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Michelle Gellis teaching facial acupuncture

Five Important Reasons for Facial Acupuncture CEU Certification Classes

By Michelle Gellis, AP, DiplAc.

For those seeking to add Facial Acupuncture to their practice, this article discusses the importance of proper training with facial acupuncture CEU certification classes.

Facial Acupuncture, also known as Cosmetic Acupuncture, is one of the fastest growing areas in our industry. When done properly it can add value and an additional stream of income to your practice. Many practitioners have recognized this and are jumping on the bandwagon. However, some are attempting to practice without getting facial acupuncture certification. This has lead to untrained practitioners, and improper technique which unfortunately is being publicized on social media, and other places on the internet.

As a nationally recognized, published expert in facial acupuncture my facial acupuncture CEU certification classes are designed to uphold the integrity, safety and professionalism of cosmetic acupuncture.  Many of the photos circulating on social media portray facial acupuncture practices involving excessive needles, placed improperly.

The following are five reasons why it is crucial to get facial acupuncture certification before attempting to practice on your patients.

Michelle Gellis teaches Facial Acupuncture CEU Certification Classes throughout the US
Michelle Gellis teaches Facial Acupuncture CEU Certification Classes

1) The overall efficacy of facial acupuncture treatment is dependent on in-depth knowledge of Facial Anatomy and Neuroanatomy. During a facial acupuncture CEU certification class  you will review the nerves, muscles and bones which make up the intricate facial structure and function of the facial nerves, muscles and vascular system.

2) TECHNIQUE, TECHNIQUE, TECHNIQUE! Proper needling technique must be taught in a hands-on supervised environment. Facial acupuncture has unique safety concerns. Due to the number of needles used in facial acupuncture, the fragility of the facial blood vessels and capillaries, proper training is required to understand the precautions which must be taken in order to avoid bruising or swelling. Additionally, techniques such as submuscular needling, proper use of intradermals, facial motor points, and scalp acupuncture are not something you can self teach. The photos below represent proper and improper needling techniques.

examples of improper facial acupuncture needling. learn how to avoid these mistakes during a Michelle Gellis Facial Acupuncture CEU Certification Classes
Examples Improper needling techniques

Improper Facial Acupuncture Needling:Proper Facial Needling Technique:

photos of facial acupuncture technique
gellis acupuncture CEU classes facial needling technique

3) Learning to screen for contraindications is imperative. Unlike most forms of acupuncture, facial acupuncture can have serious side effects if done improperly. Migraines, stroke, bruising and feinting can occur if these contraindications are not screened for thoroughly. Facial Acupuncture CEU Certification Classes will review potential contraindications to treatment.

Michelle Gellis teaches Facial Acupuncture CEU Certification Classes throughout the US
Michelle Gellis teaches Facial Acupuncture CEU Certification Classes throughout the US

4) Facial Acupuncture must include a comprehensive treatment protocol. In order to properly ground the patient, address underlying pathology, and treat all levels of the face (skin, muscles, fat, etc.) body points, clearing treatments, facial cupping, facial gua sha and microneedle derma rolling should all be included in treatment.

Michelle Gellis teaches Facial Acupuncture CEU Certification Classes throughout the US
Small Hands on Facial Acupuncture CEU Certification Classes taught by Michelle Gellis
Reverse signs of aging. Michelle Gellis teaches Facial Acupuncture CEU Certification Classes throughout the US
One on One instruction

5) It’s not just about wrinkles! Skin care is not something that is typically taught in acupuncture school. Treating conditions such as acne, melasma, rosacea, large pores, brown spots, “drinkers nose” broken capillaries, pale skin etc. requires knowledge of the etiology, TCM protocols, nutrition, and topical products which can rejuvenate and maintain a youthful and healthy glow to the skin.You can learn more about Gellis Facial Acupuncture CEU Certification Classes by visiting my website. All classes are NCCAOM, FL and CA approved for CEUs.

 

Cosmetic Acupuncture in the News

By Michelle Gellis LAc MAc DiplAc

Recently cosmetic acupuncture, also known as facial rejuvenation acupuncture, has been getting a lot of media attention.  Celebrities such as Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore, Kim Kardashian, Angelina Jolie and Julianne Moore all have used Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation as a way to maintain and improve their appearances.

