Move over cosmetic surgery and Botox, here comes cosmetic acupuncture, a multi-millennial solution that really works for an ancient perennial problem. This treatment has grown in popularity at a time when people are saturated with miracle cures that promise them a younger looking face and skin.

As opposed to the lengthy recovery, swelling, and bruising that come with cosmetic surgery, a facial rejuvenation treatment such as acupuncture requires zero recovery time and is a much painless procedure.

It may be a relatively new way to look young in this Western society of ours where physical looks are very much desired but cosmetic acupuncture has actually been used by the Chinese nobility for ages. A whole-body approach is required to attain a well-toned and youthful looking skin without the aid of electrical stimulation, surgery, or drugs. Acupuncture works extremely well on the stomach and face.

Mei Zen acupuncture is one form of cosmetic acupuncture that is growing in popularity in the United States. Acupuncturists using this technique are highly specialized practitioners. They adhere to a very specific protocol and integrate needling techniques that are quite unusual. Mei Zen acupuncture follows a teaching rooted in ancient Chinese medical texts that show the configuration and location of the needles in order to work synergistically to rejuvenate the complexion by restoring balance to the body. The needling process produces three physiological effects: 1) chi and blood flow improvement due to local blood vessel dilation leading to more nutrients absorbed by the cells aiding in the regeneration of the body; 2) production boost of collagen and elastin, which leads to the reduction or elimination of wrinkles; and 3) the overall improvement of health that is manifested externally through our appearance.

A typical acupuncture facial rejuvenation treatment may require twice a week sessions, one hour per session lasting for at least five weeks. Hair-thin needles are used and inserted superficially into selected acupoints in the surface of the skin.

Besides lessening deep lines, facial acupuncture, can also remove fine lines resulting in an overall improvement in a patient’s complexion. The treatment can even cure skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and rosacea. There are other benefits patients can expect from acupuncture, a treatment based on the principle that optimal health is attained when the various systems of the body are in balance. We can see this in women who have opted for facial acupuncture. Besides making them look younger, acupuncture helped these women lessen their night sweats and hot flashes, better their sleep cycles and digestion, and treated their anxiety and depression. Patients who have undergone stomach acupuncture more or less experienced a more improved sex drive and increased fertility. Those who have tried cosmetic acupuncture may experience a sensation of lifting, lightness, tingling, and warmth following a procedure, as well as a general feeling of wellbeing.

The treatment is gaining popularity each year and to prove that it works, the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture published a study that showed that 90% of the 300 people who were given facial acupuncture experienced significant improvements after only a single course of treatment.

From a consumerist viewpoint, the cost of a cosmetic acupuncture, which is a fraction of the cost of most conventional cosmetic procedures, is the most attractive feature of this treatment. The maintenance treatments are inexpensive as well.

Unfortunately, not all people respond to acupuncture and so cosmetic acupuncture may not be a procedure that works for everyone. The patient needs to be thoroughly evaluated by the practitioner to see if the procedure is applicable to him/her. Evaluation is also needed to identify any underlying imbalances that need to be addressed. Cosmetic acupuncture is contraindicated for people suffering from severe chronic disease, stroke patients, and for those suffering high blood pressure and seizure disorder. They may try other Chinese medicine treatments to resolve to their conditions.

Acupuncture Mei Zen Cosmetic treatment is comprehensive and besides acupuncture it also uses Chinese herbal medicine. The herbs used in the treatment are known to treat the imbalances in the body and benefit the skin. They are selected and mixed with other herbs to meet the patient’s specific needs. Food therapy is one other component of the program. A customized program of foods is created that help restore balance in the patient’s body, which in turn, helps nourish and improve the health of the skin. Passive exercises such as Qi Gong exercises can also be included in the program to accelerate the restoration of vitality and health of the patient.

This holistic approach results in dramatic improvements and because of the low cost of the procedure compared to Botox and cosmetic surgery, cosmetic acupuncture is one sound alternative that can make you look much younger and attractive in a safe and healthy way.

Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.