Treatables > Face-lift

Consider an Acupuncture face-lift

While going for an "acupuncture face lift" may sound like a trendy fix, it's not new - Chinese emperors of long ago used facial needling to stave off signs of aging. With more people using acupuncture to treat a number of health conditions, it's gaining ground as a viable alternative to riskier, more expensive anti aging treatments.

Instead of paralyzing muscles a la Botox, acupuncture face lifts also called facial rejuvenation acupuncture relax, support, and strengthen muscles from within, says Deborah Musso, founder and wellness director of the Sea Change Healing Center in Chelsea, New York.

Most sessions begin with a general health assessment, followed by the needling of distal, or energy, points on the body. Then, for the face, tiny, tack-like needles are inserted just two to four millimeters into the skin and can target laugh lines, sagging chins, and frown creases, among other areas.

A word of advice: Because additional training is required, not all acupuncturists perform facial rejuvenation acupuncture. Although there are several training programs nationwide, there's no single resource for online referrals. Musso suggests calling a local licensed practitioner (L.Ac.) and asking whether he or she has additional certification in facial rejuvenation acupuncture.

One full treatment at Sea Change costs $195 compared to $300 to $1,000 for a Botox treatment. Though generally less dramatic than Botox after one session, the effect is more natural looking. Brenda Nashawaty, a 50 year old client of the Acupuncture Specialties Group in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, has given up Botox and Restylane in favor of facial acupuncture. "My skin is as thick as when I was 35," she says. "The bags are gone, the jowls are gone." Does it look like she's had "work" done? "Definitely not," she says. "I'm just glowing."

-- BODY & SOUL OCTOBER 2004 (page 84)