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Can Facial Acupuncture make you look younger?

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

Facial Acupuncture, also known as Cosmetic Acupuncture, Facial Rejuvenation or Aesthetic Acupuncture is a natural non-invasive anti-aging treatment, becoming more popular to cosmetic injectables, it stimulates the bodies natural healing processes and increases circulation to make the face brighter, plumper and clearer, reducing acne, wrinkles and skin discolouration.

The treatment includes acupuncture, gua sha, gentle (non-marking) facial cupping, facial rolling, and red light stimulation in addition to full body acupuncture, which is important to ensure the whole body is supporting the process and that the energy is not being congested in the face.

Want to know more? Lets start with a brief overview of the face and aging process.

Younger skin is full and plump with very fine to no wrinkles. The early signs of aging begin at:

Stage 1 - Ages 25 to 35 Fine wrinkles appear on the forehead, and lines of expressions appear – laughing, smiling, frowning, crow's feet, and raising the eyebrows. Collagen and elastin production slows down and elasticity reduces slowly over time. Acne scarring and discoloration impede skin quality and radiance diminishes.

Stage 2 – Ages 35 to 50 This stage is marked by more visible wrinkles around the eyes and forehead. Nasolabial folds in the face are more prominent and marionette lines appear on the outer edges of the lips. Eye changes occur with fine lines around the eyes at rest, eye bags, and possible darkening of the area under the eye. Cheeks and the lower jaw may sag due to loss of volume. Signs of sun damage are more prominent. Pores on the nose appear larger and fine blood vessels may appear on the cheeks and nasal area. The skin may appear thinner.

Stage 3 – Ages 50 to 60 Visible wrinkles on the entire face are present at rest. The skin around the eyes is loose and eye bags more prominent. There is a significant volume loss due to diminished elastin resulting in the skin looking thinner and hallow with a possible change to facial contours.

Stage 4 – Ages 70+ Very deep and prominent wrinkles are visible with deeper nasolabial folds causing cheeks to sag around the chin area. Loose eye skin is visible with a collection of wrinkles around the eyes and cheeks. Sun damage is more noticeable on the face and body. (Torgerson, 2019)

What is cosmetic acupuncture?

Cosmetic acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the motor points of muscles in the face, responsible for facial expression. These needles create microscopic needle-point marks or “wounds” in the skin. The body then responds to this by stimulating elastin and creating collagen bridges between each pinpoint. (Tortora & Derrickson, 2012, p. 146,169-173)

This mechanism of action may restore a more natural-looking youthful appearance. Using additional body acupuncture points makes this a holistic treatment as it activates the body’s natural healing mechanism correcting underlying imbalances contributing to aging. Furthermore, the use of Gua Sha, red light therapy, facial rolling, and facial cupping are added to enhance the treatment.

What is Gua Sha and why use it?

‘Gua’ means to scrape/scratch and ‘sha’ is red and when used on other parts of the body, the aim is to obtain a petechial reaction as part of the treatment. However, when used on the face, this type of reaction is not the required result, instead, a gentle stroke of the tool is used to smooth out fine lines and relax tight muscles; gently break up adhesions and detox the skin by draining lymph. (Pritchard, 2010, pp. 113–115)

Facial cupping and why it is used

Traditionally we use heat in our cupping but the face cupping is more gentle and without heat. The special type of cup used brings blood circulation to the skin and muscles; stimulates blood to the tissues to stimulate collagen and elastin production; increases fibroblast activity; smooths fine lines and relaxes tight muscles and moves out stagnant lymph, fluids, and toxins. For most clients, this is the best part of the treatment (Pritchard, 2010, pp. 111–112).

Explanation of Red Light Therapy

Red light phototherapy is the application of light energy to tissue to obtain therapeutic benefits. The energy is used to improve cellular performance. Phototherapy is known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties and has a variety of applications across many medical fields. Research has shown that phototherapy can: increase circulation, accelerate tissue repair, kill acne bacteria, decrease inflammation, improve skin tone, texture, and clarity, and ease muscle and joint pain, stiffness, spasm, and arthritis. (Chung, et al. 2012)

Radiant Chi is excited to offer Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture to its services, if you want to find out more, please contact us, we are more than happy to discuss your treatment goals in person, online, or over the phone.

To make an appointment, you can book online with Natalie Bailey or contact directly.


Al, H. C. et. (2012). The nuts and bolts of low-level laser (light) therapy. Annals of Biomedical Engineering,40(2), 516–533. Calderhead, R. G., & Vasily, D. B. (2016). Low Level Light Therapy with Light-Emitting Diodes for the Aging Face. Clinics in Plastic Surgery, 43(3), 541–550. Celluma. (2016). Biophotas Illuminating Vitality. Pritchard, S. (2010). Tui na A manual of chinese massage therapy. Edinburgh. Sawhney, M., & Hamblin, R. (2017). Low level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) for cosmetic medicine and dermatology. Wellman Centrer for Photomedicine Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, 2, 2. Retrieved from Solar, E. (2018). Dual Effect of Photobiomodulation on Melasma:11(4), 28–34. Torgerson, D. C. (2019). The different stages of the aging face. Tortora, G. J., & Derrickson, B. (2012). A & P principles of Anatomy(12th ed.). USA.

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