Rejuvenate your face with acupuncture
By Peggy Conger
In our youth-worshipping society, the onset of wrinkles and other obvious signs of aging drive some people straight to the surgeon. Indeed, Americans underwent nearly 12 million cosmetic surgery procedures last year alone, many of them, such as facelifts, eyelifts, laser resurfacing and Botox, designed to erase the years from our faces.
But there is an alternative to going under the knife: cosmetic acupuncture or facial rejuvenation, as it is also known, offers a less invasive way to diminish the signs of aging. Using fine needles, massage, and aromatherapy to stimulate blood circulation and collagen production in the face, practitioners say facial rejuvenation can diminish fine lines and wrinkles and add radiance and firmness. But they are quick to add that facial rejuvenation does not offer the dramatic results of a surgical facelift.
According to Dr. Ann Morgan of Morgan Oriental Medicine, that’s a good thing. “I think people lose some of their authenticity with a facelift,” she says, adding, with a shudder, “And Botox, just the thought of voluntarily putting a toxin in your body . . . ”
Morgan, who studied with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, pioneer of the so-called acupuncture facelift, offers facial rejuvenation at her clinic in Edgewood. The facial rejuvenation treatment consists of ten sessions, including a two-hour initial consultation when Morgan assesses your general state of health.
That’s key, she says, because your skin reflects everything else that’s going on in your body. “It’s very important to address body balance,” Morgan says. The skin can manifest problems with the lungs, liver, or toxins present elsewhere in the body, she says. “I always treat the whole body.” Problems like severe hypertension or migraines will have to be treated before any facial rejuvenation treatment begins, and issues like having a pacemaker or broken skin would rule out treatment, according to Morgan.
The treatments begin with acupuncture. Morgan, a nationally board-certified acupuncturist, inserts extremely fine needles into key points in the face, designed to stimulate circulation and relax muscles. The acupuncture is followed by a facial treatment that includes a custom blended hot tea compress, an aromatherapy mask with French white clay and herbs, an aromatherapy toner, and an aromatherapy oil emulsion to lock in moisture. Morgan then massages the face with a small roller made of jade, the gem of longevity in Oriental medicine, and finishes with an aromatherapy mist.
Morgan, who is also board-certified in Chinese herbology, crafts her own line of aromatherapy products used in the facial rejuvenation treatments and sells them at her clinic. The products include essential oils such as lavender, for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties; carrot seed, to benefit aging skin; helichrysum, supposed to regenerate tissue; rose, which is anti-infectious and soothes sensitive skin; sandalwood, to benefit dry skin; geranium, said to regenerate tissues and nerves; and chamomile, to reduce stress.
Morgan says after the first session your face will be more radiant and supple and your color should improve. After five or six sessions, most people see fine lines and wrinkles subside. And the sessions bring the added benefit of relaxation. “It’s a total spa experience,” Morgan says.
“We’re not going to get rid of all your wrinkles,” Morgan cautions. But she says patients definitely see benefits. “What most people notice is they feel better, because we’re treating [the body] from the inside out.”
The full ten-session facial rejuvenation treatment costs $990. Morgan offers a discount to $895 if you pay for all ten sessions upfront.
Morgan Oriental Medicine is located at 5 George Court in Edgewood, and offers acupuncture, massage, Chinese herbal medicine, cranial sacral therapy, and non-invasive allergy treatments.
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