Hello, welcome to another edition of To the
Point, produced and so generously by the American Acupuncture Council. I’m your host today,
Virginia Doran. I’m gonna be speaking on my specialty, facial rejuvenation acupuncture,
specifically guidelines for practicing this. Without any delay, let’s get into it. Guidelines
for practicing facial rejuvenation acupuncture. You want to always pre-screen your patient
for any possible contraindications. I would do this on the phone with people so that there’s
no misunderstanding when they come in. You want to give your patient realistic expectations.
You don’t want to promise the moon, it’s always better to understate what the [inaudible 00:02:07]
effects will be. In time, after you’ve taken several people through a treatment series,
you’ll be better equipped to tell them more realistically what that person can expect.
You don’t want to overstate things ever. I would say that as a practitioner, so that
you know, the effects tend to be that you might take five to 15 years off of somebody’s
face. I’ve seen it 20, but that’s not so typical. In middle age it might more typically be 10
years, but you can’t promise that. There’s no way to be able to really guarantee people,
and sometimes the effects is not only based on your technique, but their lifestyle. On that initial phone call, before their first
office visit, you want to forewarn them, or have your staff forewarn them about the possibility
of bruising on the face. Now, in a previous show I talked about bruising and how to prevent
it as well as a different show on contraindications. Look those up to be sure you see them before
you practice any of this. Bruising is the biggest challenge, and the
face is so highly vascular, and as we age, there’s more chance of bruising as the vascular
integrity becomes compromised. Be sure and know what you’re doing, and how to prevent
and treat bruising to minimize any of that, and also for your own sake because bruising
is not good advertising. Needling has to be done very carefully on
the face to avoid bruising and any adverse reactions. I really recommend using a very
fine gauge, very, very thin and high quality needles. You want a good, smooth tip. Of course,
with something like a silicone coating, you’re going to make it far less painful for people.
The thing about the needle tips is there was some research done in Korea by a university
there looking at needles under a microscope, and they found that .5%, a half of a percent
of the expensive Japanese needles with the silicone coating had the coating come off
under a microscope, whereas the inexpensive Chinese and Korean needles had up to 88% of
those needles were shown to have the coating come off. I know people are nervous about a coating
on a needle, but silicone is used in medicine and it’s a lot less likely to cause a reaction
than some of the other coatings that almost every needle has a coating on it, and what
I see, if people use the cheap needles, that sometimes it leaves a black mark on the face
temporarily from the coating that some people will have an allergic reaction to that. I
can’t emphasize enough how important it is to use good quality needles. In some things like exercise, there’s an idea
that no pain no gain, that’s not true with acupuncture, in fact, the inverse may be true.
The punctual MRI imaging that research has been going on at Harvard has shown that when
there is a painful needle insertion, there is less endorphins produced in the brain,
and less of a healing response produced in the brain. My Japanese acupuncture mentor
that I was so fortunate to be in an apprentice with for five years before she passed, [Yuriko
Yamaguchi 00:06:07]. She always said that that [inaudible 00:06:12] arm, that dull,
aching sensation that you might feel with a needle insertion, that’s not the qi, the
qi is much more subtle than that. I’d always say to her, “Well, what about this
strategy? What about this and that?” She’s like “Don’t worry about it, just painless
insertion.” I was a student, and had a head full of ideas. I was very relieved to see
that that was so important and that she had taught me the gentle Japanese needle insertion.
That’s something I recommend everybody, no matter how you’re thinking, TCMYs, or Korean
acupuncture five element, what have you, medical acupuncture, a gentle insertion I think for
almost everything will serve you better. Something I always teach in my workshops, because you
don’t want, especially if you’re doing it on the face, you want a very gentle insertion. I would say that number five, a course of
treatment is generally 12 sessions. You could say 10 to 15, and you could do it once or
twice a week, but I think it is more efficacious if you do it twice a week, or at least twice
a week for the first three weeks, because the effects of any kind of acupuncture are
cumulative, and you’re going to see that the effects will last longer, they’ll last in
between treatments better if you’re doing it more frequently in the beginning until
the spleen is tonified and can hold the effects of what you’re doing. Actually, there’s been
some research that John McDonald wrote about with the Acupuncture Now Foundation with Matthew
Bauer, about that the frequency of treatment for acupuncture in general, what they call
the acupuncture dose in a lot of the research where they showed really significant, statistically
and clinical, results and long lasting results was done twice a week for six to eight weeks. Of course, it could depend on the condition
and the individual, but that seems to be a good treatment frequency. In fact, in China
they often treat people every day. We may not have the time, or the money, or the ability
to do that here in the West, so twice a week, if you can, is the best. You’ll figure out
what works for both your schedule and your patients and their budget of course. Now, I would say for number six, often you
can derive relief of preexisting conditions. Some special health conditions related to
