|Acupuncture needles. Image source here.|
Yesterday, I saw a Naturopathic Doctor give a patient a cosmetic acupuncture treatment. Cosmetic/facial acupuncture is a less-invasive way of reducing wrinkles, improving skin tone, and lifting the skin, for a more youthful-looking complexion. It is the more natural option to Botox injections. Here in Toronto, cosmetic acupuncture is very popular amongst aging ladies (maybe amongst men too? Not too sure).
The treatment involves about fifty to one-hundred needles being inserted into the face (they are inserted mostly along wrinkle lines). Then, the patient is left to relax for 15 to 30 minutes while the needles 'do their work'. The needles are thought to stimulate blood flow to the face (rejuvenating it) and improve collagen synthesis (more collagen = fewer wrinkles). I'm sure the needles do more, I just haven't learned facial/cosmetic acupuncture yet, so I don't know the theory. I hope to learn this technique in my fourth year at CCNM by taking a continuing education course. Note: this technique/therapy is not a part of my program. CCNM teaches primary health care management, diagnosis, and treatments; beauty procedures do not fall under the umbrella of primary health care :P. Nevertheless, CCNM facilitates the course on a weekend for an additional fee (i.e. it is not covered in the regular curriculum, nor is it covered by regular tuition).
If you are scared of needles, or worried about needles entering your face, never fear! The needles used for facial acupuncture are even smaller than standard needles (they are circled in purple in the image above; note how they are the smallest needles shown). They are so small, you probably won't even feel them, and you won't be covered with 'puncture holes' after the treatment.
If you are interested in cosmetic/facial acupuncture, talk to your Naturopathic Doctor, or seek out an Acupuncturist or Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine.