Acupuncture was developed as a part of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) which was originally developed to maintain health and well-being. However, eight hundred years ago the ladies in the emperor’s court were well aware that beauty also played a large role in their route to success. A healthy person radiates natural beauty, so the court ladies asked the TCM doctors to refine their acupuncture techniques to enhance their best features. This was the beginning of using acupuncture and serums for facial rejuvenation.
Qi: Traditional five element theory considers qi to be the vital life energy which is in constant motion within the body. Congenital qi is what we are born with, a primordial (pre-natal) reservoir that resides in the kidneys. This original reservoir cannot be increased, but post-natal foods and exercise can keep it topped up.
Acquired qi is derived from food and the air we breathe. It is supplied by diet, lifestyle and exercise and is channeled through the lung and spleen.
The five element theory is categorized as follows:
The primary application of acupuncture techniques is based on qi energy flowing through the meridians.
Wood - liver
- Qi function: wind (propelling)
- Growth - moves and stimulates the tendons and physiological functions of all the organs and promotes development and growth for the whole body.
Fire – heart
- Qi function: heat (warming)
- Thrive - maintains blood and body fluids through the various vessels of the system. Thermal energy sustains body temperature and keeps organs functioning normally.
Earth – spleen
- Qi function: damp (defending)
- Transform - guards the body surface and prevents the invasion of pathogens or expels them, keeps muscles strong by supplying them with blood.
Metal – lung
- Qi function: dry (controlling)
- Restrain - controls sweat, spleen fluid, kidneys and urine. The pores of the skin are seen as the third lung and are the first barrier of the body used to defend against the invasion of pathogens.
Water – kidney
- Qi function: cold (transforming)
- Store - essence stored in the kidneys is transformed into marrow which produces the blood necessary to nourish and strengthen the bones.
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The cardiovascular system delivers nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body through the heart and blood vessels. Blood is produced from food which when eaten transfers into the stomach where it is then digested. The waste products are sent to the small intestine and the purified fluid (nutritive qi, called the ‘clear’ in Chinese) is sent to the spleen. The spleen is literally a ‘quality control’ centre which acts as a filter for the blood, recycling old red blood cells and storing white cells to bolster the immune system. The clear is sent to the lungs which in turn then distributes it throughout the body, where it nourishes and moistens, finally reaching the extremities in the spaces under the skin.
Qi is the basic substance that maintains life activities and directly influences the flow of blood and body fluids which re-cycle endlessly through the various organs in the body. TCM explains that a patient first has to be treated holistically, thereby generating the harmonious flow of qi throughout the body which will create health and general well-being.
Once a good healthy disposition is established, other treatments such as facial acupuncture will be far more effective.
Acupuncture works on the principle of pressure points that run throughout the body. These points conduct qi between the internal organs and the surface areas via a network of main and collateral channels (the meridians.). The flow of essential fluids such as blood and lymph are stimulated and controlled by the qi being conducted in the meridians.
Blockage along these pathways disrupts energy flows and causes imbalances which are reflected as symptoms, disease or a pathological condition. These show up as physiological change in organs or tissues of the body.
Needles inserted into meridians at precise locations will stimulate qi energy and blood flow and allow the body to return to and maintain optimum balance.
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture:
The skin is an indicator of internal bodily changes and the face is one of the first areas where this is observable.
Acne, spots and general poor skin condition occur when vital nutrients, blood and moisture are not reaching the facial skin in the correct quantity.
To get maximum impact from facial rejuvenation treatment, pressure points in other parts of the body are also stimulated to liven up the meridians.
Qi will then naturally flow through to and rejuvenate the face, where further concentrated needling will enhance the effect of these meridian stimulations.
The 6 key meridians which directly influence the face are:
Bladder foot taiyang
Small intestine hand taiyang
Gall bladder foot shaoyang
Triple heater hand shaoyang
Stomach foot yangming
Large intestine hand yangming
In recent times modern medical breakthroughs in molecular science have brought a more technical understanding to the composition of the skin. One of the first major discoveries was collagen. This vital protein makes up about 20% of all the connective tissue in the body. The word kolla is a Greek word which means ‘glue‘ and this is exactly what collagen is, the glue that holds the skin together. If the skin loses its collagen, it tends to sag or wrinkle so maintaining collagen is an integral part of a youthful appearance.
The skin itself is made up of three layers.
The outer layer is the epidermis, the watertight barrier that is the first line of defence against infections, pathogens etc entering the body. (epi – outside dermis – skin)
The second layer is the dermis, this is the slightly thicker layer beneath the epidermis where the majority of the cells, blood vessels and lymph are stored. Collagen is the main protein in the dermis that provides nutrients to the skin.
The third layer is a sub-cutaneous layer under the dermis which holds the fat and oils.
It stands to reason that the healthier the skin is, (especially in the face) the more radiant and healthy the complexion will be. Collagen is the vital ingredient that maintains this.
4. Deterioration of Collagen
Unfortunately collagen decreases as we age. Up until the age of 30 the body will still be generating a natural supply of collagen to all parts of the body.
After 30 this process slows down and collagen reserves begin to deplete. This causes the dermis to become thinner and weaker and less able to hold up the skin. The result is bags, saggy skin and wrinkles.
The rate of collagen decline is greatly affected by lifestyle.People who eat and sleep well and maintain adequate hydration will naturally have healthier skin than those who smoke, drink alcohol and take excessive drugs or medication.
Therefore whatever we can do to maintain collagen reserves or generate new collagen cells will greatly influence the youthfulness of your appearance.
The body likes to maintain a regular balance. Technically this is called homeostasis. Homeo – similar, like, stasis – condition, stability.
When the body is under attack it will do what it can to defend itself by using what is called a negative feedback system.
A. The body is stung by a bee or mosquito.
B. A small amount of poison enters into the dermis.
C. An alarm signal is sent to the brain.
The brain responds to this alarm like a general in an army. Seeing he is under attack (a negative) the general reacts (a positive) and sends out troops to deal with the attack.
In the case of a bee sting these troops are from the histamine regiments. They pour into the affected area and douse the inflammation with histamine (natural chemicals created by the immune system.) Different defence mechanisms from the immune system are used depending on the severity of the attack – a broken leg will require more troops than a graze on the shin. It’s almost like the body has its own Richter scale, the greater the disturbance the more troops are needed to handle it.
Sometimes the troops don’t realize they’ve done the job and continue to pour in new cells. This might require an antidote to turn off the reaction. For example anti-histamine in the case of a bee sting. This negative feedback system is the body’s natural way to fight attack.
Acupuncture makes use of the same mechanism. When a needle is inserted, this alerts the brain of an attack. As this is only a small pin-prick the ‘general’ only needs to make a minor repair. So he sends out some collagen troops to fix the problem.
Collagen floods into the pinprick and surrounding area and glues up the wound – if the incision is in the face more life giving collagen is received.
Any attack will generate a defence. Botox is a neuro-toxin derived from botulinum. (bo – botulinum, tox – toxin)
Botulinum is one of the most deadly poisons on planet earth. So when it is injected into the system the reaction is very dramatic.The muscles surrounding the injected area tend to freeze and become paralyzed. This in turn holds the muscles in a fixed position which allows the wrinkles to recede. Once the paralysis wears off (usually between 3 – 6 months) the wrinkles will return and further injections will be needed.
As described earlier acupuncture relies on the body’s negative feedback mechanism to work its marvels. It does not need artificial chemical stimulants and instead allows mother-nature to go to work. Although it will not stop the ageing process it will slow it down markedly.
7. The Facial Rejuvenation Program
The facial rejuvenation program used at pure healthcare is a mixture of old (TCM) and modern Western techniques.
1. Whole body meridian needling for general health and well-being
2. Specific facial acupuncture
B. TCM diagnosis
C. Traditional TCM techniques
1. Acupressure massage of facial areas
2. Jade roller
A. Skin analysis incorporates the latest technical instruments to establish the exact composition and molecular structure of the skin from which serums,toners, essential oils and hydration creams are formulated for each individual client. (Note: This is a unique service available only at Pure Healthcare.)
B. Face masks
C. Derma roller (micro needling)
D. Derma pen (specific point needling)
8. End result:
With the complete array of all these techniques being applied over 15 individual sessions, facial rejuvenation acupuncture improves skin tone, elasticity and complexion, reduces wrinkles and thereby creates a more youthful appearance.