Facial Revitalisation

Facial revitalisation acupuncture (FRA) may sound like a modern invention but, as with all aspects of acupuncture practice, it is based on the basic tenets of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  In the media and academic courses teaching TCM, there appears to be a growing interest placed upon the subject of how FRA works from a scientific point of view.

Mary-Elizabeth Wakefield (who teaches in the USA) was featured in 2007 in The New York Times “Style” section, with the title of the article being “Hold the Chemicals, Bring on the Needles” and the piece presented FRA as a healthy and safe alternative method of dealing with sagging, wrinkled skin without the need for plastic surgery.   According to Wakefield, the skin of the face (and indeed, the whole body) reflects our state of health, identity, ancestral lineage and our age, and also relays externally information about a person on the psycho-spiritual as well as that physical level.  This idea contrasts to the Western viewpoint of skin as disposable commodity. 

Wakefield says it “draws upon ancient Eastern wisdom related to longevity, beauty and balance.  The philosophy of Eastern medicine regards the face and body as being intrinsically linked; this is because the energy meridians of acupuncture, while arising in the lower regions (the trunk and legs), traverse the entire body, travelling through the face and arriving at the top of the head.  Consequently, in addressing any disharmony within the body with acupuncture treatments, the face is, by definition, affected in a beneficial manner”. 

Since muscle groupings are worked on as well the acupuncture points, the treatment is postulated to work through the toning and tightening action of the muscles.  Needling also “stimulates blood and circulation, which improves facial colour”.  A study conducted in 1996 with 300 participants reported improvements in 90% of those taking part.


© Lesley Reed 2018 email:lesley@reedacupuncture.co.uk