Acupuncture 'facelift' helps reverse signs of aging

Micro trauma helps skin produce collagen

Published On: Nov 15 2012 09:35:11 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 15 2012 10:10:00 PM CST

Rather than undergo surgery or Botox, 48-year-old Liz Larsen is opting to turn back the clock with facial rejuvenation acupuncture.

"I just wanted to just make my skin look a little bit better. I was having a problem with one of my eyes drooping," she said.

Needles about as thin as a strand of hair are inserted directly into the wrinkles and left there for about 40 minutes.

"It causes a micro trauma under the skin and so the body has an immune response and so it fills in that area with collagen," said Patricia Lew, licensed acupuncturist with Alamo Heights Wellness Center. "Most people see plumping of fine lines during the first treatment, but it's not like Botox. You're not going to be super plump or super lifted after. You're going to notice a subtle difference. You're going to be a little rosier, a little firmer."

Lew also integrates allergy treatment therapy into her treatments. She said overall health is reflected in the aging process.

After just one treatment, Larsen said her droopy eyelid lifted and after five weeks, she noticed her wrinkles reduced and her skin smoother

"I think it's brighter, a little tighter, and I think I've got less bagginess," said Larsen.

Lew said the treatments also helped her with wrinkles on her forehead.

"I used to have a lot of fine lines, horizontal lines, and a very deep vertical crease between my eyebrows," she said.

Lew and Larsen both said the pain is minimal. Larsen said she's even fallen asleep during treatment.

The drawbacks are it can take as many as 10 treatments for visible results. You have to keep up treatments to maintain results and there can be bruising.

The results are much more subtle than Botox or fillers, but for Larsen, it's worth it to have a natural alternative.

"I think this just is healthier," said Larsen, "I'm very happy."

The cost for acupuncture treatments varies depending on where you go, but on average, it costs $60 to $120 in the Central Texas area.

Treatments are generally administered once or twice a week for the first five to 10 treatments.

Once the desired results are achieved, it can be scaled back to about once a month.