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Is Cosmetic Acupuncture the new alternative to Botox?

Facial and cosmetic acupuncture can be used as an alternative to invasive and surgical procedures to help promote skin health.

It has gained popularity in recent years, being used on T.V shows and is apparently the choice of many a celebrity. Fans see it as an alternative way to improve the look of the skin without surgery or chemicals.

There is now an increasing desire amongst many to be healthy and clean inside and out, with people looking to improve their nutritional, mental and physical health and for a more natural look through gentler treatments.


Why not Botox?

Botox (Botulinum Toxin) is an injectable substance and is now readily available in local salons, hairdressers and dentists. As the name suggests it is a toxin! Botox works by paralysing the facial muscles at the injection site, eliminating the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

In the medical world it has been used for some time now treating problems such as muscle spasms (in those with neurological disorders), excessive underarm sweating and eyelid tics. In more recent years its ability to ‘freeze’ facial muscles has been discovered.


Move over Botox!

Acupuncture is a form of ancient Chinese medicine using fine needles. These are inserted into the skin and during cosmetic acupuncture treatment the needles are inserted into specific points of the face and body and used to help reduce wrinkles, as well as improve the overall look and feel of the skin.

When needles are inserted, energy and endorphins are released. This minor trauma improves blood flow and stimulates cell re-growth. Inserting the fine needles will also encourage the production of collagen, a protein which the body uses to keep the skin youthful and elastic. Facial Acupuncture has been demonstrated to improve the oil and water content of the skin.


The additional needles that are inserted into the points on the body help to restore balance within the body systems, improving overall well-being and helping to restore good sleep patterns. This affect can also help to improve the skin quality and overall appearance.


The principles of Chinese medicine are to promote well-being and balance with in the body, it highlights the importance that beauty is not just skin deep and will help to balance the whole energy of the body and its systems to improve the health of the skin (Doran 2007).


Research into facial / cosmetic Acupuncture

A research study was completed using Moire Topography Criteria, which is a specific measure of skin elasticity, this was found to be improved in the women that underwent the facial acupuncture treatment (Yun et al 2013).

In a case study, facial acupuncture reduced appearance lines, gave tighter skin tone and reduced facial puffiness (Barrett 2005). In another case study, it was demonstrated that oil and water content of the skin increased after five sessions of facial acupuncture (Donoyama 2012).


What happens in a treatment session?


Cosmetic facial Acupuncture treatments are carried out at Sunderland Physiotherapy Clinic by Debs Russell– A Chartered Physiotherapist, who has undertaken specialist additional training in this area of Acupuncture.


A full assessment and screening will take place prior to the treatment. You are advised not to wear make- up on the day of your treatment (before and after).


The needles themselves are very fine and around 40-80 needles in total may be used.

The treatment will last one hour. This includes a facial massage after the needles have been removed.

There may be some redness to the skin after the treatment, which may take a few hours to settle. There is a small risk of minor bruising.




Cosmetic Acupuncture is priced at £60 per 60 minute session.

We would not expect to see any immediate improvement in your skin after the first session. We recommend 6+ treatments in order to achieve results for your face, general health and overall wellbeing.

Ideally each session should be approx 1 week apart.

Compare this to the cost of a one off Botox appointment which may be upwards of £300 for 2-3 areas on the face and effects last 6-12 months.

Cosmetic Acupuncture is a much safer, holistic and longer lasting approach to skin, ageing and general health.

If you would like further information or would like to book an appointment please do not hesitate to contact us:


T: 01915483388

E: info@sunderlandphysiotherapyclinic.co.uk

Or you can book direct by visiting our website



Yun, Y. Kim, Y. Kim, M. Kim,K. Park, J.S. Choi,I. (2013) Effect of Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture on Facial Elasticity: An Open-Label, Single-Arm Pilot Study Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Barrett, J.B. (2005) Acupuncture and Facial Rejuvenation Aesthetic Surgery Journal 25(4)

Donoyama, N. Kojima, A. Suoh S. Ohkoshi,N. (2012) Cosmetic acupuncture to

Enhance facial skin appearance: a preliminary study Acupuncture Medicine 30

Doran, V. (2007) An introduction to facial revitalisation acupuncture European Journal of Oriental Medicine



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