Discussion of acupuncture often focuses on its medical benefits, such as alleviating headaches or chronic pain. It has, however, also been used for cosmetic purposes. If your skin is tired and sagging, then acupuncture may be able to stimulate collagen production and improve circulation, which could, in turn, help your skin to regenerate.
How does cosmetic acupuncture work?
In general, acupuncture for cosmetic reasons is carried out in a similar way to medicinal acupuncture. Small, thin needles are inserted at various points in the body. In traditional Chinese medicine, this is a way to ensure that energy, or qi, flows properly along the body’s meridians. Modern science also considers it a way to stimulate blood flow and encourage various forms of healing.
How does it help sagging skin?
Skin can start to sag almost anywhere on the body, but is generally most noticeable around the face, upper arms and stomach. It may occur after pregnancy or sudden and extreme weight loss, because of various medical conditions or, most commonly, because of aging. Although it is not generally considered a medical condition, it can cause significant discomfort and may affect your self-esteem.
Normally, your skin has an elastic quality that means it can easily stretch, then return to normal without any major problems. Skin that sags has lost this quality. Often, this is because the collagen and elastin that help give it its structure and texture have deteriorated. As we grow older, collagen and elastin production are reduced, which can be exacerbated by lifestyle factors such as excess sun exposure, too much alcohol, poor diet or exposure to pollutants.
The needles of acupuncture are not large enough to cause serious harm, but they do penetrate the skin enough to encourage the body’s healing processes. Not only does this mean stimulation of blood flow and feel-good hormones, but it may also encourage the body to produce more collagen that can then be used to improve skin structure and help return it to its former texture.
If acupuncture can stimulate collagen production, then it can make the skin smoother and firmer. This does not just mean less sagging, but could also reduce lines, wrinkles, puffiness, bags under the eyes and various forms of marks and blemishes. It may lead to your skin looking younger, fresher and more moisturized, having an overall regenerative effect.
Why choose acupuncture over other options?
One reason that people may choose cosmetic acupuncture over other forms of skin treatment is that it is considerably less invasive than surgery, such as a facelift, and does not involve the chemicals often involved in various skincare products. The side effects of acupuncture, when carried out by an experienced professional following proper hygiene procedures, are minimal. It is unlikely to do you harm, and it just might help.
Not everyone is going to benefit from acupuncture as a form of skin treatment, but many people find it a safe way to encourage their skin’s natural healing processes, such as collagen production, leading to brighter, healthier skin with much less sagging.