Acupuncture isn’t anything new. As part of traditional Chinese medicine, it’s been used to treat body pains, migraines, even fertility issues, for centuries.

But now the beauty industry is hustling for a slice of the Chinese needling market – with aesthetic acupuncture.

A reportedly safer alternative to Botox (it’s completely natural), aesthetic acupuncture is an extension of traditional acupuncture, resulting in a more elastic, bright, firm complexion, with fewer wrinkles.

According to Doctor Travall Croom, the US-based acupuncturist that counts the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and a whole runway of Victoria’s Secret models among his clients, “the visible signs of ageing that people tend to notice are wrinkles caused by tight muscles, sagging caused by slack muscles, and the loss go skin resiliency. These can all be addressed with facial motor point acupuncture.”

According to Dr Croom, by targeting the facial motor points – the most electrically excitable area of each muscle – he can bring the muscle back to a normal state. “For a muscle that is tight, a normal state would be more relaxed; while the normal state of a sagging muscle would be activated or lifted.”

Approximately 25 needles are administered per facial, and clients are encouraged to commit to an eight-visit plan. And while results can be visible as early as the first treatment, they can be short-lived if the client doesn’t follow up. The reason is pretty simple: while Botox offers instant results, aesthetic acupuncture works on the cause, as opposed to just the symptoms.

“Filler-type treatments don’t work on circulation in the face,” Dr Croom says. “And so the face will continue to age at the same rate, and so as time passes, a client will need a higher dose of filler to achieve the same result.”

Doctor Vivian Tam, head of Chinese medicine and acupuncture at Cosmetic Acupuncture Melbourne, says that there is a vast increase in people seeking safer alternatives to fillers.

“More and more people are choosing cosmetic acupuncture over other conventional beauty treatments for various reasons, but mainly because it is natural. Cosmetic acupuncture works on stimulating the body’s own ability to produce more collagen and elastin and does not involve the injection of any foreign substance, chemical or toxin. The treatment is also holistic, so it looks at the wellness of the whole system and not only the face and skin. That is, we do acupuncture in the body to balance and address any disharmonies. After all, the face is a reflection of your internal state.” Doctor Tam also says clients love that the results are long-lasting. “The effects of cosmetic acupuncture are long-term so people find it nice that the effects are maintained over years with treatment once every four to eight weeks.”

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