Acupunc­ture: The all-in-one so­lu­tion

BRINDA GILL helps you get over your fear of nee­dles and sub­mit to a fa­cial acupunc­ture pro­gramme for healthy skin in­side-out.

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For many of us, merely the thought of hav­ing a dozen nee­dles stuck into our face in or­der to im­prove com­plex­ion is surely a bit un­nerv­ing. Yet, acupunc­ture spe­cial­ists re­as­sure that as­so­ci­at­ing pain with fa­cial acupunc­ture is a myth that needs to be ban­ished. And they as­sure us that acupunc­ture has vis­i­ble long-term ben­e­fits that man­i­fests in im­proved over­all health and healthy com­plex­ion. Acupunc­ture is an an­cient heal­ing tech­nique that in­volves in­sert­ing very fine, ster­ile nee­dles su­per­fi­cially, and at spe­cific points in the body, to stim­u­late the body’s self-heal­ing process. The tech­nique has been prac­tised in China for over 3,000 years and is one of the es­tab­lished prac­tices of tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine.

“Tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine states that the body has two op­po­site yet com­ple­men­tary and in­sep­a­ra­ble forces called yin and yang, which need to be bal­anced for the body to be healthy. An im­bal­ance in th­ese forces leads to the slow­ing down or block­age of chi, the uni­ver­sal en­ergy that flows through merid­i­ans or chan­nels in the body. This in turn man­i­fests as health is­sues,” says Dr. Nisheeta Bar­o­dekar, Mum­bai-based home­opath, acupunc­tur­ist and cos­me­tol­o­gist. She ex­plains that th­ese block­ages can be ad­dressed by acupunc­ture as there are over 3,000 acu­points in the body that are lo­cated on the merid­i­ans. In­sert­ing very fine nee­dles on spe­cific acu­points eases the block­ages, stim­u­lates the ner­vous sys­tem and the body’s nat­u­ral heal­ing mech­a­nism. The prin­ci­ples of acupunc­ture are ap­plied to ad­dress a va­ri­ety of ail­ments of the body (si­nusi­tis, hyper­ten­sion, mi­graines, sci­at­ica, sprains) and mind (stress), as well as the skin, in­clud­ing prob­lems such as acne, pig­men­ta­tion, hy­per-pig­men­ta­tion, scars, puffi­ness, un­der-eye bags, sag­ging skin and wrin­kles. Fa­cial acupunc­ture of­fers sev­eral ben­e­fits. “Fa­cial acupunc­ture helps in im­prov­ing blood and lymph cir­cu­la­tion, which in­creases the sup­ply of oxy­gen and nu­tri­ents to the skin, and the re­moval of tox­ins that in turn im­proves the health and ap­pear­ance of the com­plex­ion. It reg­u­lates the pH of the skin, thus in­creas­ing the pro­duc­tion of se­bum for those who have dry skin and re­duc­ing the pro­duc­tion of se­bum for those who have oily skin. Fur­ther­more, it stim­u­lates the pro­duc­tion of col­la­gen and elastin. Un­like other pro­ce­dures wherein sup­ple­men­tary col­la­gen is in­jected into the skin, acupunc­ture stim­u­lates the body to pro­duce col­la­gen nat­u­rally. Thus, it helps im­prove mus­cle tone, re­duces the ap­pear­ance of wrin­kles and re­laxes the fa­cial mus­cles, re­sult­ing in a more youth­ful ap­pear­ance. It is a safe and gen­tle treat­ment for healthy skin and goes to the root of the ail­ment to of­fer a long-term so­lu­tion,” says Dr Bar­o­dekar. A fa­cial acupunc­ture treat­ment typ­i­cally in­volves meet­ing with the spe­cial­ist, who spends time to un­der­stand the client’s lifestyle and con­cerns, and then draws up an in­di­vid­ual treat­ment pro­gram. “Each client’s fa­cial con­cerns may stem from dif­fer­ent rea­sons. For ex­am­ple, one client may have acne due to in­cor­rect lifestyle or in­cor­rect diet, an­other due to dan­druff, and the third due to hor­monal im­bal­ances. Once the rea­son for the skin prob­lem is iden­ti­fied, the acupunc­tur­ist de­cides where ex­actly the nee­dles should be in­serted and the num­ber of nee­dles to be used dur­ing a ses­sion.” The in­ser­tion of nee­dles is fol­lowed by the ap­pli­ca­tion of a very low fre­quency pul­sat­ing mi­crocur­rent—the mod­ern-day ver­sion of hand-rotating of the nee­dles that was done in times past—to stim­u­late the acu­points. Each ses­sion lasts for about 15-20 min­utes. A client is asked to take ses­sions on al­ter­nate days, and the num­ber of ses­sions re­quired de­pends on the type and sever­ity of the skin con­cern. The nee­dles in­serted on the fa­cial skin may also ben­e­fit other organs, such as the liver, thus im­prov­ing over­all health. Along a sim­i­lar vein, nee­dles may be in­serted in other parts of the body to im­prove fa­cial skin. Fa­cial acupunc­ture is suit­able for all age groups and skin types. It of­fers long-last­ing ben­e­fits with no side-ef­fects. The treat­ment may ap­pear su­per­fi­cial, how­ever, its ben­e­fits are deep.

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