“Everybody hopes for longevity, but nobody wants to be old. ” ~Liang Shiqiu
Everyone wants to stay young and vibrant well past the age when our grandparents retired to their porch rocking chairs and embraced their wrinkles, sagging body parts, and mysterious maladies. But no matter what we do, the hands of time continue to march forward, eventually bringing aching joints, thinner skin, less patience with the “stupidity” of others, and stories to our children’s children of how we walked to school every day through 10 feet of snow without benefit of an iPhone. As the hormones which fuel our sex drives decline, our skin gets drier and less resilient. Demands from peak-career work combined with family responsibilities add weight to overburdened shoulders creating tensions. Life experience etches emotional history on our faces, and reflections of grief, frustration, love, and joy present themselves to the world through the jut of a chin, the light in our eyes, a furrowed brow.
What if there was a way to continue to experience the vitality of a 35 year old at 50? To reduce the fine etchings of time in the skin? To regain that inner glow which tells the world how beautiful you are?
While the Fountain of Youth is a thing of myths, the lifestyle choices you make, the food you eat, and the way you manage life’s stresses have a profound impact on how you look and feel. If you don’t believe me, try this simple exercise:
Take a selfie, just as you are right now.
Now, take a few deep breaths and imagine the happiest day of your life. Remember what that day smelled like and sounded like. What could you taste? What did you see? How did you feel? Let yourself soak in that feeling for a few moments, and as you re-experience the joy, take another selfie.
Finally, take a few more deep breaths and imagine a time when you were so stressed you thought you would break under the load. Remember the sounds of that moment, the scents, the tastes. How did you feel in your body? Again, take a few moments to let yourself soak in that feeling and as you re-experience that anger or pain or disappointment or overload, take a third selfie.
Now, load all three photos onto your computer and open them side by side. Can you see the difference? Note how your expressions are different in each photo. See how your posture changes with each experience. Notice whether the furrows in your brow or the lines around your mouth are different from photo to photo.
This exercise demonstrates how just a few moments of experiencing emotions can change how you look and feel. Imagine how a lifetime of feelings impacts your physical appearance!
The ancient Chinese treasured health and vitality. Whole texts written by famous scholars presented treatises on how to live in a way which preserved the essence, and while peasants didn’t have the luxury to practice meditation, eat pure and seasonally appropriate food, drink the correct elixirs to balance their constitutions, and address minor symptoms before they became full-blown disease, the upper classes dedicated their lives to cultivating beauty and health. The purpose of the doctor was not to take care of the sick, but to help patients maintain vibrant health. They would certainly help if you DID become ill, but illness was seen as a failure of the doctor.
Most people seek out acupuncture because something hurts or they have an ailment which is not getting better under their physician’s care. But where acupuncture truly shines is as a PREVENTATIVE medicine. Your constitution is determined by your genetics, and it is influenced by your environment and lifestyle choices. While it won’t change your genetics, acupuncture can help your body, mind, and spirit to absorb life’s bumps with a minimum of damage. With regular treatment along with attention to diet, exercise, and stress management it is possible to take control over your health and to flow into and through your later years with grace and minimal health issues.
If you are in your 20s or 30s, acupuncture can help you to feel your best. Regular facial acupuncture treatment can relieve the tension in your facial muscles which leads to wrinkles later in life. It can relieve the muscle and connective tissue tensions from old sports injuries, whiplashes, and other incidents which show up on the face as lines of tension and pain. Combined with constitutional treatment, acupuncture can reduce your risk of developing painful joints, digestive issues, high blood pressure, and other physical issues associated with aging.
In your 40s and 50s profound hormonal changes are experienced by both women and men. These changes affect mood, energy level, sleep cycles, digestion, and sex drive, and can leave you feeling frustrated and out of control in a no-longer familiar body. Acupuncture combined with herbal constitutional support and some diet changes can help level out the bumps and make the hormonal transition easier on you and your loved ones. Regular facial acupuncture can minimize the depth of facial lines, help to improve skin tone, and help you to feel beautiful inside and out as you gracefully navigate “the change”.
If you are in your 60s and beyond, regular acupuncture treatment can slow the degeneration of joints which results in arthritis, improve facial muscle tone reducing depth and visibility of wrinkles, and keep your body, mind, and spirit as stress-free and disease-free as possible.
At any age, acupuncture can help you to manage stress, maintain great digestion, sleep well, and recover from injuries. Facial acupuncture can help to reduce the severity of acne and other irritating skin conditions, and it MAY help to support collagen production, especially when combined with constitutional herbal support and regular facials. It can also be helpful as part of a comprehensive program to manage other facial conditions such as Bell’s palsy, trigeminal neuralgia, and decreased muscle function resulting from a stroke.
Facial acupuncture is non-invasive, costs less than surgical procedures, does not “freeze” your face like Botox, and draws on ancient Chinese wisdom for beauty, longevity, and balance.