Cosmetic Acupuncture

Cosmetic Acupuncture represents a safe and natural method to promote youthfulness and enhance natural beauty. For stars, the ability to express themselves through their face is vital, however many popular procedures suchKardashian Cosmetic Acupuncture as Botox injections can make it impossible to frown or make other expressions. Chemical peels, laser treatments or surgery are painful and involve downtime.

By using Acupuncture to refresh your appearance you can take 5-10 years off the look of your skin, but you will still look like you! Acupuncture facial rejuvenation requires no downtime and is safe and painless.

But is this a new, trendy procedure? No.  As early as the Sung Dynasty (960AD-1270AD) Acupuncture Rejuvenation practices were employed for the Empress and the Emperors.  The good news is you don’t have to live in Hollywood to take advantage of this ancient technique of revitalizing the skin.  licensed acupuncturists who are Specially trained can allow you to enjoy the benefits of this natural method of refreshing your appearance.

As you age, the 57 muscles in your face gradually lose their tone and mass. Loss of tone and mass causes the sagging, deep wrinkling and tired look associated with aging.

Acupuncture stimulates the muscle function, and the face lifts itself via the acupuncture points. Thus, returning the face to a healthier, revitalized, youthful appearance. Hair thin needles are placed in the outside of the ear to induce relaxation, and body points are used which correspond the individual’s specific needs.

There is a sense of well-being as a flood of endorphins are released throughout the body.  Once you are in a state of deep relaxation, needles are placed on the face in acupuncture points as well as wrinkles.  Tiny intradermal needles are also placed in the wrinkles which create a micro trauma causing collagen to be produced.  This technique is especially effective on crow’s feet and lines around the lips.

Facial Cupping, and massage with a special jade tool called gua sha can also be added to smooth out lines, increase blood flow and encourage the revitalization of the skin.

 

Facial Acupuncture Classes in Fulton, MD

Benefits of Facial Gua Sha

By Michelle Gellis LAc MAc DiplAc

facial gua sha tool jade
facial gua sha tool jade

Facial Gua Sha is a technique in which specially crafted hand held pieces of smooth jade are used to invigorate the skin, smooth out wrinkles and increase blood supply. Facial Gua Sha can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions such as Acne, Rosacea, Melasma and dark circles.

Facial Gua Sha is used as part of a compreh.

ensive acupuncture facial rejuvenation program for wrinkles, sagging and puffiness. Facial Gua Sha benefits areas such as the neck and jowls, which are prone to sagginess, the puffiness under the eyes, and the deep wrinkles on the forehead. The increased blood circulation which occurs during Gua Sha, helps to detoxify the face and move stagnant blood and inflammation, which can occur under the eyes. By providing increased blood flow to the face, the skin is better nourished and healthier.

Part of the benefit of the treatment is that acupuncture points on the face are massaged with the Gua Sha tool, which in turn benefits the Fu organs.  Conditions such as TMJ, Bell’s Palsy, Rosacea, melasma and other inflammatory conditions can be effectively treated with facial Gua Sha.

Facial Gua Sha is typically done as the last step of a facial acupuncture treatment. When done properly, there should be no residual redness on the patients face. When I teach Facial Acupuncture Classes, I tell my students that the goal is to get the “gua” without the “sha”.

Specially designed facial Gua Sha tools are used during treatment. Jade is unique in that a static electromagnetic field originates during the contact of jade with the human body

Regular use of jade therapy:

  • Strengthens internal organs and systems (liver, stomach, heart, bonds the entire circulatory system, vision, hearing) and spirit
  • Softens blood vessels
  • Smoothes out wrinkles
  • Improves quality of blood
  • Purifies and normalizes the nervous stream
  • The vibration of the jade stimulates and helps the circulation in the brain and removes tiredness
Rosacea treated on right side of face
Rosacea treated on right side of face

Facial Gua Sha should be preformed by a trained, licensed acupuncturist in order to avoid complications. For more information on facial gua sha or facial gua sha training visit https://www.facialacupunctureclasses.com or http://www.gellisacupuncture.com

acupuncture collagen

How Acupuncture Creates Collagen

This article discusses how facial acupuncture can promote the production of collagen.

