Home » Blog » Uncategorized

Category: Uncategorized

Springtime! Time to refresh and rejuvenate your skin!

Facial Rejuevenation AcupunctureSpring is finally here and all those months of dry heat , not enough fresh air, winter colds and holiday parties can really show up on your face! There are many options available these days that promise to erase the signs of aging from the face — lasers, peels, injections, and of course surgery.  But for those of us who would rather choose a more gentle and natural approach to revitalizing the skin and rejuvenating our appearance — without the risk of scars, infection, disfiguration,  toxic build-up of chemicals or downtime — Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is a gentle, effective, and safe way to combat the signs of aging skin.

Acupuncture offers many benefits to those who want to revitalize the look and feel of their skin. It builds collagen, tones muscles, improves circulation, and stimulates blood flow with no risk of scars, infections, or rashes. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is much more than a cosmetic procedure.  Acupuncture changes the energy flow within the body and initiates the process for constitutional rejuvenation. If energy is not flowing freely throughout your body then your organs, muscles and lymphatic system cannot function properly, which can contribute to puffiness, bags and premature aging.

Each facial rejuvenation acupuncture treatment is 1.5 hours long and is part of a 12-20 treatment series. Maintenance sessions are scheduled according to the individual’s needs after the initial series. You may see changes as soon as the first treatment is completed, but each succeeding treatment builds on the last.

Some of the Benefits you may see from facial rejuvenation acupuncture treatment:

  • fine lines reduced
  • deeper wrinkles diminished
  • eye lids lifted
  • reduced bags/circles
  • Jowls firmed, double chin minimized
  • Improved muscle tone
  • increase in collagen production
  • puffiness eliminated by eliminating excess fluids
  • hormonal balance improved
  • acne reduced
  • Increased circulation of blood and lymph to the face and improved facial color
  • Rosacea less apparent
  • Can significantly reduce the appearance of scars and age spots
  • Promotes overall health and well being

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture for Rosacea

Does it really work?

A 1996 report in the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture reported that in 300 cases treated with Facial Acupuncture, 90% had marked effects with one course of treatment. Documented effects included: improvement of the facial muscles, leveling of wrinkles, and other benefits–not confined to face.

Spring Time Special: Buy 12 sessions, get a FREE Aculift  Microneedle Dermal Roller ($45 value). Visit www.gellisacupuncture.com for more information.

 

Patient Testimonials:

“Since I started facial rejuvenation, the lines on my forehead have become noticeably smoother. The color and tone of my skin has improved. But best of all, the brown spots on my face, which I have had for years, are fading and breaking up! I am not sure which I am happiest about–the improved texture of my skin or the lighter brown spots!”- Anita

“I have been going to Michelle for several months to fight the signs of aging. Michelle is absolutely by far the best! People keep asking me how I stay so young! I have tried several acupuncturists before but have never experienced such remarkable, extremely obvious results before Michelle. When people ask my age they can’t believe I’m over 50. My skin looks and feels great, wrinkles are diminished, and my energy level is unbelievable. Michelle’s treatment area is very comfortable, professional and relaxing; I highly recommend Michelle for facial rejuvenation and stress reduction! Thanks Michelle!! You’re the best………….. Jenny, Age 57

 

Michelle Gellis is a licensed, Board Certified, Acupuncturist.  She is a faculty member and clinic supervisor at the TAI Sophia Institute in North Laurel. Michelle also teaches Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation classes to acupuncturists. She has offices in Fulton and at TAI Sophia. She can be reached at 301-725-8927 or seaofchi@aol.com.

 

 

Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation: The TRUE anti – aging treatment

By Michelle Gellis LAcMAcDiplAc

More and more people are turning to high tech, trendy, anti aging treatment to improve their skin.  Every time I am at a social gathering of my ‘40 something’ peers, I overhear women talking about Botox, fillers, lasers and cosmetic surgery.  These procedures are quick and typically effective, although most involve considerable risk, pain, down time due to bruising and swelling, and can be disfiguring.  All of these procedures have one thing in common, they don’t treat the causes of aging, just the results of it.

There is one modality for anti aging treatment for the skin which actually improves the health of the person while also giving cosmetic results: Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture.  Acupuncture facial rejuvenation focuses on restoring and maintaining good health while providing cosmetic improvements.  Different organs are addressed from a Chinese medicine perspective such as the spleen, which in Chinese medicine is responsible for holding things up, or the lungs which control the skin.

Conditions such as blood or Qi deficiency or stagnation can lead to poor circulation and dry withered looking skin. Qi (pronounced “chee”) is a fundamental concept of everyday Chinese culture. At the core of Chinese medicine is the philosophy that Qi flows throughout the body. Qi is loosely translated to ‘life force’ that is part of everything that is alive. Where there is no Qi there is no life. Qi helps to animate the body and protect it from illness, pain and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

The Chinese character for Qi shows steam rising from a pot of cooking rice. In order to maintain health, we need to keep the ‘rice pot lid moving’ appropriately so that it does not get stuck closed or blown off.

