I recently had an acupuncture facial, and it was such an interesting experience I felt compelled to share it with the Truth In Aging community. And while I’m not new to acupuncture, I was definitely a bit apprehensive about having a bunch of needles stuck into my face. The truth is, I’m not one of those people who finds acupuncture relaxing. In fact, I really don’t enjoy it all, but it has been incredibly effective for me in the past. Particularly when it came to inducing labor during my first pregnancy. Which brings me to my next point: a newborn baby and a toddler are exhausting! And I’m pretty sure that all that lack of sleep/no time for yoga/eyebrow furrowing at the endless toddler declarations “NO!” was starting to take a toll on my face. And so, in the name of vanity (or better yet, self-preservation), I was willing to try it.
First, let me start off by saying there is good news, and there is bad news… but mostly good. The bad news: it’s not comfortable. The good news: for me it was totally and wonderfully effective. After doing a bit of research, I decided to try the Deluxe Facial at place called Eastgate Acupuncture. An acupuncture facial is actually called Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation. The Deluxe facial is a two-hour treatment that includes full body acupuncture, which approaches you both cosmetically and constitutionally. So, for example, because I have recently gone through childbirth, she really wanted to tone my liver, which helps replenish blood flow, among other things. The Deluxe also includes a bunch of masks, a facial massage and micro-stimulation. But mostly I’m just going to focus on the acupuncture part.
Crystal owns Eastgate with her husband, and she performed the facial on me. Before we started she explained everything. She would be putting very fine needles — even smaller than typical acupuncture needles — at various points on my face, where there’s tension and fine lines. The thinking is that the needles help to bring energy and blood flow to the skin. This improves circulation and encourages collagen and elastin simulation. The needles also release muscle tension and can work muscle imbalances. By using muscle motor points to tone and reset facial muscles, dropping and sagging can be improved. That all sounded good. After the needles were in, she would let me “nap” for 30 minutes, while they did their magic. Napping to a new mom sounds amazing, but napping with needles in your face and body, not so much. She first put the needles in my body, and then she tended to my face. She started with some points between my eyebrows, which were definitely the most intense of all the needles. She then put needles in other points on my face, around my mouth (not on my lips), cheeks, marionette lines, etc. It felt very similar to plucking out hairs. Not comfortable, but not horrible. She then went back to my eyebrow area and put one last needle between the brows, ouch. That last one was intense. Crystal then left the room while I “relaxed.”
I did NOT relax. I was afraid to move. I laid there frozen, wondering how impossibly long 30 minutes would be. So I decided to just be present with all the sensations that were happening in my body. The needle in between my eyebrows was quite intense. But I was actually starting to like the feeling, as if there was a huge release of pressure happening. Sort of like when a massage hurts in a good way. It would subside and then get strong again. I was pretty into it. The other thing that Crystal mentioned is that some of the needles might fall out on their own. This is normal because some needles are only on the very surface of the skin, and the skin (as she described it) actually pushes the needles out. This was a really unusual sensation. Sometimes I would feel a burst of energy (but more like a prick) a few seconds before I could feel the needle dropping away. It was all quite weird. And I was starting to get antsy. Crystal came in to check on me a few times. And then FINALLY her assistant came to remove the needles (which didn’t hurt) and finish off the whole thing with a facial massage, a mask, some electric stimulation and eventually hydration (they use the wonderful organic Dr. Alkaitis line). I was super happy to get those needles out so that I could stretch and move again. Two hours is pretty much my limit on any treatment — except for a massage.
OK, so now for the results. I TOTALLY noticed a difference. My face felt fresh and alive and toned. It wasn’t that dewy glowy look you sometimes get after a facial, when they slather on all sorts of luxurious oils and elixirs. It was more like tight and awake. And here’s the best part, when I got home, my husband (who didn’t know I had gone) said “Wow, you look so amazing and young. What did you do?” I swear, those were his words. After a day or two, I felt like my normal face was back again. But I think that’s to be expected. They say that the results are cumulative. Usually the first few treatments only last a day or two. They recommend a series of 12, and usually the bigger changes happen around treatments five to seven. However, if you have younger skin, you may only need half that. Crystal said my skin is “young” (I’m 40), and so I'm likely to respond quicker. I think I’m going to continue with it. Although I’ll probably just do the Basic, instead of the Deluxe, because it’s not only less expensive, but much shorter. And I am happy to keep you all posted on how it goes. I would love to hear from anyone else who has had Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation. What was your experience?