By Michelle Gellis LAcMAc DiplAc

For centuries the Chinese have known that needling the skin has a positive effect on its thickness, elasticity and suppleness. As far back as the Sung Dynasty (1279AD) Acupuncture facial rejuvenation techniques were used by the empress and emperor to maintain a healthy youthful and yet natural look to their skin. Western medicine now has an explanation of one of the mechanisms by which needling the face reduces fine lines and saggy skin by increasing collagen production.

There are many reasons why facial acupuncture is effective in revitalizing our appearance, one of the most interesting is the induction of collagen via needling the skin. This process is known in western medicine as collagen induction therapy. In simple terms, collagen induction therapy promotes the natural production of collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are protein fibers found within the skin cells that are responsible for the skins structure and elasticity. Tiny acupuncture needles such as intradermal needles penetrate the skin just enough to stimulate collagen and elastin production, without permanent injury to the skin.

Exactly how collagen induction therapy works has been studied extensively by western medicine. In order for collagen to be stimulated the needles must be long enough to affect the dermis, the layer below the epidermis. Hair thin needles are threaded horizontally into a wrinkle and left in place for 15-30 minutes and then removed. Although there is no visible sign of a wound, there is micro trauma in the dermal layer. During the healing process, skin cells within a 1-2mm radius around the area treated release growth signals to undifferentiated cells known as skin stem cells.  These signals also stimulate rapid growth of new fibroblasts and other wound repairing cells. Many cell types including fibroblasts rush to close the wound by migrating to the point of intrusion. These new fibroblasts then transform into collagen fibers which integrate with existing collagen in the upper dermis. The new collagen fibers thicken the skin, fill in the wrinkles and encourage growth of healthy new cells.

Collagen production takes about 12 weeks to occur. The skin will repair itself to a more youthful state through a series of treatments, without the need to inject any fillers or toxins.  To learn more about facial acupuncture you can visit:http://gellisacupuncture.com/facial-rejuvenation-acupuncture/

acupuncture with intradermal needles

Michelle Gellis has an acupuncture practice in Fulton, Maryland. She is on faculty at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. Michelle Gellis Teaches Facial Acupuncture CEU Certification Classes Nationally including techniques for facial rejuvenation. Please visit her website for class dates and locations.

 

How Our Emotional Expression Effects Our Face and Our Health; a Chinese Medicine Perspective

According to Chinese Medicine, one of the most common causes of disease is repressed emotions. Emotional health is an integral part of Chinese Medicine. The seven emotions associated with disease are: anger, joy, worry, pensiveness, grief, fear and fright. As stated in an ancient text, the Su Wen, Chapter 8, our internal organs are portrayed in terms of their mental, emotional and spiritual function1. When emotions are prolonged, intense or repressed, they can inhibit the normal flow of Qi2 to our organs. Since our primary method of expressing our emotions is our face, it is essential to ensure the free flow of emotions to and from the face. Hence, facial acupuncture can play an important role in promoting not only skin health, but physical health as well.

There is a feedback system between the face and our organs which allows for communication between them. This free flow of resources is intrinsic to the appearance of our face and to the underlying health of the associated organ systems. Our ability to connect with and express these emotions requires proper functioning of the organs and a smooth flow of Qi through the channels. Numerous studies have demonstrated the feedback system between our facial expressions and emotions. Studies performed by Paul Ekman have shown that if a person merely arranges his face into a certain expression, he will feel the corresponding emotion. In other words, emotions work from the outside in as well as the inside out. i.e. happiness may be as simple as putting on a smile.3  Conversely, an individual who cannot or does not express emotions through their facial expressions will not feel the emotion as fully. In an experiment involving the use of Botox to paralyze facial muscles involved in frowning, Havas, Glenberg, Gutowski, Lucarelli, and Davidson5 discovered lessened depressive symptoms in patients after paralysis of their frowning muscles. A study published in the Annals of Clinical and Translation Neurology, suggest that facial feedback modulates the neural processing of emotional content.7 Habitual patterns of expression get lodged in the face, and repressed or excessive emotions can affect our organs. It is a two-way system with feedback from the face to our organs and our organs to our face.

