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laser acupuncture centre

Female magazine:
acupuncture for Designer Norma Kamali

female magazine acupuncture

Designer Norma Kamali reportedly gets it done every week and actress Cate Blanchett is also reputed to be a fan. Acupuncture facials are now widespread in the US and touted as a fix for everything from acne to botched Botox jobs. Joie Go gets needled.

At the 2005 Academy Awards, the notoriously exclusive New York club, Soho House, set up a makeshift hangout as part of the Oscar week party circuit. One of its attractions : A team of acupuncturists giving on-the-spot facials. A-list celebrities flocked to try, the buzz grew and acupuncture facials became the range in the US.
The benefits are diverse, from tackling acne to anti-ageing. A long- term sufferer of acne who’s been through rounds of antibiotics without improvements? Here’s a lifeline: Acupuncture facials are drug-and chemical-free. Have unpredictable, blemish prone skin? You’ll benefit from its holistic approach, which targets various internal problems and imbalances that lead to skin problems.

female magazine acupuncture

And unlike treatments like Botox, there’s virtually no risk of a botched job that could leave you with a lopsided face; just a promise of naturally younger-looking skin sans surgery. Rodney Lim, resident acupuncturist at the Laser Acupuncture Centre, says he has even successfully corrected Botox jobs that have gone wrong. “It’s best to wait at least a month after doing Botox as the muscles need time to settle. Acupuncture can then be used to reverse the paralysing effects and improve facial muscle tone,” he says.

Miao Meng, senior TCM physician at Raffles Chinese Medicine, explains the apparent wide-ranging effects of acupuncture facials. “In TCM, the body’s functions are regulated by ‘qi’, which flows around the body and can get stuck at certain acupoints. This can manifest on the face as dull or sagging skin in some, or acne in others,” she says. “Inserting needles into these blocked acupoints will disperse the ‘qi’ and stimulate internal healing. This helps skin regain its suppleness, clarity and healthy glow.”

Lim adds: “Acupuncture is an invasive procedure, but unlike fillers or facelifts, which treat a specific, superficial are and whose effects eventually wear off, the former treats the entire body, healing the damage caused by the environment and one’s lifestyle. The results for skin are most lasting, plus you get knock-on benefits for the body as well.”

A typical facial involves inserting several ultra-fine needles into selected areas of the face, hands and feet. Depending on the skin condition, more or less needles will be used at different points.

In general, acupuncture needles (believed to have “yin” energy) are burnt with moxa herbs, which generate “yang” energy for balance. But this has been replaced with other techniques like stimulating the needles with lasers.
“Heating the needles with moxa can be hazardous as the patient might get burnt and the odour can be unbearable for some. Laser therapy, which emits light and thermal energy, is a safer way,” says Lim.

While it can be beneficial, acupuncture (whether for cosmetic or therapeutic purposes) is not for everyone, says Miao. Patients who have low platelet counts, blood diseases and difficulties with blood clotting – steer clear. Pregnant women are also at risk, since certain acupoints may trigger a miscarriage.

At Laser Acupuncture Centre, a series of laser probes were placed over several acupoints in my feet, calves and hands, while a larger laser “scanned” my face – it was completely painless and oddly soothing.
Despite my fear about being treated like a human pincushion, the needling did not hurt as much as I expected. “Compared to Botox injections, acupuncture facials are actually less painful as the needles are much finer,” explained Lim. The pain was minimal as each needle was deftly applied, and removal was entirely painless. I even found myself falling asleep while looking like a voodoo doll. There was mild bruising on my face afterwards – a normal reaction for a newcomer to acupuncture – but nothing a light concealer couldn’t fix.

While the facial didn’t bring about an immediate dramatic improvement, my usually pallid complexion had a healthy rosiness to it and I was told to expect better sleep and digestion as well if I kept up with the treatments. For younger and less tired-looking skin, an intensive 20-session course at least twice a week is recommended. Subsequently, go once every two to four weeks for maintenance.

- Female Magazine-April 2012 Issue

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