It happened. That moment that I NEVER thought would happen. All the hypocritical times I’d talk about my mom’s vain sisters and how their crows feet and large pores are some of their sexiest and unique features—from a life of laughter and happiness. But it finally happened to me. The fine lines.
One of the avenues that led me into holistic living was the empowerment of slowing down the aging process with superfoods and herbs, and natural remedies that truly have put me in a better boat than the women in my family that came before me. But throw a freckled, fair skinned Irish girl into the blazing rays of Los Angeles desert sun for ten years, and well fine lines and sun spots are bound to surface.
Enter Dr. Patti Kim. As I see so many of my friend hopping on the botox train, I wanted to see what alternative and natural options I had other than injections. After copious research I was blown away by the whole healing process along with the wonderful age reversing results of cosmetic acupuncture.
So right before the holidays, I completed a five-week, 10 session procedure of cosmetic acupuncture with my go-to naturopath, acupuncturist, and healer Dr. Patti Kim. Within just two sessions my face had already transformed drastically. It was tighter and glowed more with noticeably more even skin tone. By the end of the tenth session, my crows feet had nearly deminished and my skin had certainly lifted. As a full convert, this is certainly something that I will introduce to my future daughters and granddaughters as a preventative measure in their twenties and beyond.
On top of all these vain beauty successes, I had better circulation in my body and my digestion improved. I'm such a firm believer in the magic and complete balance of cosmetic acupuncture--especially through the wisdom and hands of Dr. Patti Kim. So today I asked her to get into it with us.
Can you give us some history and knowledge into the healing world of cosmetic acupuncture and what it is exactly
In Chinese Medicine, the body is a hologram. The face and skin reflect the health of the internal body, emotions and Spirit. In Classical Chinese Medicine, diagnosis of a patient not only involves taking the patient's history, looking at the tongue and feeling the pulse, but it also includes looking at the overall face to assess the patient's "shen" or Spirit. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture balances the body's meridians and organ networks which is then reflected in the face.
What method do you practice and why
I practice a specific type of Cosmetic Acupuncture called Mei Zen. Instead of just targeting specific wrinkles, it is more about overall facial rejuvenation. It will not only help soften lines but improve skin texture, decrease pore size, even skin tone and help with lifting. In addition to anti-aging benefits, it has a global healing effect on the body. The protocol not only uses facial acupuncture points for direct anti-aging effects but utilizes an individualized acupuncture treatment in conjunction with the facial points to help balance meridians and organ systems throughout the body.
What skin types and ages would this treatment benefit
All skin types and ages can benefit from this treatment. Like diet and exercise, everyone will have different results. Some people build muscle and lose fat very quickly from minimal exercise and a few changes to the diet while others have to work a bit harder. It is the same for skin...
It is ideal to start with a round of treatment preventatively in your late 20's and early 30's. When we're young, it's easy to think we're never going to get old or age. It's hard to imagine our face with fine lines, a few more wrinkles and bit more sagging. There's a Chinese proverb (I'm paraphrasing) that says trying to heal a disease once you're already sick is like trying to dig a well once you're already thirsty. Preventing wrinkles, sagging, enlarged pores is much much easier than trying to soften wrinkles once they've already formed.
With that said, anyone of any age can benefit from this treatment and will see results.
Does it possess other healing benefits than just topical and cosmetic
Absolutely. What I love about this treatment is that it's not about exclusively treating the face. It doesn't compartmentalize the face away from the body like so many beauty treatments and more invasive procedures. It is centered around healing the body as a whole and that doing so, reflects in the skin and face.
I will confess that when I first studied this system of Acupuncture and technique, I was a bit hesitant to incorporate it into my practice because it felt superficial somehow or not like "real medicine." Keep in mind, I was also in my late 20's/early 30's and I was one of those women who couldn't imagine herself aging and swore that I would age gracefully and would feel 100% ok with the changes I saw in my face and body. Well now, nearly a decade later, I realize I AM ok with aging but I still want to optimize my health and look as youthful as possible by being balanced and from an inner light that shines forth.
I know everyone can relate to seeing someone who suddenly looks beautiful and youthful from just having taken a vacation or having left a depleting job or relationship or from eating more vegetables. It just looks different from what make-up or surgery achieves. Cosmetic Acupuncture works in a similar way by balancing the body from within.
Keep in mind, there is no one system of medicine that works for everyone and there is no singular beauty protocol that works and resonates for everyone. And just the way I work all the time with Internists, Endocrinologists and Gastroenterologists to provide the best care for my patients, a woman's beauty regimen does not have to be exclusively based in Naturopathic/Chinese Medicine. It's just different. I have some women who still work with their Plastic Surgeons and other's who don't want to go within 10 feet of botox or lasers.
How often do you recommend one gets the treatment
The protocol is rather strict. Due to the way collagen and elastin regenerate, it is necessary to follow the protocol of 2 x week for 5 weeks for a total of 10 treatments.
The biggest spiritual and physical impact you’ve seen it have on a patient
Even though we're working on the face, due to the body acupuncture point protocol, I've seen women's menstrual cramps improve, anxiety get better or resolve altogether, digestion improve and countless other benefits besides their face looking younger and more vibrant.
Can you recommend any herbs, specific foods, or regimes that might also help one to reach their goals deep and faster in combination with C.A.
It's hard to say without doing an individualized assessment. But everyone can benefit from an Anti Inflammatory Diet to not only reduce inflammation but also prevent breakdown of collagen. Alcohol and sugar are two of the biggest culprits for breaking down collagen and creating more inflammation and dehydration. Depending on the patient, we may focus more on tonifying and nourishing blood or reducing heat or actually giving the body MORE heat if the patient has a cold constitution. It is very individualized. That is the beauty as well as sometimes, the frustration of this medicine. There's never one pat answer that works for everyone.
It's not part of the Facial Acupuncture treatment protocol, but I often work with patients separate from the protocol to work on deeper health issues through a personalized treatment plan that may include Homeopathy, Nutrition, Nutraceuticals, Western and Chinese botanicals and sometimes Bio Identical hormones.
Any other cool facts and closing notes we should know
We think about Cosmetic Acupuncture for beauty and anti-aging purposes but it's also quite helpful for patients who have suffered Bell's Palsy or neurological disorders/strokes that have resulted in partial facial paralysis. It is also great for skin discolorations and acne.
For more information or to book an appointment with Patti, visit here.