There are over 60 acupuncture points on the face. Any impediment to the channels translates to diminished function. If the energy in our face is blocked and we do not or cannot express an emotion with our face, we will not feel it as fully. For example, the actual expression of joy (smiling) can nourish the heart. According to the Su Wen “in order to make all acupuncture thorough and effective one must first cure the spirit”1. The radiance of the skin and eyes is intrinsically connected to the spirit. Facial acupuncture involves the practitioner being present in the room with the patient for extended periods of time (it can take 30 minutes to insert all the needles), it provides a unique opportunity to learn more about a patient’s spiritual and emotional well-being. This can help to facilitate the healthy expression of emotion. Below is an example of how this all works.

The Feedback Loop; How the emotions can affect the associated organs and out of balance organs affect the face according to Chinese Medicine Theory:

Excessive or lack of joy injures the Heart:

  • Emotion out of balance-restlessness, insomnia, lack of enthusiasm
  • Weakened heart function can lead to facial swelling and puffiness
  • Heart Blood deficiency can lead to wrinkles due to dryness
  • Heart fire can cause facial redness, blemishes
  • Disturbed Shen can lead to poor sleep, dark eye circles and puffiness
  • Excessive smiling can cause crow’s feet & deep nasolabial folds

Grief injures the Lungs:

  • Emotion out of balance-excessive sadness, detachment
  • The lungs rule the Qi of the entire body
  • The lungs also control the skin
  • Impairment of lung function can lead to dryness and wrinkles
  • Excessive sweating due to poor lung function can cause acne
  • Frowning can cause marionette lines (from corner of mouth to jaw)

Anger injures the Liver:

  • Emotion out of balance-frustration, moodiness, explosive anger, irritability
  • The Liver controls the Blood and the flow of Qi to all the organ systems
  • Stagnation of liver Qi often leads dark spots
  • Liver Blood deficiency can lead to dry skin
  • A frequent expression of anger can cause vertical lines between the eyebrows

Pensiveness/Worry injures the Spleen:

  • Emotion out of balance-ruminating, excessive overthinking
  • The face depends on the spleens function of transformation of food into Qi and Blood
  • When spleen Qi is deficient, there is a loss of skin tone, sagging and laxity
  • If the spleens ability to control transportation of fluids is diminished, the face will look puffy and there can be bags under the eyes.
  • Pensiveness can cause lines around the lips and at the bridge of the nose

Fear/Fright injures the Kidneys:

  • Emotion out of balance-fearful, isolated, no will (zhu)
  • The kidneys regulate the fluid balance and store the essence
  • Deficient kidney yin can cause dark eye circles
  • If kidney yang is low, there can be puffiness around the eyes
  • When Kidney essence is insufficient, aging is accelerated
  • Fear can cause lateral forehead lines, lines on cheeks

At the core of Facial Acupuncture is the foundation of treating the whole person. Doing so allows the health of the body to reflect on the skin and allowing for full expression of balanced emotional health. It is impossible to separate our emotions, our expression of them, and our health.

Why are women more prone to lip wrinkles than men?

Have you ever wondered why women are more prone than men to form wrinkles around the mouth? There are several reasons for this, and Facial Acupuncture can provide a safe, effective solution.

According to an analysis by dermatologists in the Netherlands*:

  1. Women (especially postmenopausal women) have fewer oil-producing sebaceous glands around the upper lip – meaning less oil to keep the skin soft and supple.
  2. Women have fewer blood vessels in the upper lip area resulting in less blood flow to the region.
  3. The muscles around the mouth are closer to the skin in women than they are in men; this can mean the skin is pulled closer, leading to wrinkles.
  4. Hormones also play a role in women’s aging process. As a woman ages and looses estrogen, her skin thins out, creating a crepey appearance.
  5. Postmenopausal women experience a decrease in the fat (sebum) secreted by the few sweat glands they do have. Less fat means more sag.
  6. Also, although the number of hair follicles is about the same in both genders, men have more sweat glands per hair follicle, contributing to more relaxed skin and therefore fewer wrinkles.
  7. Changes in the bones also contribute to more severe aging. As women age their jaw bone actually gets reabsorbed slowly so the bone shrinks down—the skin is going to get saggy because there’s no scaffolding holding it up!
  8. Women are more likely to drink through straws which promote lip wrinkles
  9. Many men shave, which exfoliates the skin and assists with skin turnover

Facial Acupuncture can regulate the body’s hormones and strengthen the organs, such as the kidneys, spleen and liver. Intradermal needles can be used to increase collagen.  Facial cupping and Gua Sha can increase blood flow to the area and stimulate the sebaceous (sweat glands) to secrete more fluid and sebum. Microneedling with an AAC approved device such as an Aculift Derma Roller can stimulate collagen as well.

