Your skin is composed of three layers: the outer epidermis, the dermis and the inner subcutaneous layer. The epidermis acts as a barrier to the environment and is your first line of defense against bacteria and germs entering your body. The dermis contains the connective tissue, which holds the composition of the skin. In the dermis are collagen, glycosaminoglycans and elastin, which are proteins that require good circulation in order to maintain a healthy, youthful construction on the face. Collagen supports the structure of the face, glycosaminoglycans give the skin Turgor, and elastin fibers maintain its elasticity. The subcutaneous layer is the fat layer that provides insulation and gives the skin its plump or full appearance.
As a person ages, all of these structures are affected. The epidermal cells retain less moisture and get less circulation. Less collagen is produced and the elastin fibers wear out. Smoking and environmental pollution constrict circulation to the arterioles. Sunlight hardens the epidermis and dries up the skin. Alcohol abuse, stress and disease throw the body out of balance and fewer nutrients get to the face. The result is wrinkles and sagging.
According to Chinese Medicine, wrinkles begin internally from a weakness or imbalance of the body's qi (loosely translated as energy in western terms). Qi circulates throughout the body and the face on pathways called meridians providing nourishment, support and energy to cells. As we get older, it becomes increasingly more difficult for qi to flow upwards and lift the face resulting in less muscle tone over time with increased sagging and wrinkles. Acupuncture and herbal therapy seeks to tonify the qi and remove stagnation or blockages that might cause the body to be out of balance. It can reduce the signs of aging by strengthening and stimulating the circulation of qi within the meridians.
As patients realize the potentially serious side effects of botox and surgery, as well as the expense, they are turning to acupuncture, a safe, non-toxic approach to combating the effects of aging on our skin. Acupuncture is a holistic approach that not only directly addresses the face, but the body as well to restore imbalance through herbal therapy as well as acupuncture to make the person healthier overall, so not only will your appearance improve, but you will have more energy, you will sleep better, and improve your digestion. This is done at a fraction of the cost of a surgical facelift.
In addition, actors and actresses who have had botox find that they their craft suffers from an inability to emote as a result of the injections, and can use acupuncture to "de-botox" and get the use of their musculature back.
A series consists of twelve treatments over a six-week period. The skin becomes more delicate and fair, with less wrinkles; there is an erasing of fine lines and a reduction in the size of deeper lines, less sagginess, a lifting of droopy eyelids, and a clearing or reduction of age spots. When the needles are applied to the body and face, it stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, and promotes healthy circulation to the area, improving muscle tone, jaw line definition, and tightening pores. The skin plumps up. In addition, there is an overall rejuvenation not confined to the face. The youthful glow comes from the inside out. It is a great alternative for those who are not interested in more dramatic procedures due to fear or cost or other reasons. Those who have been treated say it can erase five to fifteen years from the face.
Following the initial course of treatment, intermittent tune-up sessions can prolong results for several years. The goal is to rejuvenate the body as well as the face. This must be accompanied by proper hydration, and good living.