Are you feeling stressed, are you suffering from a skin condition, or are you just looking for a safe treatment to reduce the signs of ageing? Acupuncture could be a solution you’d like to try out.
Fiona Jennings graduated in traditional Chinese acupuncture and naturopathy from the College of Naturopathic Medicine in Dublin and is a member of the Acupuncture Foundation Professional Association.
According to her, acupuncture can be a very effective treatment for many skin problems.
Read this interview and learn about this type of alternative medicine that treats patients by insertion and manipulation of thin needles in the body!
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture originated in China about 2,500 years ago. According to its underlying philosophy, health is dependent on the body’s energy – known as Qi, moving in a smooth and balanced way throughout the body.
Stress, disease or trauma can cause Qi to become unbalanced, deficient or blocked, leading to illness.
When disharmony occurs, and the body is out of balance, symptoms will appear, though these may not always be the symptoms associated with a disease in Western medicine and Western diagnostic testing may show no abnormalities.
By inserting fine needles into certain points on a series of channels known as meridians, an acupuncturist can balance the body and stimulate its natural healing response.
In which way can acupuncture help with skin conditions?
In 2004 it was reported that famous faces such as Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cher all have regular facial acupuncture to slow down the effects of time.
But this treatment is not just another new fad, in fact, as early as the Song Dynasty (960-1270AD), facial acupuncture was used on the empress and the emperor’s concubines.
Facial acupuncture is a very effective treatment to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, helping you to feel and look rejuvenated without the need for invasive surgical procedures. The treatment stimulates the cells to lay down new collagen fibres, and the needles relax tense muscles eliminating puffiness, sagging and the common signs of ageing.
Whilst not as invasive as botox or surgery, and much safer – minor bleeding or bruising can occur, but serious side effects are extremely rare- the results will be more natural and may not be as dramatic. Often people will assume you’ve been on holiday, or on a diet, or maybe just happy!
But facial acupuncture and naturopathy are not only effective as a beauty treatment however.
Perhaps the greatest strength of naturopathic acupuncture is in treating each patient individually and holistically, to restore and maintain healthy balance in the body.
Do you think emotions and stress have a big impact on skin health?
I take the view that if you feel well, happy and are healthy – it will show in your face. And therefore the opposite is also true.
Stress is a major problem with many people that I treat – often making them feel tired and strained, make poor eating and exercise choices, and disturbing their sleep.
Facial acupuncture makes energy circulate properly around your face, but energy needs to circulate properly around your whole body, not just your face.
I am qualified in naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture, and tuina (Chinese therapeutic massage). These are holistic therapies which aim to treat the whole person and help to promote the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
As a practitioner my aim is to identify the underlying root cause of imbalance in your body and to advise on a range of therapies to treat you – not a disease.
I will be treating your whole body and health – not just your face. This may include dietary changes, exercises, and supplements, and all aspects of well being: physical, mental and emotional.
What are the skin conditions that seem to have the best results with acupuncture?
Acne and rosacea seem to have the best reports with pure acupuncture treatment. Generally psoriasis will take a bit longer to resolve, and require dietary changes.
Herbs and supplements would usually be required in addition for treatment of eczema. Shingles and post – herpatic pain also respond well to acupuncture treatment.
How many acupuncture sessions does it usually take before you see any noticeable improvement?
Since each person is unique, the number of treatments required will vary, and will depend on your age and overall health, as well as the condition of your skin.
Most people report at the least a greater sense of well being and feeling more relaxed after only one session. More significant changes can take up to five sessions to show and I would recommend a course of treatment of 10 sessions.
Sometimes two courses may be required for more lasting results with difficult or older skin problems. Usually weekly treatment sessions are best at the start for good results for the face.
Your treatment plan will be discussed and agreed with you at the first session and kept under review at each visit.
Facial Acupuncture treatments were recently reviewed in the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture which researched the effects of the treatment on 300 cases. Of these cases, 90% had marked effects over one course of treatment, including: improvement of the elasticity of facial muscles; levelling of wrinkles; and overall rejuvenation. (A course of treatment being 10 sessions)
Does everyone seem to respond well to acupuncture?
Perhaps the best endorsement of the treatment is that people keep coming back!
Everyone I have treated has reported some positive feelings from the start, but again, as every person is unique, the speed of change can differ.
I have had some people who experience dramatic changes after the first session, and others who take longer to show significant change.
Would you have any other advice to give to people who suffer from a skin condition?
As a naturopath as well as an acupuncturist, I fervently believe that the baseline is in your lifestyle. I look at seven different areas of lifestyle to bring changes: diet and supplements, water, air and breath, exercise, your environment, stress and mental wellness, and sleep.
For example, without the correct fuel, your body cannot make good healthy skin. Almost everyone that I speak to knows the value of drinking pure water – but very few admit to drinking enough!