Acupuncture has been used for centuries to promote healthy skin. Get certified by an AAC certified CE provider. go to facialacupunctureclasses.com for videos and class info.

*study is published in the November-December issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

Facial Acupuncture for Acne, Age Spots or Melasma by Michelle Gellis

facial gua sha

As we age our skin goes through many changes. Some of these changes have to do with fluctuations in our hormones, which can cause acne or dark spots or patches (melasma). For many women in their forties and fifties, adult acne can appear along with winkles, causing a double whammy! Even if you did not have acne as a teen, the surge of estrogen which occurs right before menopause or the hormonal changes that occur in your child bearing years can cause acne or dark or red areas on the face and neck. Facial acupuncture is an excellent treatment for acne, age spots, and melasma.

Facial Acupuncture is uniquely suited to addressing these concerns due to the fact that it treats the underlying causes of skin issues. An acupuncturist diagnoses your body’s imbalances based on a much different paradigm than western medicine. Chinese medicine dates back more than 5000 years and is the oldest form of medicine currently practiced in the world. Complete with its own theory, diagnosis, and treatment, it is a stand-alone healing system. After feeling your pulses and looking at your tongue, an acupuncturist will evaluate whether your skin condition is due to what is referred to in Chinese medicine as stagnation—deficiency or excess in the liver, kidney, heart, spleen or lung Qi (pronounced chee). Acupuncture points are then used to balance the hormones, and treat any excesses or deficiencies.

In addition to correcting any imbalances in your hormones or organ systems, acupuncture induces a deep state of relaxation. Stress can cause chemicals called neuropeptides to flood your skin and wreak havoc. They increase inflammation, widen blood vessels, increase skin permeability and generate excessive moisture. Stress hormones such as cortisol can cause outbreaks of acne, just as the overproduction of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH), caused by stress can ccreate melasma outbreaks.

The results of facial rejuvenation acupuncture are a more even-toned, healthy, youthful looking skin, a clearer complexion, and a more peaceful state of mind. There are no scars, down time or side effects (other than a more tranquil state of being). To learn more about facial acupuncture classes go to: https://www.facialacupunctureclasses.com

 

Michelle Gellis Facial Acupuncture CEU Training Classes

7 ways Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation Can Reverse Aging

By Michelle Gellis LAcMAcDiplAc

We tend to think of Acupuncture as something that can help with aches and pains. But what most people don’t know is that regular Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation treatment can reverse aging, making you look and feel younger!

Reverse signs of agingRead more to learn seven reasons why taking you should enroll in an acupuncture facial rejuvenation class.

1) Stress Reduction

We all are exposed to stressful situations in our lives. When the stress is extreme, or if it lasts a long time, our physical health begins to suffer. Some common stress related illnesses are: irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression, insomnia, hypertension, stroke, migraine, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and autoimmune diseases.

Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation effectively treats stress to reverse aging by unblocking stuck energy and allowing it to flow properly throughout the body. As our tension is relieved, so are our symptoms. Acupuncture releases stress reducing, natural pain killing chemicals in the brain, called endorphins. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles.

2) Improve sleep

Ruminating thoughts, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, depression, and overstimulation are a few of the reasons why we can have trouble sleeping at night. One of the immediate gifts of acupuncture is its ability to calm the mind, lift the spirit, reset our body clock and allow us to get our restorative “beauty sleep” — all elements that help reverse aging.

3) Younger Looking Skin

Celebrities such as Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore, Angelina Jolie and Julianne Moore have used Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation as a way to reverse aging and maintain and improve their appearances. Cosmetic Acupuncture represents natural method to promote youthfulness and enhance natural beauty and can take 5-10 years off the look of your skin.

Acupuncture facial rejuvenation requires no downtime and is safe and painless. As you age, the 57 muscles in your face gradually lose their tone causing the sagging, deep wrinkling and tired look associated with aging. Acupuncture stimulates the muscle function, and the face lifts itself; returning the face to a healthier, revitalized, and youthful appearance.

