Cosmetic Acupuncture

by JoNell Norcini, L. Ac. M.A.O.M.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Cosmetic Acupuncture

In the current era where life expectancy has jumped to an average of 80 years and 50 is the new 30, it is no wonder that people are looking for ways to improve upon their appearance. Many Americans are changing their eating habits and adding regular exercise to help them feel better. But what do you do if your facial appearance does not match how you feel on the inside? Some people resort to Botox, injectable fillers, and/or a face lift. While these are all viable options, these procedures are very expensive and carry with them many undesirable risks and side effects. Another option for those of you seeking to rejuvenate your appearance is cosmetic acupuncture.

Cosmetic acupuncture – also known as acupuncture facial rejuvenation or acupuncture facelift- has been around for thousands of years. It was originally reserved for royalty in the eastern dynasties, but since acupuncture has been gaining popularity in the United States, so, too, has cosmetic acupuncture and for good reason.

Cosmetic acupuncture is not a facelift! There are no incisions, sutures or chemicals peels that produce drastic results or change the underlying structure of the face. A licensed acupuncturist who has received advance training in cosmetic procedures will insert hair thin needles in various locations on the face creating micro-traumas in the dermis layer of the skin. This layer is about three millimeters below the epidermis or surface area of the skin. These micro-traumas stimulate the production of elastin and collagen, thereby plumping up the skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Some of the benefits of cosmetic acupuncture are:

  • Reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, including crow’s feet
  • Softening of deep lines and wrinkles
  • Fading of age spots and sun damage
  • Lifting of eyebrows and reducing the appearance of droopy eyelids
  • Improved skin tone and texture
  • Reduction in the size of under-eye bags
  • Improvement in the symptoms of acne and rosacea
  • A more defined jaw line and minimizes jowls
  • Very beneficial for those suffering from facial paralysis, Bell’s Palsy or TMJ

But the benefits do not stop there. A cosmetic acupuncture treatment also includes a full body treatment in an effort to address the underlying causes of aging. When you combine a full body acupuncture treatment with cosmetic acupuncture the results are astounding!

These benefits not only include the ones mentioned above but also:

  • Reduction in hot flashes and night sweats
  • Increased energy and improved sleep
  • Improved digestion and weight loss
  • Lifted mood, less stress and tension.

    A typical course of cosmetic acupuncture is one treatment, two times per week, for five weeks. This repetitive treatment over a short period of time allows the production of collagen and elastin to plump up the skin, smooth out the lines and wrinkles and tighten up the overall appearance of the face. Results are typically seen between the fifth and eighth treatment and results last anywhere between two to five years. For maximum benefits, maintenance treatments are recommended one time every four to eight weeks.

    Cosmetic acupuncture is an excellent choice for anyone one who wants to look and feel revitalized without changing their original appearance. It is a safe, natural, cost-effective way to look and feel younger.

    Please remember, that only a licensed acupuncturist with advanced training outside of the four-year graduate/Chinese Medical school setting is qualified to provide cosmetic acupuncture.

    Feel free to contact me at 713-825-1636 or visit www.CypressAreaAcupuncture.com to set up your free 30-minute consultation. Cypress Area Acupuncture is located at 9834 Spring Cypress Road, Houston, Texas 77070 inside Nurture Soul Therapeutics in northwest Houston. Here’s to a younger looking you!

Acupuncture and Stress Management

by JoNell Norcini, L. Ac. M.A.O.M.

What is stress and how does it affect our health?  Stress is a natural and necessary part of life.  Without stress, we would not even bother to get out of bed in the morning.  Stress motivates us to get things done.

In nature, stress is referred to as the “fight-or-flight” response.  It is an instinct that motivates us to run from danger.  When the body senses danger, a part of the brain called the hypothalamus sets off a chemical alarm.  This alarm activates the sympathetic nervous system to release hormones to get us up and running.  These hormones, such as adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol, have distinct physiological effects on the body such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, increased respiration rate and decreased rate of digestion, just to name a few.  This is all well and good if we were running from a sabre-toothed tiger.  This response to stress gives us the physical ability to escape a dangerous situation.  The problem is that, in today’s society, our sabre-toothed tiger is what we call” life”!  Whether it is your job, traffic, children or financial issues, we are all constantly being exposed to stressful situations and there is no end in sight.

What effects does this constant barrage of stress hormones have on our bodies?  Well, as indicated above, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and digestive issues.  Stress has also been indicated to increase the incidence of auto-immune disease and has a negative impact on fertility.

What is the “point” of acupuncture and how can it help manage stress?  Acupuncture helps the body to relax and increases the level of endorphins in the blood.  Endorphins are the “feel-good” hormones that are chemically very similar to morphine.  This release of endorphins has a positive effect on your moods, raises your threshold for pain and boosts your immune system.  Increased endorphins have also been linked to increased levels of serotonin and decreased levels of cortisol.

While we cannot escape from life to allow ourselves to relax and self-adjust, we can seek acupuncture treatments.  By doing so, we are allowing our bodies to heal naturally and improving our quality of life.

If you decide that you would like to try acupuncture, please visit www.nccaom.org to find a properly trained professional.

If you have comments or questions about this article please post them on our Facebook page by clicking here or email us.

 

 

Acupuncture and Insomnia

by JoNell Norcini, L. Ac. M.A.O.M.