                                                      

Chi                              Steam/Energy            Cooking Rice

Qi is circulated through specific pathways called meridians. There are 14 main meridian pathways throughout the body. Each is connected to specific organs and glands. Meridian pathways are like rivers transporting life-giving Qi to nourish and energize every cell organ gland tissue and muscle. When Qi flows freely throughout the body, one enjoys physical, mental and emotional well being. An obstruction of Qi anywhere in the body is like a dam, backing up the flow in one area and restricting it in other. This blockage can hinder the distribution of the nourishment that the body requires to function optimally.

Regular acupuncture treatments as part of your wellness plan can improve your health at the same time as minimizing wrinkling and sagging.  What anti aging treatment could be better?

Facial Gua Sha CEU Classes
facial gua sha

“After only one treatment I noticed my furrowed brows were markedly more relaxed. The lines were not nearly as deep. People commented on the glow my skin has. This is great!”
Meg

“When I came home after my sixth treatment my husband said my eyebrows were arched so high I looked like Bette Davis! I was thrilled! People have come up to me and asked what I have been doing, my skin tone and texture are so different…”
Joan

 

Cosmetic Acupuncture Treatment: Using Auricular Muscles to Lift the Face

Cosmetic Acupuncture Treatment:  Using Auricular Muscles to Lift the Face

One of the most useful lessons you will learn during our Facial Acupuncture Classes is how to locate the auricular muscles to lift the face during cosmetic acupuncture treatment.

Watch this video to learn more.

 

 

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.

 

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

 

Acupuncture Treats Moody Skin

Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation
Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation

We all know how those sagging jowls, fine lines, eye bags and lackluster skin can affect our psyche.  But according to ancient Chinese wisdom the opposite is also true. The emotions that we express each day will over time become permanently imprinted on our face.  For example, the habitual expression of worry and anger bring the brows together causing the “11’s” (deep furrows between brows.)  Depression and stress are known to cause hormonal and nervous-system activity that can trigger changes in the skin.  Unbalanced hormones can lead to premature thinning of the skin as well as dark patches (melasma) and acne.  If your adrenals glands are over stimulated (too much stress) it can lead to dark circles under the eyes.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) thinks of our internal organs as integrated systems that disperse the Qi (energy) they generate.  In that way, seemingly distant organs can have an impact on facial beauty.  According to Chinese Five Element Theory, our emotions correspond to different organs systems.  Therefore, someone who worries a great deal can injure their stomach organ. This disharmony in the stomach organ (earth element), may result in dampness by blocking Qi flow and nutrients, resulting in puffy eyes.   The knowledge of Five Element and TCM theory enables an acupuncturist to feel your pulses, study your tongue and know which of the body’s systems have been injured or are struggling and to make adjustments which can have tremendous impact on both your skin and your overall health.

Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation not only addresses the outward appearance of the effects of aging, it also can ease stress, depression, worry and frustration which can cause premature aging.  Regular acupuncture treatment helps to balance hormones, calm overactive adrenal glands, and create a sense of calm. Points along the channels (called meridians) which correspond to different organ systems can help to provide a sense of relaxation and well-being which translates to a more relaxed, vibrant appearance.  The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles. In addition, 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 microtrauma caused by the needling. Collagen is produced and disbursed, helping smooth out the wrinkles.   All of this together can take years off your face, without side effects, toxins, fillers or surgery.  Call Michelle Gellis to see if Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation might be just what you need for your “moody skin”.

 

Unsafe Practice of Acupuncture Under the Term Dry Needling

unsafe dry needling
Pneumothorax as a result of dry needling

10 Facts You Should Know About the Unsafe Practice of  Dry Needling

By: Michelle Gellis LAc MAc DiplAc

Over the past few months some of my patients have shared with me that they have been offered Dry Needling by their chiropractor or physical therapist and wanted to know what I thought about it. Here are some facts that you need to know:

