Acupuncture is an ancient healing modality utilized by the insertion of fine needles into the skin in order to balance and manipulate qi. The purpose of acupuncture is to treat conditions and disease, by restoring the normal functions of the body. The biomedical world understands acupuncture as manipulating connective tissue and fascia to elicit neurological and hormonal changes in the body.
Acupuncture treatments are very patient-specific. The practitioner questions the patient to get an understanding of the underlying imbalance that is causing the symptoms and disease. Most acupuncture treatments will involve needling around 15 points with very specific technique to restore the body’s normal function. There are over 300 acupuncture points on the body!
The needles used are very fine, they are likely finer than any needle you’ve seen before. Acupuncture should be painless, although it is good to feel a sensation at the point (usually achy, heavy, tingling). Many new patients are worried about the needle hurting or have a fear of needles. Acupuncture is and should be a relaxing and comfortable experience.
The most common side effects of acupuncture are relaxation, calm and quiet mind, improved sleep and a reduction in stress. Bruising, light bleeding and soreness are also possible.
Facial rejuvenation treatments utilize three techniques that result in healthy vibrant skin. Gua sha is used to prepare the skin for acupuncture. This technique relaxes the facial muscles, encourages lymph drainage and increases blood flow to revitalize the skin cells. Gua sha is done by using a stone to scrape the skin and underlying tissues. It’s common to do this heavily on the neck and back and shoulders, but when done on the face a much lighter touch is used.
Facial acupuncture is an extension of a full body treatment. This means that while we rejuvenate the face we can also treat underlying health conditions. Very specific points are selected, approximately 50-100 needles will be used.
Needles placed in the face cause a micro trauma to the dermis. This stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanisms and sends collagen to repair. This results in a tightening of the skin, filling of fine lines and wrinkles and an overall glow to the face.
The treatment finishes with very light cupping using cups specific for the face. Cupping relaxes the facial muscles, nourishes the tissues and leaves the skin looking healthy and glowy.
And THAT is how you biohack beauty!
Like shiatsu, tuina is a traditional Chinese massage. Tuina is a combination of stretches and massage which helps to ease pain and relieve tension in muscles. The perfect addition to acupuncture.
Cupping and Gua Sha
When muscles are injured or tense the blood flow to that area is decreased and can even build up in the tissues. Cupping and gua sha are used to push and lift out this stagnation, while also bringing fresh oxygen rich blood to the area for healing and regeneration.
Gua sha is scraping the skin and underlying tissue with a hard object, traditionally a soup spoon and more commonly now a stone or metal tool is used. The pressure varies depending on the patient and location it’s being done. The lightest pressure is used on the face and the heaviest pressure is used on the back and over large muscles.
Cupping traditionally is done with a flame and bamboo or glass cup.
Often after treatment dark spots are visible on the skin. This is the stagnation that has been brought to the surface. This looks and sometimes feels like a bruise, but unlike a bruise the vessels haven’t been broken or damaged.