Ancient Chinese aesthetics have been around for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In the 1990s, facial acupuncture became popular in China, Japan and Korea and rose in popularity in the Western countries as well due to its holistic and natural approach. TCM aesthetics emphasises on supporting the whole body and focuses on nourishing the skin from the inside out using techniques including facial acupuncture, gua sha and jade rolling.
- Local Effect
Fine needles as thin as hair are inserted into specific points on the face to create micro-trauma in the skin. These controlled small wounds trigger fibroblast production. Fibroblasts are responsible for making collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans (hyaluronic acid) – which are all “healers” of the skin and are essential in creating plumper, firmer and hydrated skin.
- Holistic Approach
Skin health is dependent on the overall health of the body. Acupuncture on the body points helps to bring essential building blocks to skin cells by regulating digestion and stress levels. This will ensure adequate nutrients, blood flow and lymphatic drainage goes to the face.
- Balance Face Symmetry
Tension on big muscles such as the neck, shoulders and jaw muscles can cause the face to be unbalanced. Releasing those tension by targeting body acupuncture points and reaching to the muscle layer can help to balance the face symmetry.
Facial Acupuncture Benefits
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Gives complexion a fresher glow
- Gives a more harmonious and balanced look
- Reduces scar tissue
- Reduces puffy eyes, face and body
- Lifts and tones sagging muscles and skin
Facial Gua Sha
Other than facial acupuncture, gua sha and jade rolling are also used for TCM aesthetics. Both gua sha and jade rolling deal with circulatory stagnation for those muscles and meridians. Think of it as a connective tissue massage that helps to lift and open up the energy of the face.
Facial gua sha involves running a flat handheld tool along the face. Unlike the body gua sha, the pressure ranges from light to medium and does not create red marks. Gua sha is not just about gliding the tool all over your face randomly. By using the correct pressure and following the direction of the meridians, gua sha can help to work deeper into the muscles and fascia than by using fingers alone.
Jade rolling is another facial massage technique that involves using a paint roller looking tool. It is usually made from jade or other natural gemstones such as rose quartz. Light pressure is applied and rolled from the centre of the face in an upward and outward motion. Regular jade rolling can help to encourage drainage to reduce puffiness, tone slackening facial muscles and calm your skin.
What to Expect During TCM Aesthetics Treatments
The session will start with a detailed consultation and checking of the tongue and pulse. The treatment will begin with acupuncture on the face and body for 30 minutes. Once the needles are removed, relaxing facial gua sha and jade rolling will be done to complete the session. Total treatment time is 60 minutes.
Facial acupuncture is suitable for most people. It is not suitable for those with any open wounds, severe active acne, skin infections or bleeding disorders, and for those who undergo botox, fillers or abrasive facial treatments recently.
Acupuncture treatments work cumulatively, meaning that the effects build off from the previous treatment. Therefore, 10 sessions of weekly acupuncture are recommended for optimum results. After that, treatments are recommended to be done every 4 weeks for maintenance.