Cosmetic Acupuncture is a natural and effective treatment method to improve and firm up the skin, and to reduce acne, fine lines and wrinkles.
Could you please explain what cosmetic acupuncture is, and what a typical treatment session is like for a patient?
Michelina Kraus: So, cosmetic acupuncture is a 100% natural way to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. A typical first appointment can consist of an initial intake, assessment and treatment. This ensures the patient is not allergic to any creams, gels, or oils, along with going over a health history regarding headaches, vertigo, or dizziness. Specifically, with acupuncture, there will be a concentration of needles in the scalp, face and maybe neck, depending on the areas of treatment. Those prone to headaches or vertigo could possibly have an increase in those symptoms.
After the intake, I like to start with applying oil to the face and neck. I then use a technique called cupping or Gua sha. These techniques help the body absorb excess fluid trapped under the skin and in the sinus cavities. Afterwards, the patient washes their face of the oils. They can usually see a light difference in puffiness at this point. Once they come back, needles are placed at various points on the face and body. Points on the body help to keep energy flowing evenly throughout, instead of concentrating in the head.
The main theory in Chinese traditional medicine is to balance energy in the body. In acupuncture, there are lines of energy on the body called meridians or channels. These channels correspond to not only the energy in our body, but our internal organs as well. Hence, they’re named after them. For example, the spleen meridian, the gallbladder channel, or the lung meridian, and so on. When our energetic balance is thrown off, whether it be within the channels I just discussed or with our organs, we can experience headaches, colds, allergies, gastric issues, anxiety, I mean the list goes on. Unbalanced energy causes everything from a stomach ache to acne or autoimmune disorders.
How does cosmetic acupuncture help to reduce acne? Can this treatment be performed on teens as well as adults?
Michelina Kraus: In acupuncture, there’s a way of diagnosing that is very, very different from your typical doctor. Conditions known as dampness or heat are usually the main two reasons for intense acne flair ups, and are usually the culprit as to why patients suffer from acne in the first place. Some heat symptoms that might show up would be an upset stomach, itchy skin, easily feeling irritated, or dry mouth. With dampness you might feel sluggish, a heaviness in various areas of the body, fatigue or even run down.
Once I decide where the acne is coming from, I then place needles near and/or around irritated skin. This helps bring stuck energy to problematic areas, smoothing out chi or energy. I also place points on the body that drain heat and dampness to support the body and tell it what to do.
In regards to treating teenagers and adults, I absolutely can treat both demographics. The idea of eastern medicine is to look at the body from a holistic standpoint. Meaning, the whole body. We look for the root of a condition to treat the problem. When a patient has acne, that is usually the physical outward symptom of something going on internally. Energetically, something no doctor will be able to see, because we are treating conditions that are energetically off, or unbalanced.
How does cosmetic acupuncture work to boost collagen in the skin? Will this help fill in lines and wrinkles? And are there any fillers or injections used?
Michelina Kraus: So, to give you a general understanding, when placing acupuncture needles under the skin, this causes what’s called microtrauma to that area of the body, or the meridian. When this process begins, the body immediately goes into action, sending an influx of hormones and chemicals to the area and meridian. This influences an inflammatory response. The inflammatory response delivers an increase of blood, waking up the healing process faster than if the body was left to do it alone. The buildup of collagen in the body is also part of this process.
Collagen is what gives us that youthful look. It keeps our skin tight and firm, and yes it absolutely can help fill in the lines and wrinkles. The great part about acupuncture is there’s no synthetic chemicals, fillers or injections ever used.
Can acupuncture reduce scars, and the redness and pain sometimes associated with them?
Michelina Kraus: So, reducing scars and redness is yet another part of cosmetic acupuncture. I like to use the technique mentioned in the beginning called Gua sha. However, this form of Gua sha is done with a little more muscle, because I have to break up scar tissue, which can be very tough. Scars are formed by collagen fibers, which derive from protein. This ensures that the wound closes and stays firmly closed. But with this, it creates an impingement or blockage in the skin, blood flow, fascia and even musculature underneath the scar and surrounding areas, causing it to be uncomfortable and sometimes tight.
The scraping technique, or Gua sha simply breaks down that tissue. I then like to use a few acupuncture needles with electrical stimulation to increase blood flow even more. The electrical stimulation is very, very mild. Not meant to feel uncomfortable in any way. These types of treatments are never a one time and cured type of treatment, though. They take multiple appointments to see significant results. However, they really do work.
What are some other benefits of cosmetic acupuncture people should be aware of?
Michelina Kraus: So, during treatments, patients have experienced an extremely relaxing feeling. Especially after treatment. Which most would think the complete opposite. Placing needles in the face doesn’t really sound too calming, however it can be. Whether the patient is seeking an acupuncturist for pain or cosmetic reasons, the whole idea surrounding this medicine is to support the body so it can heal itself. That’s how we’re made. If you scrape your knee as a child, you don’t need to constantly watch and tenderly care for the wound. The body just does it itself. Acupuncture is a chi supporter. It reminds the body there’s something wrong that needs attention. When a person is in a calm and safe place, the mind can sense this, and quickly tells the body, “This is a great opportunity to fix this problem.” It doesn’t have to worry about increasing or decreasing your blood pressure because you’re cleaning the house, or focusing on digestion. It can just heal.
If you are interested in speaking with Michelina Kraus at Ferraro Spine and Rehabilitation please visit www.ferrarospine.com or call 973-478-2212 to schedule an appointment.