other parts of the body may be treated during a facial rejuvenation acupuncture treatment
series. For example, if somebody had chronic loose stools, and they were sagging prematurely,
you have to fix their spleen. Their Chinese spleen, their large intestine so that they
will not be compromised that way, and so that the results of the lifting techniques, and
things you’re doing for the sagging are going to be lasting and effective. Of course we’re
always treating constitutionally. Sometimes there’s a problem on, say, somebody
has back pain and they come to you for this treatment series, it may be not so good to
do it at the same time of that treatment, you could do it in a different treatment,
because when they lay face down, if you’re treating their back, then it makes their face
look all puffy and everything, just like after you have a massage with your face down. Sometimes
you can use distal points where it’s gonna help something back related or joint related,
but generally I like to keep the focus on what you’re doing with this. Many people say that their hearing has improved,
their eyesight, their thyroid balance, whether it’s hyper or hypo have all improved from
the facial rejuvenation acupuncture series. Rosacea has disappeared without even doing
anything except for that. It’s really so many other things, the hormonal balance improved,
you name it. Because we’re of course using constitutional points. In general, I would
say, number seven, you want to avoid blood vessels in general on the face when you’re
needling the face. Then, of course, I found that you can bleed broken capillaries. That
could be done at the same time, but not … I would do it after the treatment when the blood
is well into the face, and because it’s a bit of a painful technique, the bleeding and
the broken capillaries, doing it after. Anyway, maybe another show we’ll talk about
that. You don’t want to needle into an ulcerated, irritated, or bruised area. You could needle
contralaterally, you could needle somewhere else along that meridian perhaps, but not
directly into those things. Also you don’t want to needle into a wart or a mole that’s
pigmented. The Chinese have all sorts of techniques for this, [fire 00:11:43] needles on moles
and things. That’s another issue. But as a general guideline for practicing facial rejuvenation
acupuncture, don’t needle into warts and pigmented moles. Now, I would say you want to keep your mind,
your awareness at the end of the needle to feel the appropriate tissue level to insert.
For some skin conditions, especially with Japanese acupuncture, you would needle shallowly,
even on a point like large intestine four to effect the way level more. It can be helpful
also to hold the skin taut if you’re inserting an intradermal. You hold it taut in the direction
of the wrinkle or the scar that you’re, or direction of [inaudible 00:12:33] that you
are hitting on there. The acupuncture needles should be removed slowly and gently for this
purpose. Now, I know about theories of tonification
and [inaudible 00:12:43] with a quick insertion and a slow removal, and a slow insertion and
a fast removal. You can always do the tonification with your intention, or dispersal if the case
may be, but for this purpose, it gives a chance for the blood vessels to seal up so that there’s
less bleeding and bruising. It’s never a gusher anyway, but you don’t want to take a chance
of bruising something, especially on the face. You have your cotton ball, and cue tips on
hand, you press down on the spot with a sterile cotton ball or cue tip and using just a little
firmness and maybe having ice on hand, and any anti bruising agents, which, again, you
can see the show on bruising for more information on that. When do you see results? People want to know,
patients want to know, of course. Rightly so. Usually you’ll see something as early
as the first treatment. It’s generally around mid treatment series, the sixth or seventh
session that the results are more dramatic and lasting, meaning if they had to take off
a couple weeks because they were going on vacation or something, that their results
wouldn’t flip back, and that you’re really starting to see the potential of what you
can achieve with this. In some exceptionally difficult cases, the course of treatment may
need to be repeated again. I haven’t had to do it again, but I’ve extended it with a few
people where the results were … It was still improving, we hadn’t reached a plateau. For
instance, age spots. They generally lighten and shrink up gradually, so I had a patient
who had a serious issue with age spots, and we were still getting results with the 12
sessions, so we went on for another half dozen sessions, because this was something important
to her, and got some really great results. In China, they tend to do a series of 15 and
then another series of 15, and another series of 15. I don’t think if you’re doing a very
involved, advanced, specific treatment like what I’m advocating that that’s necessary,
or certainly not close together. How long do the effects last? You can’t really predict
it, even with cosmetic surgery they say “Well, it depends on lifestyle, and the age of a
person,” and it’s the same with this. But, so that you have a general idea, I would say
two to five years with maintenance sessions. Now, I have seen it last a lot longer with
people who continued the maintenance, but if somebody doesn’t have a good lifestyle
habits, or they have some big trauma in their life, then it may not be longer than those
amounts. The maintenance sessions are the key, and
they can be done once a month, or they can be done seasonally. I would say to patients,
“Oh, you wanna do this to maintain the results, and maintain your health” because my emphasis
was on the health. They would say “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.” Everybody talks wellness
and prevention, but people don’t want to necessarily take the time and money to always do that.
I think that if you … What is important to them is their looks, but also their wallet.
