Why this treatment?
I've never been blessed with high cheekbones, but lately my cheeks seem to have lost definition and I'm worried about the appearance of jowls. Wary of invasive surgeries, but wanting to lift my sagging skin, I turned to acupuncture. Claiming to have no side effects, the acupuncture facial seemed like a good alternative to Botox, peels and even surgery.
What's it all about?
Acupuncturists claim that touching base with our body's internal organs through using acupuncture needles - which remove blockages in the free flow of energy - on the hands, feet, scalp and face, can help reduce wrinkles and firm skin.
"Facial acupuncture is ideal for women over the age of 35, when the face begins to show signs of ageing," says Dr Lanalle Chapman-Dunn, a naturopathic physician trained in acupuncture.
There are acupuncture techniques that specifically target ageing concerns like loose jowls, double chins, deep wrinkles, under-eye bags and droopy eyelids and acupuncturists will customise your session accordingly.
"At the end of 12 sessions, you can expect to see a tighter jawline, taut facial skin, diminished jowls, reduced wrinkles and lifted eyelids," says Dr Chapman-Dunn.
I was given homeopathic medicine to take the evening before the treatment to minimise the chances of bruising. There is a 5 per cent chance of bruising, but even so, the bruises would fade away in a few days.
Dr Chapman-Dunn talked me through the 30-minute procedure and discussed my ageing concerns, so she could specifically target these.
After I lay on the bed, she stuck needles in both earlobes, explaining how our ears serve as an anaesthetic zone, helping to reduce pain. I had been concerned about the pain and, although it was sharp, it lasted a fraction of a second, so was bearable. Next, acupuncture specialist Dr Wang Ping proceeded to place needles in my ears, feet, hands, scalp and then face.
Treatment of the scalp is the ‘facelift' part of the process and involves lifting and pulling the skin from the jaw and then pinning it higher up on the scalp near the forehead using the needles. Although it sounds painful, it isn't. A few deep breaths and visions of tightened skin relaxed me.
For those with deeper wrinkles, Dr Chapman-Dunn uses a special technique involving fine intra-dermal needles to lift the skin and stimulate collagen activity.
Both doctors stuck needles one by one into my cheeks, jaw, chin, temple and brows. When the last needle went into the tip of my nose ten minutes later, I felt relieved. After 20 minutes, the needles were carefully removed and ice pads and a soothing antiseptic massage followed.
Did it really work?
The beauty of this treatment is that the benefits are instant - post-treatment I noticed I had tighter jowls. Dr Chapman-Dunn recommends 12 sessions - two a week - to take a good five years off your face, with a maintenance session about once every six months in order to retain the benefits. A week later, my jawline still looks tight and I've booked my next session.
Dh600 for a single session; Dh6,000 for a package of12 sessions at Wellbeing Medical Centre, Al Wasl Road, 04-3484406.
The Reiki Facelift, which uses the technique of Reiki Energy Balancing, is a natural anti-ageing facial. Reiki master teacher Thiba Sharaf says, "The Reiki Facelift is painless, has no side effects and can be done in15 minutes. Results include softening of wrinkles and tighter skin. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.