In the past few years, many celebrities have expressed their love for facial acupuncture. Most recently, Lady Gaga was snapped with an assortment of needles poking out of her face.
But what, exactly, are the benefits of facial acupuncture? And is it something you should try? Here’s everything you need to know about this popular treatment and more.
What Is Facial Acupuncture?
Facial acupuncture is pretty much exactly how it sounds – acupuncture for your face.
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. It originated in China, before spreading across Asia and eventually to the west. Since the 20th century, it has grown in popularity and many people now use it for a wide variety of reasons.
Acupuncture involves inserting tiny needles into the skin at specific points. The idea is to influence the flow of a substance called qi. Most people translate the word qi as ‘energy’ and it is vital to our health and wellbeing.
Qi flows around the body in channels called meridians. In order for us to remain healthy, qi needs to reach every part of us from head to toe. If it becomes blocked for any reason, this is when illness occurs.
But qi isn’t just about internal health. It plays a role in our external appearance too. Someone with a strong flow of qi will have a glowing complexion with clear and healthy skin. On the other hand, someone whose qi is not flowing well may have dull and lifeless looking skin. This is where facial acupuncture comes in.
Facial Acupuncture vs. Cosmetic Acupuncture
The terms ‘facial acupuncture’ and ‘cosmetic acupuncture’ are sometimes used interchangeably. However, there are some subtle differences in their meanings.
Facial acupuncture really means any acupuncture that is carried out on the face. This could be for cosmetic reasons or to treat a particular condition. Conversely, cosmetic acupuncture is just as the name sounds. It is intended to improve the appearance of the skin.
People often use cosmetic acupuncture as a natural alternative to treatments like Botox or face lifts. It is supposed to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, lift sagging skin, and reduce the outward signs of aging.
Although cosmetic acupuncture typically involves some points on the face, it also usually includes some body points. This is because acupuncturists believe that beauty comes from deep within, and that a healthy body will lead to radiant looking skin.
Facial acupuncture is a little different. This is primarily, because it focuses on the acupuncture points of the face.
Benefits of Facial Acupuncture
Like cosmetic acupuncture, facial acupuncture can help to reduce the signs of aging. Many people use it to improve the outward appearance of their skin.
However, facial acupuncture can have several other uses too. It could be helpful for people with medical conditions that affect their face or head. Some of the conditions that facial acupuncture may help with include:
- Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis)
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
- Dental problems
- Sinus problems
- Stress and anxiety
- Skin problems
The fact is that there are many different acupuncture points on the face. These include points on the Stomach, Large Intestine, Small Intestine, Gallbladder, Bladder, and Triple Burner channels. The Conception Vessel and Governing Vessel also both have points on the face. This makes it a valuable area for treating many different types of issues.
People often worry that having facial acupuncture will be painful. While it is true that the face is more sensitive than other areas of the body, there are things you can do to minimize any discomfort. First, ask your acupuncturist to use extra thin needles when performing acupuncture on your face. You can also distract yourself by squeezing or massaging another part of your body.
Facial Acupressure to Try at Home
There are many great points to choose from on the face. This means that it is one of the best areas to carry out a self-acupressure treatment. Acupressure works in a similar way to acupuncture, but rather than using needles, all you need is your hands!
Here are some of the most common facial acupressure points that you can try at home:
Large Intestine 20 – Best for Blocked Sinuses
You can find this point easily on either side of the nose. It is located in the creases between your nose and mouth, level with the flare of your nostrils.
If you are feeling congested and finding it hard to breathe, try pressing firmly on these points with the very tips of your forefingers. Hold for 1–2 minutes and repeat as often as necessary.
Small Intestine 19 – Best for Jaw Pain
This point is located right over the temporomandibular joint and is great for relieving stiffness and pain in the jaw. You can find it just in front of your ear by opening and closing your mouth a few times. You should feel a small hollow appear when your mouth is open wide.
Press this point firmly but gently to relieve any localized pain. If it feels tender, reduce the pressure slightly and carry on. Massage for 1–2 minutes on both sides.
Tai Yang – Best for Headaches
Tai Yang is located right on the temple. It is great for relieving headaches, especially tension headaches or migraines. Many people find that when they have a headache, they are naturally drawn to massaging this point.
Tai Yang can feel quite tender, so it is best to stimulate it very gently. Work in small circular movements and massage for 1–2 minutes each side.
Yin Tang – Best for Anxiety
Yin Tang is another great facial point and its main use is relieving stress and anxiety. Luckily, it is very easy to find as it is located right between the inner ends of the eyebrows.
Any time you feel overwhelmed, use your thumb or forefinger to press gently but firmly on the point for 1–2 minutes. Combine this with some slow, deep breaths for an extra calming effect.