 

Getting a good night’s rest is one of the best pieces of advice you can follow.  But what if you are one of the millions of Americans who find that sleeping well is a real challenge?  We all suffer from sleepless nights from time to time, but chronic insomnia is a real health concern.

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling asleep/or staying asleep for an adequate length of time.  That length of time varies from person to person but on average consists of eight hours per night.  Some of the causes of insomnia may include stress, medication side effects, pain, noise, or a change in routine or environment.

When we sleep, our bodies undergo many types of restoration, both physical and mental.  Sleep helps our bodies heal and improve brain function. When we do not sleep soundly, many types of health issues may arise.  Some of these issues are heart disease, heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity, lack of sex drive, depression, premature aging and impaired judgment. 

I believe that Americans are in tune with the importance of good sleep, so much so, that billions of dollars are being spent each year in the sleep industry.  This includes mattresses, special pillows, sound soothers, supplements and most importantly, pharmaceuticals.

It is estimated that Americans spend over $750 million dollars annually on over-the-counter sleep aids, and over $2 billion annually on prescription sleeping pills.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly half of Americans report occasional insomnia and more than 20% say they suffer from insomnia almost every night. Sleep aids were designed to help those that suffer from occasional insomnia.  The problem is that people are experiencing unwanted side effects and many people are actually addicted to pharmaceuticals such as Valium, Xanax and Ambien.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an effective alternative for treating insomnia. The physiology of insomnia according to TCM can be quite complex, but basically it involves an imbalance within the body.  TCM looks at the different types of insomnia and attaches a deeper reason as to why this particular patient is having trouble sleeping.  Once again, TCM treats the root of the problem and not just the manifestation. The following is a list of the types of insomnia that acupuncture and Chinese herbs can treat:

Difficulty falling asleep
Waking up often during the night
Waking up early and cannot fall back to sleep
Having excessive or disturbing dreams
Cannot sleep at all


A qualified acupuncturist can determine which system is out of balance and based on each person’s constitution provide a customized treatment strategy.  During an acupuncture treatment, the nervous system begins to calm down and the strategically placed needles actually remind the body of its balanced state.  Most patients will fall asleep during a treatment session. Acupuncture also addresses emotional issues which can sometimes be the cause of insomnia.  Your acupuncturist may also prescribe an herbal formula to complement your acupuncture treatment.  Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to treat insomnia.

If you are experiencing any form of insomnia, don’t face another sleepless night.  Find a qualified acupuncturist near you by visiting www.NCCAOM.org.

 

 

What is the "Point" of Acupuncture?

by JoNell Norcini, L. Ac. M.A.O.M.

"What is the 'Point' of Acupuncture?" is a new monthly article with the purpose of raising awareness about the benefits of integrative medicine, specifically Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

See the list of Articles under archives at the right.

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What is the "Point" of Acupuncture?, Cypress Area Acupuncture in Cypress, Texas, Tomball, Texas, Spring, Texas, Houston, Texas

 

What is Acupuncture?

by JoNell Norcini, L. Ac. M.A.O.M.

People are getting frustrated with the current medical system.  Many people find that they are taking more and more pharmaceutical drugs and are not feeling any better.  In fact, they are feeling worse.  Every drug on the market has side effects, even aspirin! Just listen to the television ads or read the package insert.  It is crazy, but doctors will tell you that the benefits outweigh the risks.  Most of the time, they do, but what if you could find a way to treat many common medical conditions without all the drugs?  This is where TCM comes into play.                                                                                                                       

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been around for over 3,000 years.  It is a complete medical system that includes acupuncture and Chinese herbs.  The beauty of TCM is that it looks at each person, individually, as a whole.  It is this holistic approach that makes TCM so effective.  TCM is not a “one-size-fits-all” type of treatment.  What this means is that if ten people present with the same chief complaint - for example, indigestion -  it is likely that each person will receive a different treatment with acupuncture points and herbal formulas based on their constitution and their manifestation of symptoms.  It is a dynamic medical treatment that changes as the condition changes and addresses the “root”, or underlying cause, of the disease rather than putting a band-aid on the symptom.

So, what is acupuncture and how does it work?  Acupuncture is the art of inserting very thin needles (about the diameter of a strand of hair) into specific acupuncture points on the body to achieve a therapeutic effect.  These points are located along channels or meridians where energy - or Qi (Chee) - runs throughout the body.  Should these channels become blocked, the energy in the body cannot flow smoothly; therefore, pain and illness will occur. Acupuncture works by clearing these blockages and balancing the body.  Acupuncture allows the body to heal itself!  Many western scientists have a hard time wrapping their head around this concept because Qi cannot be seen or measured.  So another way of looking at how acupuncture works is that it causes the nervous system to release neurotransmitters such as endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relievers, and serotonin, which promotes feelings of well-being. Acupuncture can also enhance the immune response, thereby reducing inflammation in the body.  Acupuncture has proven so effective that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have listed over 100 different conditions that acupuncture can treat.

What is the point of acupuncture? The point is that acupuncture is for everyone.  It is a safe, effective treatment modality that integrates beautifully with western medicine. It can help everyone achieve higher levels of wellness. 

Should you decide to try acupuncture, make sure you go to a licensed acupuncturist that is Board certified by the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine).  Just go to their website at www.NCCAOM.org and type in the name of your practitioner of choice. By doing this, you can rest assured that your acupuncturist is properly trained and able to provide you with a safe and effective treatment.

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