One of the modern pioneers of acupuncture facial rejuvenation is Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, L.Ac. Regarded widely as the dean of facial rejuvenation, she has trained over five hundred practitioners worldwide and maintains a busy practice in New York City. Her patented protocol, Constitutional Facial Renewal, combines principles of Oriental Medicine with an advanced understanding of Western-based physiology. While some practitioners merely needle along wrinkles in an upward-and-outward fashion, Wakefield says, thats too simplistic. You must also work with underlying muscle structure. The whole body, she notes, must be kept in the equation, since anything you work with constitutionally shows on the face. And so, when treating perimenopausal women, she says we can work with hot flashes, we can work with imbalances in the systemduring these sessions, theyre pleased to find they tend to lose weight. It isnt just women who flock to Wakefields door: men seek her help as well. The job market is so competitive right now that they need to look younger. Those are the people who are getting the jobs. Wakefields patients range from their late thirties well into their seventies. Often, she says, the older patients will look better surprisingly fast.
How soon can a patient expect to see results? It is dependent on a few things, and this is important. These include genetics, post natal Qior you can day diet. Its also dependent on proper sleep, elimination and the patients stress level. These factors are more important than the age of the patient. You can have an 80 year-old with everything in order, and he or she will look better and respond faster than a twenty five year-old broker who stays up all night drinking, smoking, who has a bad diet and poor genetics. In either case, with the first visit, youll see more color and circulation in their faces, with small lines starting to fade, soon after. With approximately the fifth visit, youll usually see deeper lines lessening, along with increased toning and elasticity in the face. If theyre sunken and gaunt, they may start to flesh out. Ten to twelve treatments are normally sufficient unless the patient is a smoker or has pronounced sagginess, in which case they may need twice the amount. Its an organic process, not a sudden lift, and I can usually tell after the first treatment how well they will respond. While the Western ritual of a facial has no roots in Chinese medicine, practitioners like Wakefield include customized Chinese herbal masks and moisturizers in their treatments, as well as bracingly cool jade rollers. With such pampering, it seems almost too luxuriant for the word medicinalbut thats what it is.
The theories underlying facial rejuvenation may be ancient but how do they hold up in practice? To answer this question, Mary Elizabeth Wakefield opens her patient files to share some case histories. She describes a good looking, athletic, professional woman in her forties. Despite her beautiful skin, she has lots of forehead wrinkles, crows feet, dark circles under the eyes, minor lines around the mouth and significant lines around the neck. In the five-element view, the woman is a Wood-type: she is very goal-driven and tends to suffer stress-induced migraines. Wakefields first task was to stabilize the migraines so that she could proceed with rejuvenation. After 12 visits and a few booster treatments, the womans forehead lines were gone, as were the dark circles under her eyes. The lines on her neck had lessened by 55%. Now, says Wakefield proudly, She looks fabulous!