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What about cosmetic acupuncture to reduce wrinkles?

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Ms. Nancy Winlove-Smith has been providing Acupuncture services and Integrative Health Consulting in Hamilton, Ontario since 2004. Specializing in women's health areas such as fertility and age related issues, Nancy has also been practicing cosmetic acupuncture for the past five years.

In this interview, you will get answers on how acupuncture works to reduce wrinkles, how to use acupuncture for the maximum benefits, and if this is an effective and safe natural alternative. Discover what Nancy has to say on this subject.

Cosmetic acupuncture sounds a little bit trendy. It is said that cosmetic acupuncture is far less expensive than cosmetic surgery, a safe technique, and that is actually works to reduce signs of aging. How come we didn't hear about it before? Acupuncture is not recent...

Cosmetic Acupuncture does sound trendy but it has been practiced in Asia for decades. According to one doctor I spoke with before I decided to invest in the training, prior to the use of cosmetic surgery, there were a number of celebrities in Hollywood that used Acupuncture to maintain a younger profile. It is rumoured that Bob Hope used it regularly to keep his skin smooth. I was very sceptical myself when I first saw the course advertised, however one doctor I spoke with confirmed that she herself did indeed use acupuncture to reduce her fine lines.

So how does it work to improve the appearance of skin?

The concept is based on physiology. When the skin is injured, no matter how small the injury, the body's response is to send collagen to the area to repair. Cosmetic Acupuncture technique requires the insertion of between 50 and 60 fine needles. The effect is a migration of collagen to the area which is deposited and plumps the specific areas where the micro-injury has occurred. The insertion of needles also stimulates the muscles to contract. Multiple treatments results in a toning of the muscles which reduces the sagging that develops as a part of the aging process.

What kind of results can you really expect?

Results vary depending on the current integrity of the skin, i.e.: sun damage, poor diet, inherited skin conditions, etc. Mature skin that has been well maintained responds the best. Age does play a factor, those in their 40's or 50's will get faster results. I have had good results with women in their 60's, however they require more treatments to achieve the same results as someone younger.

When you say faster results, do you mean one month, one year, more?

The skin, as you know has many layers and the effects of the increased blood and nutrient supply to skin does not really become overly noticeable during the first couple of months. Typically at three months you begin to see a difference. Usually women report back to me that they notice they can wear lip stick again without always having to use liner to keep it from bleeding into the lines. In some cases collagen pads can actually be seen around the lateral aspect of the eye where laugh lines can become deep. The effects of cosmetic acupuncture are cumulative, I have clients that have been with me for four years and the laugh lines do not reappear. The mouth area is harder to maintain, but an extra treatment or two during the year usually will maintain enough extra collagen.

Can you get these results only with facial acupuncture or do you advice other therapies at the same time?

I always incorporate dietary recommendations you can only work with what you have. A poor diet lacking in essentials fatty acids, vitamins or minerals will not deliver a good repair kit to the area. I always advise my clients if they want the best results, I can deliver the blood to the area, but it is up to them what is in it. I do recommend they use as close to natural for any product they may put on their face on a regular basis. A lot of high end products have chemicals which are toxic and are absorbed through the skin. I have had a number of clients who have gotten eye infections from high end night creams that do not absorb and become a hosting platform for bacteria. I have seen extreme break outs in clients who have used very expensive facial creams.

So cosmetic acupuncture is not completely safe...

Anybody who is considering acupuncture for any reason should have a total health consult first. Any procedure that breaks the skin has the potential to introduce infection. Cosmetic Acupuncture compared to other forms of anti-aging procedures has a very high safety record. There is no use of foreign matter being introduced under the skin and risk of infection compared to surgery is very small, in fact I am not aware of any reported cases. Individuals with conditions such as diabetes, bleeding conditions, certain thyroid conditions, shingles or hepatitis should definitely not consider Cosmetic Acupuncture.

Is there any medical research that supports cosmetic acupuncture?

I don't think there has been any relevant scientific study in this area.

I understand cosmetic acupuncture is used mainly for wrinkles and fine lines. Could it also be used for other skin conditions, such as acne, dry skin, or facial scars?

Cosmetic acupuncture can be effective in reducing adult rosacea, repair of small broken capillaries and dry skin. I would not recommend it for extreme acne conditions as risk for infection would be an underlying issue. I would have to say in my experience it does not reduce the appearance of facial scars significantly.

Is there anything you would like to add about cosmetic acupuncture?

There is one other benefit cosmetic acupuncture provides a psychological support that you cannot find in any other anti-aging product. During the procedure not only is collagen released, but endorphins and natural opiates. Clients leave feeling rested, rejuvenated and that hormone release is reinforced every treatment and the calming effect becomes as cumulative as the collagen.

Nancy Winlove-Smith's biography:

* Graduate of the McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture program 2004
* Kulhay Wellness Clinic & Education Centre - Cosmetic Acupuncture & Non-Surgical Face Lifting 2004
* Diploma of Phytotherapy Mohawk/McMaster Health Sciences 2006
* Herbal Technician Certificate Mohawk College 2003
* Recognized Resource for Complementary Therapy Wellwood Resource Centre for Supportive Cancer Care. Key Note Speaker for Centre January 2007
* Key Note Speaker for Occupational Health & Safety Committee Hamilton Halton Secondary School Board April 2008
In this interview, you will get answers on how acupuncture works to reduce wrinkles, how to use acupuncture for the maximum benefits, and if this is an effective and safe natural alternative. Discover what Nancy has to say on this subject.

Article by: Josephine Toulemonde

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