  1. “Dry Needling” is Acupuncture. Inserting an acupuncture needle into the body, under any pretense, for any purpose, is the practice of acupuncture. Physical therapists, chiropractors and other allied health professionals use this term to circumvent state laws governing acupuncture practice.
  2. Tender or painful points, also referred to as “trigger points” or “motor points,” are Acupuncture points. In Chinese medicine these are known as “ashi” points. Those practicing “dry needing” will claim they are not treating acupuncture points, when in fact they are.
  3. “Dry needling” is an invasive, acupunc­ture needle intervention. “Dry needling” is not “manual therapy”.  Manual therapy is a noninvasive, hands-on intervention.
  4. “Dry needling” is not a “technique”; It is Acupuncture. The act of inserting an acupuncture needle into the body, under any pretense, or for any purpose whatsoever is the practice of acupuncture.
  5. Physical therapists and other allied health professionals who are not licensed by law to practice Acupuncture cannot legally purchase acupuncture needles. According to the Food and Drug Administration, (FDA), anyone who is not licensed by law to practice acupuncture cannot legally buy acupuncture needles. As class II medical devices mandating FDA prescription labeling on the packages, all acupuncture needle boxes state: “Cau­tion: Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of qualified practitioners of acupuncture as determined by the states.”
  6. Physical therapists and other allied health professionals who are not licensed by law to practice acupuncture are using acupuncture needles to perform “dry needling’. Physical therapists and other allied health professionals who are not licensed by law to practice acupuncture would have you believe that they are not using acupuncture needles to perform “dry needling,” when they are, in fact, using acupuncture needles, which are clearly labeled as such on the package.
  7. Physical therapists and other allied health professionals who are not licensed by law to practice acupuncture are not qualified to perform “dry needling.” 16 states have outlawed the practice of “dry needling” entirely. “Dry needling” is far outside both physical therapists’ and other allied health professionals’ scope of practice and their scope of education and training. In order to become a licensed acupuncturist you must complete between 660-870 hours of hands on, supervised training in the use of needles, 1245-1755 hours of training in diagnosis, safety, biomedicine, anatomy, theory and other topics, and a minimum of 250-350 supervised patient treatments prior to graduation and licensure. Yet physical therapists and other allied health professionals are inserting acupuncture needles (up to four inches or more in length) into patients with as little as a weekend workshop in acupuncture.
  8. Patients are not safe when under-educated professionals perform “dry needling”. There are real risks associated with the use of acupuncture needles by physical therapists and other allied health professionals who lack the education and supervised clinical training of licensed acupuncturists. These real risks include, but are not limited to: blood vessel, nerve and organ injury from inappropriate acupuncture needle angle and depth of insertion or from inappropriate acupuncture needle manipulation, infection and cross infection from non-sterile re-insertion of acupuncture needles, poor hygiene in acupuncture needle handling, and inadequate skin preparation.
  9. There are documented cases of injury from the use of acupuncture needles by allied health professionals who lack the education and supervised clinical training and examinations of licensed acupunc­turists. In one such case, Emily Kuykendall, a high school teacher from Maryland, had suffered nerve damage from the use of acupuncture needles by a physical therapist. In another such case, Kim Ribble-Orr, a former Olympic athlete from Canada, had suffered a punctured lung and a pneumothorax (the presence of air in the cavity between the lungs and the chest wall, causing collapse of the lung) from the use of acupuncture needles by a massage therapist.
  10. Needling is a subtle skill that takes years to master. In Acupuncture School, we spend almost two years learning point location, and proper needle technique before we ever insert a needle into a patient. An acupuncture needle is a delicate instrument. Properly trained, an acupuncturist can tell when the tip of the needle is approaching structures such as nerves, blood vessels and the membrane surrounding bones or internal organs. The nature of the dry needling courses makes the ability to discern these subtle distinctions impossible. As a faculty member at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, one of the exercises I use to teach my students the subtly of inserting a needle is to have them insert a needle into an inflated balloon without popping it. Most students are surprised at how difficult it is.  Like many things, acupuncture looks easy when performed by an expert, but in reality, it takes many years to master.

You certainly would not see your Acupuncturist for physical therapy or chiropractic after a couple of weekend courses; why would you go to your PT or chiropractor for Acupuncture (no matter what they may call it) after just a few hours of training?

*Information on this page is used with consent from the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Society of Massachusetts for more details go to their website: www.aomsm.org.

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture and Your Emotions

scroller_002The human face has 43 muscles, which work together to form facial expressions. Over time, these expressions get lodged in the connective tissue of the face causing fine lines, deep furrows, sagging skin and jowls. Facial rejuvenation acupuncture, facial cupping and facial gua sha (chinese massage) can release atrophied muscles and bring out the innate radiance in our skin.

 

We have all seen the affects of long-term illness; overwork or poor sleep on the face. The resultant tired eyes, poor skin color and lack of vibrancy in the skin are apparent. But what happens when someone is perpetually angry, sad or worried? The face is the repository of our emotions as well, and our habitual expressions will become part of our facial landscape. As an acupuncturist who specializes in facial acupuncture, I know first hand how 20 years of grief can manifest in someones face: a turned down mouth, deep lines between the eyebrows and grayish skin tone. In Chinese medicine we refer to this as a lack of “shen”.

 

A person’s shen is their spirit (in a nonreligious sense). When evaluating Shen, an acupuncturist is looking at your emotional state and presence (or lack) of radiance, calm, and balance. Facial rejuvenation acupuncture releases the signs of stuck emotions through points in the muscles, deep tissue massage, lymph drainage and body points which move stuck energy in the endocrine system (thyroid) and the entire body and balancing your hormones. An acupuncturist trained in facial acupuncture can erase years off your face and neck, and improve your pigmentation without the use of toxins, fillers, or surgery. The treatments are very relaxing; most of my patients fall asleep and feel calm and energized afterwards.

 

Testimonial:

I have been going to Michelle for several months to fight the signs of aging. Michelle is absolutely by far the best! People keep asking me how I stay so young! I have tried several acupuncturists before but have never experienced such remarkable, extremely obvious results before Michelle. When people ask my age they think I am lying. They can’t believe I’m over 50. My skin looks and feels great, wrinkles are diminished, and my energy level is unbelievable. Michelle’s treatment area is very comfortable, professional and relaxing, not like most of the sterile type acupuncture environments. I highly recommend Michelle for facial rejuvenation, stress reduction, smoking cessation, and weight loss! Thanks Michelle!! You’re the best………….. Jenny Age 57