The New Face of Acupuncture
Within the last few years, a new alternative to facial cosmetic surgery has been growing in popularity. But really, it isn't entirely new. Rather, its roots extend back thousands of years to ancient China. An integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture has long been used to promote optimal health, longevity — and beauty. Now the old is made new again, as ancient techniques are introduced to the modern generation.
Observing the cosmos and the rhythms of nature allowed ancient Chinese healers to gain insight into the energy flow of the body, the vital life force that flows through all living things. Known as chi, or qi (pronounced ch-ee), in Traditional Chinese Medicine, this vital energy courses through the body along meridians that run from the top of the head to the tips of the toes. Just as a river can become blocked by debris, however, so, too, can our vital energy. The result of this obstruction is stagnation, decay, and disease. Acupuncture is meant to remove these blockages and allow our qi to flow freely.
The process itself is simple, yet it requires a thorough understanding of the whole health and well-being of the body and emotions. Painlessly, the acupuncturist places fine needles at specific points on the face and neck to unblock the qi and restore harmony to the body. Blood circulation is stimulated, which promotes collagen production and produces a healthy glow.
Modern day practitioners have taken their advanced knowledge of acupuncture and infused it with innovation, putting a new fresh new face on an ancient art. A leader in the field, licensed acupuncturist Mary Elizabeth Wakefield studied with some of the most respected names in alternative medicine, including Carolyn Bengston, Kiiko Matsumoto, Dr. Mark Seem, and Dr. Richard Tan. Combining the philosophies and techniques she gathered during her extensive studies, Ms. Wakefield created Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal™, a treatment protocol designed to promote healthy aging not only of the face, but also of the body, mind, and spirit. "The face is the mirror of the health of the entire body," explains Ms. Wakefield. "You can see in a person's face where they are imbalanced."
Rather than touting her program as an anti-aging treatment, Ms. Wakefield considers the benefits of facial acupuncture as "healthy aging." She is careful to foster realistic expectations in patients of her New York private practice, the Chi-Akra Center. Rejecting the designation "acupuncture facelift," she stresses that results gained through facial acupuncture are much more gradual than those produced by cosmetic surgery. There are also some conditions, for instance drooping eyelids that interfere with a person's vision, for which she will refer out to a plastic surgeon.
Aye of the Needle
Ms. Wakefield and the thousands of students she has trained as practitioners of Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal™ have witnessed its transformative potential. After just one treatment, a person's skin can become more luminous, while fine lines begin to fade. After five to seven treatments, even greater changes may occur, including a marked improvement in skin tone and reduced prominence of lines and wrinkles. And after 10 to 12 treatments, a patient not only looks 5 to 15 years younger, but feels younger, too.
Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal™ can even improve muscle tone by targeting certain motor points, or neuromuscular junctions, the locations where muscles and nerves meet. Muscles that are too tight relax, while muscles that are slack — such as those responsible for the dreaded "turkey wattle" — tighten.
And the Academy Award Goes to … Acupuncture
Ms. Wakefield created the Diamond Acupuncture Facial™ for the 2005 Academy Awards, which she unveiled in Los Angeles at the Soho Diamond Aquifer Suite. Also featured on the Discovery Channel, this elegant facial treatment harnesses the power of diamonds, which act as "lightening rods" for the qi, to stimulate the endocrine glands in order to balance the hormones and help alleviate symptoms of depression.
The Diamond Acupuncture Facial™ Treatment
According to Ms. Wakefield, the results of a series of facial acupuncture treatments may last for couple of years, depending upon a person's lifestyle habits. Maintenance treatments are recommended once a month or once every other month, although smokers and those with heavy sagging may require more frequent sessions. Because of the holistic nature of Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal™, acupuncture may be combined with herbal therapies, massage techniques, and lifestyle changes for optimal rejuvenation.
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