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture for Rosacea

4) Better sex

Acupuncture can bring back the spark in your sex life too! The needles can help to allow for a smoother flow of energy and blood to the genital area, thereby increasing pleasure and desire. Additionally, acupuncture can balance your hormones back to a more youthful state, increasing estrogen and testosterone levels. This can result in a reduction in prostate enlargement, less vaginal dryness and many other benefits.

5) Reduce Pain

On a physical level acupuncture reduces pain by improving blood flow and releasing pain-relieving endorphins and serotonin. Pain that is chronic can be mentally and physically exhausting. Our emotions can wear us down, and cause us to be weak and unable to heal. It is impossible to effectively treat chronic conditions without addressing a person’s state of mind. Acupuncture addresses the negative emotions (such as anger, and fear), thereby decreasing stress hormones, which cause pain.

Facial Gua Sha CEU Classes
facial gua sha

6) Stronger immune system

Acupuncture can help to naturally boost your immune system. Scientists have been able to determine that acupuncture enhances the production of natural killer cells, which is the primary defense mechanism against organisms that make us sick. It also regulates white blood cells directly linked to the fight against infections, allergic reactions, and even autoimmune disorders. Regular acupuncture treatments are a great preventative measure to ward off colds and flu.

7) More energy & vitality

Although the immediate effect of acupuncture treatment is very relaxing, the long-term effects are more energy, and vitality. The reason for this has to do with a concept in traditional Chinese medicine called Jing, the energy of the Kidneys. It is the power that keeps us going. How much Jing you have determines your energy levels, how you will age and how healthy you will be. If your kidney energy is deficient it can lead to premature aging, dried up wrinkled skin, and dark circles. Additionally it can affect your head hair and bones, so osteoporosis and premature greying are signs of kidney imbalances.

Acupuncture…anti-aging medicine for over 5,000 years.

Facial Acupuncture CEU Classes
gellis facial acupuncture class cupping

If you’re a practitioner, visit my schedule of classes to find an acupuncture facial rejuvenation CEU class near you.

If you’re a patient who’d like to benefit from Acupuncture facial rejuvenation, contact me to schedule a session today.

Why Clearing Blocks Can Improve Your Cosmetic Acupuncture Treatments

By Michelle Gellis LAc MAc DiplAc
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists. Rooted in Five Element Theory, the practice of clearing blocks before initiating treatment is at the core of my facial acupuncture classes. A block is defined as a break in, or impediment to, the smooth flow of Qi. Blocks can prevent treatments from being effective or holding. They must be cleared in order for healing to take place.
There are several types of blocks. They can show up on the pulses as a disparity in the strength of one pulse in relation to another or in the strength of the left side pulses to the right. Other ways blocks can show up are in a patient’s affect, physical or emotional well-being, or appearance.
Blocks to treatment can take many forms. They can be energetic such as: Aggressive Energy, Pulse Qualities, and Entry/Exit. They can be Lifestyle blocks such as: Diet, relationships, and substance abuse. Some blocks are structural like a scar. Others blocks to treatment relate to a patients’ dependence on the illness for sympathy, or financial reasons.
Blocks vary in severity and significance. Some are dire and require immediate attention such as when the pulses on the right side are greater in quantity and quality then the left (referred to as an H/W), some are less severe and will show up from time to time, like a pulse quality or a spirit block.
One block that I address in every patient is Aggressive Energy (AE). It is created by toxic or polluted energy that moves along the K’O cycle. According to Five Element theory, Aggressive Energy is: “Qi which is contaminated and polluted and whose quality is poisonous and destructive.” AE will cause problems within the total energy of the body, mind and spirit (Worsley, 1990). AE must be cleared to prevent its spread to other officials during treatment, hence its clinical significance in Facial Acupuncture. AE can occur after surgery, emotional or physical illness or a variety of other conditions. It is drained through the Yin organs via the Back Shu points. The test for AE is also the treatment; there is no other way to diagnose with certainty that a patient has AE.
The image below shows a patient with AE. Needles are places in the Back shu points (BL13, 14, 15, 18 20, 23) and test needles are placed in each of the three Jiao, if the redness around the needles is different than the test needle, then AE is present and must be drained. If other more severe blocks (such as ID’s) are present, AE will not clear until the other blocks have been cleared.
ae
Regardless of the nature and severity of the block, its presence will impede the rate of recovery and the effectiveness of any acupuncture treatment. Without this crucial piece, treatments can progress more slowly and not have as long lasting effect. Learning the theory and treatment of blocks and how they can impede facial rejuvenation and recovery from neuromuscular facial conditions are an integral part of my Facial Acupuncture classes. For more information go to: http://www.facialacupunctureclasses.com

