Natural beauty naturally sculpted. In response to ongoing requests from my patients to start offering facial acupuncture treatments, I started researching options. When I found out about microcurrent treatments I got really excited! Not only can the microcurrent machine be used to do facial rejuvenation treatments, but it can also be used to treat pain (including jaw pain—TMJ syndrome) and stimulate the underlying muscles to either relax or tone. And, for the squeamish, it does so without needles. I know that acupuncture is not painful. I call it ahhhhcupuncture (read like a sigh). But when someone is afraid of needles, it is sometimes very difficult to get past that. Microcurrent treatment also has research to back up its claims. And so began Bonsai Facial Rejuvenation.
Before (left) and after (right) Bonsai Facial Rejuvenation package of 10 treatments.
First treatment June 2, 2009; Tenth treatment July 23, 2009
Note the following areas:
- Eyes: More open. She looks more rested.
- Nose: More defined and narrower.
- Cheeks: Higher
- Mouth: Lips are fuller.
- Forehead: Smoother.
- Overall: She looks slimmer, though she was always slim, her jaw is more defined.
Patient reported after her 8th treatment that when she saw an acquaintance she had not seen since prior to her 1st treatment–a person who did not know that she was pursuing or receiving any treatments–that person exclaimed, “You look younger!”
Before (left) and after (right) Bonsai Facial Rejuvenation package of 10 treatments.
First treatment April 25, 2009;
Tenth treatment August 13, 2009
Note the following areas:
- Eyes: Much more open. Less hooding. Reduction in dark circles.
- Cheeks: Smoother skin.
- Jaw: More defined, skin tighter.
- Forehead: Smoother, less defined wrinkles.
- Mouth: Reduction in lines above lips.
- Overall: Looks slimmer in face.
What is Bonsai Facial Rejuvenation (BFR)?
Bonsai Facial Rejuvenation treatments are a safe, comfortable and cost effective way to:
- Reduce wrinkles and signs of aging
- Lift sagging skin
- Stimulate natural collagen production
- Relax tight muscles
- Tighten and reduce pore size
- Diminish puffiness and nourish skin
- Relieve chronic jaw pain and related issues with Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ)
BFR works with the body’s natural healing energy, providing gentle microcurrent electrical stimulation applied by our skilled practitioners. Bonsai Facial Rejuvenation (BFR) incorporates the ancient wisdom of acupuncture in a non-needle application, which produces total body changes. Treatments provide a gradual transition to a natural looking “younger you”. Clients often report additional positive results including an increase in energy, less stress, a general sense of well being and improved sleep! BMFR is an effective treatment for blemishes, scars and rosacea, with symptoms often fading or disappearing to reveal a “glow of youthful skin”. Note: There are no known negative side effects of microcurrent facial rejuvenation.
What does a Bonsai Facial Rejuvenation treatment involve?
My first step is to meet with you so that I can discuss your wishes and determine if and how I can turn those into reality. I can offer a complementary 15 minute initial consultation.
Once a decision is made to proceed, I take your picture. We do, after all, want to see what progress we are achieving as the treatments move forward.
At the start of each treatment I ask that you wash your face, even if you do not wear any makeup. I offer a natural, hypo-allergenic face wash and towel for you to use.
The following components are used during treatment:
- Microcurrent rejuvenation techniques on facial skin and muscles
- Acupuncture point treatment using microcurrent with no pain or invasion of the skin
- Meridian balancing, a centuries-old method to harmonize and balance your entire body
- Facial massage to increase blood flow and relax facial muscles
- Therapeutic grade essential oils that promote overall health and skincare
- Topical skin care
- Counseling on healthy lifestyle choices including supplements, nutrition etc.
- For the most effective results, ten to 12 sessions are recommended over a course of four to 12 weeks and a package is available for this.
Clinically proven results…
Microcurrent Research and Clinical Studies show the following positive effects after microcurrent treatments (*):
- Cellular regeneration and increased protein synthesis for enhanced soft-tissue healing
- A 500 percent increase in ATP, which provides energy for cell metabolism and injury repair
- A 40 percent increase in cellular membrane transport and the reduction of soft-tissue swelling and inflammation
- Improved DNA synthesis for soft-tissue cell regeneration
- Activation of T-lymphocytes that strengthen the immune system
* Cell Regeneration and ATP production: The effects of electric currents on ATP generation, protein synthesis and membrane transport. Cheng et. al. , Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Nov/Dec 1982, 171
Does acupuncture hurt?
The needles are so thin that ten to fifteen acupuncture needles can be placed in one hypodermic (injection) needle. The sensation that is expected from acupuncture is not painful, i.e. not what you would expect from a needle. The sensation is called “de qi” and it can include numbness, aching, tingling, warmth, distension, heaviness, or lightness. The sensation can be local or it may radiate. Most of my patients find acupuncture is actually very relaxing and often fall asleep.
What does TCM treat?
Traditional Chinese Medicine treats a wide variety of symptoms and illnesses, including: pain, injuries, headaches and migraines, stress, addictions, digestive problems, menstrual disorders, menopausal symptoms, fatigue, immune system disorders, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and allergies. This is not an inclusive list by any means, but it does offer some indications. TCM can also be used to maintain optimal health in the absence of illness.The World Health Organization (WHO) lists nearly 50 different illnesses that can be treated effectively by acupuncture.
Over its 2500 years of development, a wealth of experience has accumulated in the practice of acupuncture, attesting to the wide range of diseases and conditions that can be effectively treated with this approach.
[Note: This report has 293 references!]
