What Is Cosmetic Acupuncture?
Acupuncture needles can be utilized to preserve a youthful appearance, and to help resolve skin conditions. A popular cosmetic practice in China and throughout Asia, acupuncture has been used for centuries to help create collagen under the skin to fill wrinkles and plump skin. The practice has only become popular in the United States in the last 10 years or so, and continues to gain popularity.
The results achieved with cosmetic acupuncture create similar results to Botox, Restylane or plastic surgery, and have the added benefit of balancing the body’s energy and creating a sense of wellbeing.
Acupuncture for facial rejuvenation
For those that wish to achieve healthier skin naturally, facial rejuvenation acupuncture helps them to achieve the following benefits without injecting harmful chemicals or toxins in their skin:
- Reduction in the appearance of fine lines
- Diminishing effect on deep wrinkles
- More even skin tone & softer skin
- Improved muscle tone & firmer jaw line, including a reduction in early “jowls”
- Elimination or reduction in acne symptoms or rosacea
- Reduction of puffiness under the eyes
- Improvement in facial color
What to expect when choosing cosmetic acupuncture
A study by the International Journal of Acupuncture performed in 1996 surveyed 300 patients. Ninety percent of the patients who underwent acupuncture for facial rejuvenation reported a lessening of lines, and additional benefits such as clearer skin and subtle skin tightening.
Sessions can take up to 60 minutes each, and an initial 10-session treatment course requires a commitment of 3 to 5 hours per week over 5 weeks. Monthly maintenance sessions help to keep up the benefits of cosmetic acupuncture.
The initial course of cosmetic acupuncture treatments costs between $900-$1350. Follow-up maintenance visits are $75 each at once per month.
Comparing Cosmetic Acupuncture to other cosmetic procedures
Botox injections temporarily remove lines and wrinkles by injecting a toxin known as botulinum into various areas of the face. Each treatment can cost between $300 and $1,000, depending on the number of areas injected, and last between 4 and 6 months. Side effects may include eyelid dropping and weakness in facial muscles.
Restylane, another temporary fix sold as a facial filler made of an acid that’s naturally occurring in the body, works to smooth wrinkles in the nose and mouth area and can cost between $500 and several thousand dollars per treatment, depending on the size of the area to be covered, according to the Ethical Cosmetic Surgery Association. Injections are quick, done during office visits, and results last about six months in most people, the association says. Side effects can include bruising, redness and itching, and patients with allergies may not be good candidates for Restylane.
Chemical peels, designed to even out the skin tone and remove some types of scars and precancerous growths, vary widely, with mild peels starting at $150 and going all the way up to $6,500 for a deep chemical peel. Chemical peels must be repeated periodically to maintain the effects. A peel to a small part of the face can be over in 15 minutes, while a deep, full-face procedure can take a couple of hours, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. When done by a qualified dermatologist, peels are generally safe, although there is always some risk of infection and scarring, the society says, and skin may be red and flaky for several days after the procedure.
Facelifts, which require general anesthesia and two to four weeks of recovery time, average somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000 including anesthesia and facility fees, according to the Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery. Because it’s surgery with a general anesthesia, the procedure can take several hours and include at least one night in the hospital. While facelifts offer the most drastic changes, they carry all the risks of major surgery and the longest recovery time of the procedures listed here.