Cosmetic Acupuncture as an alternative to Botox® Injections

scroller_002_TabletCosmetic Acupuncture as an alternative to Botox®

Michelle Gellis, LAc MAc DiplAc

In recent times Botox has been used to treat a myriad of conditions. From wrinkles to headaches, overactive bladder to overactive sweat glands, the medical community has been finding new and innovative uses for Botox®.  Acupuncture has been used for over 3,000 years to treat many physical and cosmetic conditions as well. The benefit to cosmetic acupuncture is there are no dangerous side effects or disruption to the body’s natural functioning.

In order for a muscle to contract it must receive a chemical messenger (acetylcholine) from a nerve. This happens at the junction where the nerve ending meets the muscle. When Botox® is injected, the botulinum toxin prevents the release of acetylcholine which paralyzes the muscles, preventing it from contracting. In the case of a wrinkle, the relaxed muscle creates smoother surface for the skin to adhere to, thereby temporarily reducing the appearance of a wrinkle. Botox® is most often used on forehead lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eye), and frown lines. Wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity will not respond to Botox®. The effect of Botox® injections last from 3-4 months, at which time they must be repeated.

The side effects of Botox® have been well documented and studied and vary from person to person. Some of the documented side effects include: allergic reactions, rash, itching, headache, neck or back pain, muscle stiffness or weakness, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, weakness, injection site reactions (muscle weakness, bruising, bleeding, pain, redness, or swelling), fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, flu symptoms, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, ringing in ears, and increased sweating in areas other than the underarms, drooping of the eyelid (ptosis), inflammation of the cornea (keratitis), eye dryness, itchy eyes, problems with vision, tearing, and sensitivity to light, and eyelid swelling or bruising, trouble breathing, talking, and loss of bladder control. (This is not a complete list of possible side effects)*

Cosmetic Acupuncture (also known as facial rejuvenation or facial acupuncture), when administered by a certified, licensed, acupuncturist can have the same benefits as Botox® without the side effects. Facial rejuvenation acupuncture works on several levels treating the skin, muscles and underlying imbalances, which may be creating wrinkles and/or saggy appearance. To keep your skin healthy and beautiful on the outside, you must work on the inside of your body as well; Increasing the flow of energy, blood and lymph circulation improves the skin’s natural healthy color. Cosmetic Acupuncture also can increase the promotion of collagen production, muscle tone and skin elasticity; this helps to firm the skin. Acupuncture’s ability to stimulate the formation of body fluids helps to nourish the skin, adding moisture and making it softer, smoother and more lustrous.

Facial Acupuncture not only addresses the outward appearance of the effects of aging, it also can ease stress, depression, worry and frustration, which in turn can cause premature aging.  Regular acupuncture treatment helps to balance hormones, calm overactive adrenal glands, and create a sense of calm. Stress can cause chemicals called neuropeptides to flood your skin and wreak havoc by increasing inflammation, widening blood vessels, and increasing skin permeability. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles. Acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which brings oxygen to the tissues and clears out cortisol and other waste chemicals.

The needles themselves elicit a healing response to the micro-trauma caused by the needling. Collagen is produced, helping smooth out the wrinkles. Additionally, needles can be placed under muscles through a process called submuscular needling to help relax the muscle belly, and by using special points called motor points, the muscle can be reset to its normal function without the use of any toxic chemicals. The results of acupuncture facial rejuvenation are a more even-toned, healthy, youthful looking skin, a clearer complexion, and a more peaceful state of mind.

The side effects of facial acupuncture are rare and are limited to occasional temporary bruising at the site of needle insertion. The treatments take place over several weeks. Once completed the results can last indefinitely with regular maintenance.

Acupuncture is a safe, viable alternative to Botox injections. Make certain your practitioner has been trained by an AAC certified instructor.

*http://www.rxlist.com/botox-side-effects-drug-center.htm