What To Expect
Treatments begin with a full acupuncture examination. The patient's skin is typically cleansed, sometimes exfoliated to remove dead skin cells that may impede the rejuvenation process. Steam, aromatherapy and hypoallergenic cleansing products can be incorporated at this point, though not all practitioners utilize these mediums.
Up to 40 needles may be administered, though this number will vary depending on the patient's needs and the practitioner's protocol. The tiny needles are placed in groupings on the face (and sometimes other areas of the body as well—including the feet, legs, arms and ears) along specific acupuncture points. Patients are usually left to sit quietly in the treatment room for 15 to 30 minutes after all needles are inserted.
Some clinics offer custom herbal preparations, supplementary tui na massage and all-natural product recommendations to round off the treatment. Photo-facial therapy is another technique that may be used to complement the procedure.
Duration: Sessions may last from 30 minutes to upwards of an hour, depending on the individual practitioner's methods and techniques. Initial sessions may last longer, providing ample time for the practitioner to "get to know" their patient, their habits and their ultimate skincare goals.
How Painful Is It?
Cosmetic acupuncture is not intended to be painful, though comfort (or discomfort) levels will vary from patient to patient. Some recipients describe a slight pinching feeling in especially sensitive areas such as the upper lip. Many describe the overall procedure to be highly relaxing, inducing a sense of drowsiness and, at the session's end, restoration.