by Nadia Laws
It’s likely you’ve heard of acupuncture. The traditional Chinese medicine can be used to treat pain or enhance fertility, however, did you know it’s also being used today as a natural beauty alternative, as opposed to invasive fillers, injections and chemical treatments? Emma Pearson, a licensed acupuncturist and owner of The Pearson Clinic, tells us exactly how the treatment works on skin and the potential benefits.
Her introduction to acupuncture.
While undergoing a degree focused on the medicinal aspects of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Ms Pearson learned how certain acupuncture treatments could result in an overall improvement of skin complexion. Living in the UK at the time, she noticed the use of acupuncture for cosmetic purposes was increasing in popularity in London, which led her to do extended training specifically in facial acupuncture. Ms Pearson said: “Acupuncture is a good option for those looking to rejuvenate their skin in a natural way using the body’s own healing response. When used regularly, acupuncture treatments can be used to rejuvenate the skin, but also help to maintain healthy skin results, as well as slow down ageing signs. Facial acupuncture is suitable for most healthy people, however, there are a few instances where treatment might not be suitable, including pregnancy. Screening is therefore required before starting treatment.”
The science behind it.
Rather than focusing on temporary and superficial ‘quick fixes’ of skin lines and blemishes, acupuncture treatment works on two levels: Ms Pearson assesses and treats internal causes and emotional stressors (which are big contributors to facial complexion) as well as treats the outward appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes by creating small localised tears in the skin, known as micro-traumas, by inserting a number of tiny, virtually painless needles into the skin. Doing this promotes the production of collagen and elastin, as well as improves circulation to the skin. This helps to fill and tone lines as well as brighten the complexion. Because she is promoting the body’s self-healing response, visible results can take a bit of time, with the most noticeable improvements seen after ten treatments.
There are a number of benefits to using a more natural approach, like acupuncture, for cosmetic improvement. Ms Pearson believes people have become a lot more conscious about what they’re putting into their bodies, and acupuncture doesn’t involve the use of any toxic substances. Additionally, it doesn’t have the same risks or side-effects associated with the use of fillers and injectables like Botox. Although these other services are known to provide immediate cosmetic results, which admittedly some people prefer, Ms Pearson has seen a noticeable increase in the number of people who are attracted to cosmetic acupuncture, which provides a more gradual and natural improvement of the skin.
Initial feedback from her clients has been positive. Patients report receiving compliments from friends and co-workers on their “glowing” skin, as well as improvement in general complexion and reduction in acne. “The subtle improvement in wrinkles, particularly around the eyes, is also an important benefit to most people and patients have reported improvements in other aspects of their health and general well-being after treatment,” Ms Pearson said.