If you emphasize to them that this is gonna protect both their health and their investments
so that it lasts longer, so they get the maximum effect from it. That seems to get through
to people a little bit more than their health. Some general guidelines of the order of insertion
and removal, I have a much more detailed order than this that I’m gonna go into, but this
can give you general guidelines for doing it. I start with the ear needles, and I start
with them because they are going to release a lot of endorphins and make the face slightly
anesthetized so people tolerate it better, and also when they’re flooded with those endorphins,
they’re very relaxed on the table, they’re probably even asleep by the time you get to
their face. Then, I follow that with points on the feet to ground the energy. So, gall
bladder 41, first body point in after the ears, and then it’s gonna be the last body
point out so that you always have that gall bladder cheat anchored to the end to avoid
dizziness and headaches, and it works great. Points on the the feet are followed by points
on the legs, the trunk, the arms, the hands, and then the face points are inserted last,
in fact, I do the scalp points before the face points because you need to be able to,
the protocol I’m teaching, do certain things on the face, and then going up to the scalp
without having needles in the face, which would encumber your ability to do these specific
techniques. So, when you’re removing the needles, you want to have your anti bruising agents
on hand, your Traumeel tablets, the trauma care, whatever it’s called now, the helichrysum
italicum hydrosol, the helichrysum italicum essential oil, and possibly ice to prevent
any bruising, but again, you can watch the show on preventing and treating bruising. When removing the needles, you want to remove
them first from the ears, because they’ve been in the longest and they’re also sticking
out a little bit for taking things out of the scalp and the face, then the head, then
the arms, especially large intestine four and lung seven because they are bringing a
lot of qi to the head, and the face, the skin, the [inaudible 00:19:07] level and so they’re
good to take out early on so that it’s like unplugging the treatment at that point. Then
taking them out, the ears, the head, the arms, the legs, the feet last. Gall bladder 41,
last point out. I don’t recommend trying for da-qi on the face itself. Now, doing that
in your practice for other things, that’s fine. I had that Japanese acupuncture mentor
that I mentioned, Yuriko Yamaguchi, and she always said “That’s not the qi, the qi is
much more subtle than that.” I have to found that to be the case. Anyway, because we’re using a lot of needles,
we don’t want a painful insertion, or a [inaudible 00:19:58] da-qi response. People still feel
the effects of the qi profoundly, but that hitting the nerve thing is not comfortable,
and it could be overstimulating with so many needles. It’s nice, number 23, if you needle the back
shu points at some point in the treatment series for the sake balance. Doesn’t have
to be done, but I think it’s a nice thing. You would customize that, of course, for the
person and what they need based on your differential diagnosis. I would do it later in the series,
maybe the ninth or 10th sessions, something like that when your results have stabilized,
and you could do those shu points, then turn them over and do an abbreviated [inaudible
00:20:47] if time allows, because that way they’re still getting both. If you do an aggressive
energy treatment [inaudible 00:20:56] where they do the shu points on the back the first
treatment, and you don’t treat the face, and I can understand why you wouldn’t want to
do those two things in one treatment when you have that strategy, the aggressive energy
treatment with the [inaudible 00:21:13]. They will be dissatisfied because they’re
not gonna see any difference, and you want them to be able to see some effect right away.
Those are great treatments, but I wouldn’t do that in my initial treatment if I’m doing
the face at the seam time, maybe preceding the treatment series would be my recommendation.
It’s contraindicated, from my point of view, to needle inside the orbital ridge except
for bladder one. I don’t know how that says orbital range, but it’s orbital range. You
know because it bruises so easily. Also, especially just below the ridge, most people aren’t that
precise. They do the orbital ridge here, and the orbital ridge on most people is way higher.
You of course wouldn’t want to risk needling close to the eye. I was always saying, no needling inside the
orbital ridge at all, and then I realized “Oh, bladder one is actually just inside the
ridge,” but that requires specific needle technique, and safety measures. Don’t do it
unless you know how to do it. Needling should be done bilaterally on the face. Now, you
can do ipsilateral, contralateral, whatever you want with the body in your general practice,
but if you want to see the same results, balanced results, you need to treat the face bilaterally.
I have a funny story about this. I had the first publicity thing I did, the TV cameras
were just parked on one side of the patient and the table, and they said “Oh, we’re in
a hurry, can you just do the one side” and I had already put in bilateral body points. I said “Okay, I just treated the one side
where the camera was,” and then time ran out, and they ran out, and they didn’t get to see
the needles or the face after the needles came out, so the patient, because it went
so late, then they had to go back to work, so they got in the mirror, and they said “Oh,
my god, look at the two differences in the size of the face.” If only they caught it
on camera. If you’re trying to do a demonstration for someone to show the difference of the
before and after, that’s a possibility, it’s not something you want to do all the time,
which might imbalance the qi temporarily. For somebody who really needs to see the difference,
sometimes I’ll treat part of the face and then show the patient, if they’re awake, in
the mirror, and then continue with the rest of the face, but they get to see and feel
that difference of the lift. Anyway, that’s what I wanted to say about
some guidelines, there’s some other things, and talking about treatment preparation [inaudible
00:24:14] I’ll cover in another show, but the next show that I’m doing will be Peter
[Debman 00:24:20] speaking more about [inaudible 00:24:23] so don’t miss that. If you’re interested
in workshops, there’s some articles I’ve written on my website, you can follow me on Facebook,
now on Instagram, and then I have these videos and some other things on my YouTube. Hope
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