When I was in my 30s, I vowed that once I saw the need, I would go for a facelift using plastic surgery. I was thinking when I turned 60, I would need it. Well, I’ve done a 180-degree turnaround and have vowed to never undergo a surgical facelift or other unnatural interventions such as Botox or fillers. Too often, I’ve seen the botched facelifts on celebrities and decided it’s too risky, both from an aesthetic and health point-of-view. Plus, it is not a permanent solution. With time, the skin and muscles start sagging again, requiring more surgery. After awhile, you may end up looking like Jocelyn Wildenstein, the “cat woman” whose face has a totally freakish and unnatural appearance.
Other negatives to surgical facelifts are the expense, the pain and recovery time involved, and the fact that by cutting into the major blood vessels in the face, you may be depriving nutrients to the skin and aging your skin prematurely. So, I decided to look into other noninvasive means of achieving the same kind of results. That led me to think acupuncture facelifts, which is done in some acupuncture clinics to rejuvenate facial tone, skin resilience, and lessen wrinkles.
Acupuncture is a form of a therapy used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years in China to help treat all sorts of ailments and diseases. The basic premise behind acupuncture is that the body contains pathways or meridians of energy (Chi) which, along with the blood, continuously flows throughout the body. When the pathways are open and working well, the Chi energizes the body’s organs and helps keep them functioning correctly, thus reducing disease and dysfunction in the body. However, when we become ill or age, these pathways can be blocked or clogged up. One way to open the channels or pathways is by stimulating various acupuncture points located throughout the surface of the body. Typically, ultra-fine needles are inserted into these points and stimulated by gently twirling them. Acupuncture is a widely accepted form of therapy even in this country now, and many people use acupuncture as a noninvasive means to get relief from common complaints such as arthritic pain, back pain, sore muscles, headaches, stomach problems, hearing problems, circulation problems, etc. I used to receive regular acupuncture treatments during my cancer therapy, so I’ve been a firm believer in it for years now.
A good alternative to a professional acupuncture treatment is acupressure which uses the same points as those used in acupuncture except instead of sticking a needle into the point, you apply pressure on the point and gently massage it with a finger (or fingers). I use acupressure points to give myself a mini facelift whenever I have 15 minutes to spare, like when I’m sitting at my computer and taking a break. This is not the same as a facial exercise program which involves using the fingers to manipulate muscles on the face. I pretty much gave up on those because they took too long to do, were unpleasant to do, and unless your finger placement was perfect, you could end up over building the muscles and/or creating additional lines on your face….a unpleasant “side effect” of overdoing it. After doing one particular facial exercise program, I noticed I had developed deep Howdy Doody lines on the outer corners of my mouth, and that is when I stopped facial exercise programs which involved manual manipulation. Facial exercise programs do work for a lot of people, but it just wasn’t for me. Working the muscles on the face can definitely firm up your muscles, but just like a bodybuilding program, it can create an unnatural look if overdone. The Tua Trend microcurrent gadget and acupressure facelift are my 2 favorite ways of lifting the underlying muscles in the face. They are less likely to overwork the muscles and make them too bulky, and you can’t create more lines on your face.
But the best part of the acupressure facelift is that it is beneficial, not only for the face, but also beneficial for the whole body as well. The pressure points on the face and head affect other meridians and organs located throughout the body, not just the face. It should help re-energize your whole body. It’s a wonderful de-stressing tool too. Plus it’s FREE and your fingers are the only tools you need. You can do it anywhere, anytime, even if you can only do a few points at a time.
There are several acupressure facelift programs floating around, each a little different in the points that are used and method, but the one I’ve really come to enjoy and have found to be effective and relaxing is called “The Chinese Acupressure Facelift”, a DVD by Ming Ming Molony and David Molony. They are a husband and wife team, both certified and licensed acupuncturists for over 20 years. They were both trained in China. On this DVD, Ming Ming demonstrates the facelift, which she explained was handed down from her great-great-grandmother, whose husband worked for the emperor of China. I’m guessing she is about 45 in this DVD, and her skin is wrinkle free and flawless. Their DVD can be purchased from Amazon for about $14.
The treatment lasts 15 to 20 minutes and works the whole face, including eyes, cheeks, mouth, jaw line, scalp, ears, and forehead. The DVD is pretty short and straightforward, so you should be able to memorize the sequence of points after a few times of practicing with the DVD. I just enjoy doing it while sitting in front of the computer, eyes closed, following along with the DVD which has soothing Chinese music playing in the background.
The main requirement is that you be in a quiet, relaxing place (no screaming kids, barking dogs, nagging husbands). Do the treatment in a unrushed state of mind and remember to breathe. You should ideally not have long fingernails, otherwise you will not be able to reach some of the pressure points without digging into you skin and that may hurt. Prior to the facelift, I just wash my hands and face with water or my 302 Face/Body bar. To help with the massage portions, you can use a couple drops of a lipid-based 302 product diluted with water or 302 Calming Mist, or any carrier oil like jojoba, hazelnut would work well too. Pressure should be fairly firm but not painful. You should feel a slight depression in the bone on most acupressure points. For example, the points at the beginning and end of the eyebrow, the temple area, behind the earlobe, you will feel these bony depressions which signify a pressure point. You can easily purchase or find a chart at the library showing all the acupressure/acupuncture points if you really want to expand your treatment areas. This particular facelift also uses massage to help blood flow into the tissues and to encourage lymph fluid drainage. Your face will feel very refreshed afterwards…and you will really look forward to doing it. Try to do it once a day for the first month, and then you can go into maintenance mode 2 or 3 times a week after that.
Don’t expect dramatic results after a few days….it’s a slow gradual process, but it is cumulative and offers health benefits over the long run, which is something facelifts through surgical means can never provide.