I tried it: The acupunc­ture facelift

Yoga Journal - - Live Well - MEGHAN RAB­BITT

A FEW MONTHS AGO I turned 38, and along with a new­found com­fort I feel in my skin, there’s a new posse of wrin­kles I see on my skin. And while I’m not quite ready to ask my der­ma­tol­o­gist to shoot a neu­ro­toxin into my face to erase my laugh lines—it just seems to go against the art of ag­ing grace­fully I see so many women, and par­tic­u­larly yo­gis, nail­ing these days— I’ve got noth­ing against get­ting rid of them nat­u­rally. Which is how I found my­self hap­pily let­ting De­bra Kuhn Ger­son, a li­censed acupunc­tur­ist and owner of Botan­ica Well­ness Sanc­tu­ary in Den­ver, turn my face into a pin­cush­ion as she per­formed cos­metic acupunc­ture (a.k.a. the acupunc­ture facelift).

Here’s how it worked: Ger­son placed ster­il­ized, thin-as-a-strand-of-hair acupunc­ture nee­dles all over my face and scalp, lift­ing my skin up­ward be­fore in­sert­ing each nee­dle in order to “train” my fa­cial mus­cles to lift rather than droop. The nee­dles also caused mi­cro­trauma in my skin, which sounds a lot scarier than it is: Those tiny in­juries ac­tu­ally in­crease blood flow and the pro­duc­tion of wrin­kle-re­duc­ing col­la­gen and elastin in the area. Next, Ger­son placed nee­dles in other points on my feet, legs, hands, arms, and belly to re­bal­ance my en­ergy, boost my over­all circulation, and help me feel in­stantly rested. I barely felt the 100-plus nee­dle pricks. In fact, I dropped into a deep, 45-minute Savasana on Ger­son’s ta­ble—and when I got up and looked at my com­plex­ion in a mag­ni­fy­ing mir­ror, I couldn’t spot a sin­gle hole or red mark. I walked out of Ger­son’s of­fice feel­ing like a mil­lion bucks. My rosy skin tone was more even than usual, and I looked as rested as if I’d just had eight hours of shut eye. The next day, a friend I hadn’t seen in a while asked me if I’d just been on va­ca­tion; I looked that re­laxed. I’ll ad­mit it: Within a few days, I was back to scru­ti­niz­ing my crow’s feet. Ger­son did warn me that while one $160 treat­ment can make a pretty sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence, I’d see bet­ter, more last­ing re­sults if I did sev­eral ap­point­ments a week for two to three weeks. (A pack of 12 takes the cost down to $100 a pop.) I haven’t been back. But it’s nice to know there’s an ef­fec­tive—if fleet­ing—nat­u­ral op­tion the next time a dif­fer­ent kind of nee­dle tempts me.

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