Some of these diseases are:
Neurological and Musculo-Skeletal Disorders
→ Back pain
→ Frozen shoulder
→ Tennis elbow
→ Knee pain
→ Trigeminal or intercostal neuralgia
→ Meniere’s Disease
→ Facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy)
→ Paralysis following stroke
→ Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
→ Peripheral neuropathies
→ Diarrhea, acute bacillary dysentery
→ Acute and chronic gastritis
→ Gastric hyperacidity
→ Chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief)
→ Acute sinusitis, acute rhinitis
→ Common cold
→ Acute bronchitis, acute tonsillitis, acute and chronic pharyngitis
→ Bronchial asthma (esp. children and in those without complications)
Disorders of the Mouth
→ Post-extraction pain
Disorders of the Eye
→ Acute conjunctivitis, central retinitis
→ Myopia (in children)
→ Cataracts (without complications)
This is not a list of limitations for acupuncture, as acupuncture can treat many other diseases, but it is an indication of some of the disorders that the WHO has deemed effective based on clinical experience.
How safe is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is very safe. In British Columbia, acupuncturists must be licensed (see question below regarding designations). This requires 3-5 years of full-time schooling and ongoing training.
In addition, all acupuncturists are required to take a two-day acupuncture safety course which includes clean needle technique (including disposable sterile needles) and acupoint safety. As with any medical treatment, there may be risks involved for the individual and it is important to discuss these with your practitioner.
Generally speaking, acupuncture treatment is safe, if it is performed properly by a well-trained practitioner. Unlike many drugs, it is non-toxic, and adverse reactions are minimal. This is probably one of the chief reasons why acupuncture is so popular in the treatment of chronic pain in many countries. As mentioned previously, acupuncture is comparable with morphine preparations in its effectiveness against chronic pain, but without the adverse effects of morphine, such as dependency.
Is acupuncture covered by medical insurance?
Many extended health insurance plans do cover up to $500 of acupuncture each year. Check with your health insurance provider for details.
What other options for treatment do I have if I do not want needles?
Traditional Chinese Medicine offers more treatment options than just acupuncture. Acupressure, cupping, and moxibustion are alternative options. Chinese herbs can also be combined specifically to suit your needs and your body’s constitution. Food suggestions can also be made.
How do I take the Chinese herbs?
There are many options now available. Traditionally, most Chinese herbs are given uncooked to the patient who boils them and drinks the resulting broth. As many people may find this to be time-consuming, there are easy alternatives.
I use concentrated herbal powders that can be combined specifically to suit your needs. The powders are simply mixed in warm or hot water and consumed two to three times daily. The powders can also be put into capsules. Pre-made Chinese herbal formulas are also available in capsule, tablet, tea, and tincture forms.
How do I know about the quality and safety of the Chinese herbs?
Because the properties of each herb are inherent on the soil in which they are grown, it is important that they are grown in the right region to optimize their medicinal benefits. Thus, most of the herbs are grown in various areas of China.
To ensure their quality and safety, the herbs are tested, processed, and packaged in plants that comply with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) requirements. Most of the herbal companies that I use are located in the United States and have their own regulations through the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). When the herbs are imported into Canada, they must again pass rigorous Canadian standards and testing.
For more on this, check out my blog post, “What pharmacy students asked me about Chinese herbs.”
There are so many different titles of Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners. How do I choose one and what do the designations mean?
Every province (and state) is different, but these are the regulations in BC:
There are 4 levels of registration for TCM in BC and each allows a different type of assessment and treatment. Both Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac.) and Registered Chinese Herbalist (R.TCM.H.) require 3 years of training with a minimum of 1900 hours of study and training. A Registered TCM Practitioner (R.TCM.P.) can practice both herbs and acupuncture and they receive a minimum of 4 years with at least 2600 hours. A Registered Dr. of TCM (Dr.TCM) has the highest level of training of 5 years at 3250 hours.
In addition to the schooling, we also need to pass 2 examinations for each (written and practical), take safety courses for each, maintain requirements for good standing of the regulatory body, complete 50 hours of continuing education credits every 2 years, and be insured for liability and malpractice for minimum amount required by the college.
Lotsa hoops to jump! But all of that should be reassuring to you that we’re well-trained and practiced in what we do! All of this happens through the CTCMA (College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Association). The role of the CTCMA is to protect the public by making sure that we follow the rules. If you want to know if someone is a registrant (they should not be practicing in BC if they are not!), check out the listing here: www.ctcma.bc.ca
Can I combine TCM treatment with conventional medicine?
Acupuncture is easily combined with conventional medicine, including prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. If, however, you are taking blood thinners or immuno-suppressive medications, it is suggested to inform your acupuncturist.
Chinese herbals can also safely be combined with pharmaceutical medication, western herbs, homeopathic medicines, or vitamins and minerals. An initial consultation allows me to assess your constitution and prepare an herbal formulation specifically for you. It is also advisable to take your Chinese herbs at a time apart from when you take your pharmaceutical medications to minimize any potential interactions.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments will vary from person to person, depending on the duration and severity of the illness, injury, or symptoms. As a general rule, the longer the duration of the problem and the more severe the symptoms, the more treatments will be required. For example, a recent sprain may require only 1-3 treatments, more closely timed; while degenerative disk disease will need at least a few months of treatments, but the treatments may be spaced farther apart.
The number of acupuncture treatments required may be lessened if Chinese herbals and dietary changes are also incorporated. Combining herbs and acupuncture is an efficient and effective way to speed the healing time and reduce costs.