Cosmetic Acupuncture

Cosmetic Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been practiced for many centuries in China, Japan, and other Asian countries. It is one of the primary therapeutic modalities of traditional East Asian medicine that has been used to treat a wide variety of health conditions [1]. In recent years, cosmetic acupuncture has gained popularity among individuals interested in improving their facial appearance [2,3,4]. Applications of acupuncture intended for antiaging and skin rejuvenation benefits have been prompted in various terms such as “facial revitalization acupuncture”, “face-lifting acupuncture”, or “cosmetic acupuncture”.

Previous reports suggested that cosmetic acupuncture in conjunction with standard facial care may induce desired facial skin-tightening effects, possibly from synergistic effects of treatments [5,6,7]. Facial cosmetic acupuncture (FCA) is the use of acupuncture on the head, face, and neck for cosmetic purposes. Several different types of FCA are currently practiced, and many possible mechanisms underlying these techniques have been proposed, including increasing or balancing qi, balancing internal Zang Fu organs, increasing blood flow by inserting needles at certain acupoints [8], and increasing muscle tone [10].

FCA has been increasing in use and popularity but few introductory articles [8, 9] were available until Donoyama et al. reported in 2012 on increased water and oil content for facial skin after cosmetic acupuncture [11]. Recently, in Korea, clinicians have used FCA to enhance facial elasticity by restoring resting mimetic muscle tone by inserting needles into head, face, and neck muscles. Louarn et al. [12] conducted an MRI study on changes in the contour of facial mimetic muscles in patients of different ages. They found that facial mimetic muscles gradually straighten and shorten with age as a result of increased resting muscle tone. The FCA treatment study in the Cosmetic/Derma Clinic of Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, found that participants who underwent five FCA treatment sessions showed an improvement of about 0.5 by Moire topography. FCA also improved scores on a patient self-assessment of elasticity. These results suggested that FCA improved facial elasticity in women aged 40 and 59 years with a Glogau photoaging scale III. [13]

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