A conversation with Dr. Kim Peirano about Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture
TTW: Hello Dr. Peirano, introduce yourself and tell us about your specialty Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture.
KP: Yes, I’m Dr. Kim Peirano. I’m a doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine and I see patients here at Tao to Wellness in Berkeley, California and one of my specialties is cosmetic facial acupuncture.
I wanted to give you some information around the treatment so it can help you understand how it works, who it’s right for, who it’s not right for and what to expect during a treatment.
So, cosmetic facial acupuncture is often referred to as an acupuncture facelift. And while this term isn’t completely false because we do see a lot of lifting and rejuvenating during this process. If you’re looking for the results of a surgical facelift or other medical cosmetic procedures like Botox, filler or laser resurfacing, these types of things, then cosmetic acupuncture is probably going to fall short for you.
Now, on the other hand, if you’re looking for a treatment that is going to help you feel like yourself again, help you reconnect with that inner spark that drives you and show that out into the world, bring that glow back, get a little bit of lift in your face, a little bit of softening of those wrinkles you have and also learn how to feel less reactive to them and to the process of aging. Then facial acupuncture is the perfect treatment for you!
TTW: Got it, who else might benefit from this treatment?
KP: It’s also a really great treatment for those of you who are younger and looking to kind of stave off the aging process. Maybe you’re thinking about getting preventative Botox, so coming to facial acupuncture is a really great first step before doing that preventative Botox because we get really great results with younger skin because of your skin’s natural inherent reserves of collagen, elastin, glycosaminoglycans, and all those things that help your skin stay really plump.
TTW: So, what can you expect during a facial acupuncture treatment?
KP: We’re actually going to do a whole regular acupuncture treatment. So we’re going to do a full intake just like you were here for regular acupuncture and go over any and all other complaints you might have. Maybe pain in your body, digestive issues, issues with sleep, hormone imbalances, emotions, stress, everything, because all of those pieces affect the way we actually look in the world. So part of what I love about facial acupuncture is that it’s addressing this piece of underlying factors that are affecting the way our face looks.
You can kind of think about like the face you make when you stub your toe on a table is a pretty wrinkly and stressed looking face. So when we get ourselves out of pain, we get digestion moving again, we’re sleeping better, this is all going to show up on your skin and out in the world. So, a big piece of this treatment is the holistic healing that we do.
Now, once we go your medical history and state of current health, we’re going to talk about your intentions for treatments, I’m actually going to give you a mirror and have you point out the things that you want to address because what I see is not what you see and it’s all about what you see. You’re going to help guide me as to what you want to focus on for this treatment. And then we’re going to just go over the process of the treatment and get you on the table.
TTW: So you’re doing a full body acupuncture treatment and addressing the face as well?
KP: We do full body acupuncture for this treatment and then a directed facial acupuncture treatment, which includes some kind of lift and pinning where we do some needles in the scalp, we do some needles in the face to lift wherever we need, lifting and then some smaller needles into specific wrinkles. What’s happening is the act of the needle in the skin triggers fibroblasts in the connective tissue.
Now, fibroblasts are responsible for healing wounds. So when we needle the skin, that’s technically a wound and fibroblasts are going to be triggered to help heal it. How do they heal it? With collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans. All of these things that make your skin naturally look plump, firm and softened. So, we’re triggering that process and we’re also relaxing muscles that are over engaged. So, when we’re squinting like this, we’re engaging these muscles and we’re reengaging muscles that are losing tension, they’re losing mass. And this is why we get sagging in the skin. So when skin starts to sag, we’re losing mass and tension in our muscles, with acupuncture we are helping re-gauge and balancing the area. So we can do both at the same time, which is really cool.
I call these the four pillars of holistic skincare. So, we’re addressing the muscles of the face. We are addressing fibroblasts. We’re triggering that collagen production. We’re addressing the whole person. And the fourth thing is that we’re doing no harm,
Some treatments – if we do them too much or too aggressively or on the wrong type of skin, they’re going to cause damage to the dermal papola layer of the skin. This is the layer that kind of connects and transmutes nutrients through the epidermis and the dermis. And when it gets damaged, it buckles and this is how we get wrinkles. So if you do too many chemical peels, this is a risk that you might have.
With acupuncture, it’s an incredibly safe treatment. The damage from the needling is very, very minimal. And so it doesn’t produce that damage to the derma papola dermal pele layer and it hits all of four of these pillars of holistic skin care.
TTW: What does a person notice specifically and what does a treatment schedule look like?
I’ll give you a mirror when you’re done with the treatment so that you can see and notice what changed for yourself. Oftentimes people are going to see a really great result within just this one treatment. And I think of it as the results from this one treatment will be permanent after a series of 10 treatments.
Acupuncture is a very cumulative method. For example, when we treat your ankle pain, you might feel really good for a few days and that pain comes back, you then come back for treatment that pain goes away and it lasts a little bit longer. We keep treating like this. And so facial acupuncture is no different. Those results build and build and build on top of each other.
The initial results are the result of relaxing muscles and reengaging muscles. So, 30 to 45 days is how long it takes for collagen to accumulate under the skin. So in like 4 to 5 weeks within a treatment schedule, you’re gonna see another wave of results and these results are permanent.
Meaning that the collagen that we produced is permanent until your body breaks it back down again.
No cosmetic treatments are permanent in the sense of how we think of permanency. We’re going to continue to use those muscles in our face. So we’re going to continue to make more wrinkles. We’re going to continue to break down that collagen, break down that elastin through our aging process.
We do a series of 10 sessions which are ideally spaced a week apart. Sometimes people will come for twice a week at the beginning and then space them apart. And then once you’re done with that series of sessions, you come back once a month or once a quarter for maintenance and then once every 1 to 2 years for a second round of 10 sessions.
This is a great way to naturally address your facial concerns, your concerns of aging, fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, lack of luster in the skin, not feeling like you’re really bright and putting yourself out there the way that you want to.
TTW: Thank you so much for explaining all that! If you’d like to connect with Dr. Kim or schedule an appointment, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org