (such as crepe-like texture around the eyes and crows feet)
* Improved skin tone and coloring for a generally healthier glow
* Some lifting of the jowls (varies from person to person)
* Some reduction in (or prevention of) “turkey neck”

How long does it take to work?

Depending on your age and health status, a general starting protocol is 10-15 treatments* (1-2x/weekly) with follow-up treatments every 1-3 months after that.  Most people will start to see noticeable improvements by the 7th treatment, but some will see start to see results after the first visit. The “11” lines over the inner eyebrows, for example, are often visibly different almost immediately.

{Speaking of results in one visit, I have a funny side story: in the early days of my practice, before I took the specialized facial training, a young woman in her 20s came to me for sinus headaches. I worked on points in the forehead that I’ve since learned are really useful for the kind of tension that holds wrinkles. After the treatment, her head not only hurt a lot less but she kept running her fingers over her forehead saying “it’s so smooth! I didn’t know it could get so smooth!” I could see there was some visible difference as well. And that’s when we both learned that yes, you can have muscle knots in your face!}

* full disclosure: some patients choose to go for longer than the 15 treatments in a row, but with those generally it’s because we’re still seeing cumulative improvement week to week rather than a plateau.

What’s a facial rejuvenation treatment like? Is it different from normal acupuncture?

It’s a bit different in a few ways.

On the upside: the needles used are generally smaller.

On the downside, there’s more of them. And where a regular acupuncture treatment (such as for stress or back pain) takes a bit more than an hour, a facial treatment takes twice that. The double length treatment does mean the cost is about double as well.

Upside: to build on the effectiveness of the needling, there’s also about 15 minutes of face, neck and scalp massage/acupressure with high quality rejuvenating oils chosen to complement your skin type. People usually like this part! One person kept raving about how her scalp tingled for an hour afterwards.

This all sounds great. Is there anything I can do for myself?

YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PERSON MY FRIEND. I love teaching self-care! (Taking care of yourself is a necessity in this harsh world, and it’s often looked at as a selfish indulgence. SO WRONG. if you take care of yourself, you can do a better job of everything else you need to do!) As long as my schedule isn’t too crowded, I will happily show you some things you can do yourself or discuss diet changes that are likely to help. (Also, you can always email me afterwards to ask questions.)

Additionally, after about a half dozen treatments, some clients tell me that they’ve started incorporating the massage techniques I use on them into their own skincare routine for a little tuneup between acupuncture treatments.  

And of course, as a client of mine, I’m perfectly happy to special order you a bottle of the face massage oils I use, but if you have a heavy facial moisturizer? That will work perfectly well on a day to day basis. (After all, there is such a thing as using the therapeutic oils too often.)

How does facial rejuvenation acupuncture compare with peels, surgical facelifts, and other cosmetic procedures?

In short? The process is a lot more pleasant with acupuncture, and the results from acupuncture are slower and more subtle.

Officially, the estimate is taking 5-10 years off your apparent age. But really, I prefer to think of it another way.  The end result should have you looking like your best self. The phrase “glowing with health” has been used by some people. You can expect to look the way you might after a month of vacation where you’ve really relaxed, eaten the most nutritious food, and gotten a really solid 8-9 hours of sleep every night you were away.

The other major area where cosmetic acupuncture differs from other procedures is that it is much more gentle. You will walk out of the office looking lovely and generally feeling quite relaxed. You won’t feel like your skin has been scoured, your face is swollen, or that parts of you are a giant bruise.  (Please note: we *are* breaking skin. Bruising does happen sometimes, but not often. If you have a bleeding disorder or tendency to bruise, *please* tell me about it before making your appointment. Sometimes there are things we can do to minimize the risk.)

Face acupuncture isn’t about forcing your skin into submission. It’s about working with your body to let your face and skin be their healthiest, happiest selves.

When should I start?

This really depends on you. You can start as early as your twenties if you’re really carrying a lot of stress in your face, but it usually seems unnecessary before one’s mid thirties. You can do this as preventive care at younger ages, and you can do it for the first time in your 60s or 70s.

But if you’re really young and not sure if there’s anything to do? You might be better off setting up a regular appointment to work on your neck muscles. A lot of the appearance of aging comes from tension in the neck yanking on the facial muscles and restricting blood flow to the face’s skin. It’s not unusual for me to be working on  the facial protocol with someone and recommend a few neck treatments as well. Neck tightness and spasms seems to be a part of living in NYC!

(Hint: if you’re constantly rubbing your shoulders or wishing someone would rub them for you? It’s a good bet that we should work on this.)

Is there any reason I shouldn’t do this?

There are a few contraindications. A few serious medical conditions could make you a poor candidate for facial work. If you’ve had other cosmetic procedures, laser work, Botox, etc. too recently I will suggest you wait a bit before coming in to have work done on your face. This is why I screen everyone on the phone for a few minutes before they come in the first time.