Easily Incorporating Facial Acupuncture into Your Practice


So the topic of today’s talk is the benefits of incorporating facial acupuncture into your practice.

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Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hi everyone. My name’s Michelle Gellis. I am a board certified acupuncture visit. And I would like to thank the American Acupuncture Council for giving me the opportunity to present to you today. I’m going to go right to my first screen. Thank you. So the topic of today’s talk is the benefits of incorporating facial acupuncture into your practice.

A little bit about me. I was on faculty at the Maryland university of integrative health, formerly the Thaisa FIA Institute since 2004. My undergrad degree is in computer science and I have been published several times in the journal of Chinese medicine. And the Maryland acupuncture society newsletter, the acupuncture desk reference, and several other publications.

Here are some of my publications listed. You can get all of this information on my website, facial acupuncture classes.com. I have listed here. All of the classes that I teach, some are cosmetic acupuncture. Some are treating neuromuscular, facial conditions, facial anatomy facial acupuncture self-care and.

Safety course. And most recently I am offering a course in microneedle Lang for acupuncturists and also. An advanced certificate course in facial acupuncture. So today we are going to talk about incorporating facial acupuncture into your practice. So we’re going to go through an overview of what is involved and incorporating facial acupuncture into your practice and the importance of training.

Documentation safety, red flags. What tools might you need? Is it important? What sort of tools you use when you’re doing cosmetic acupuncture? The benefits of facial acupuncture, not just for your practice, but also for your patients. And also why providing a full body treatment is important. Whenever you are working on the face.

So I’d like to start out by giving a definition of facial acupuncture because most of us think of facial acupuncture as something that is done for cosmetic reasons. Facial acupuncture incorporates both cosmetic acupuncture and also acupuncture for any neuromuscular facial conditions, such as Bell’s palsy, TNJ trigeminal, neuralgia, stroke, ptosis, any conditions that affect the face.

Facial acupuncture can use acupuncture, needles, facial cups, wash Shaw tools, Derma rolling, and or micro-needling. And facial acupuncture is not some new trendy technique. It has been used as early as the some dynasty. There are several historical references in the PSU when regarding treating the face both for beauty and for other reasons.

And there have been some studies done on facial acupuncture, both for cosmetic and for neuromuscular conditions. And I’ve listed some of them here.

One of the questions I get asked all the time is, does it work? So I put up a few before and after pictures. Sometimes I’m reluctant to use before and afters because myself, I don’t have a professional photography studio in my acupuncture practice. So my photos are only. Good as my camera and my lighting.

And so I, as much as possible, I try to use the same lighting when I take pictures. But this actual, this top left picture here was taken in a class. I was teaching. One of my students was doing cupping on someone’s neck. And you can see just from releasing. The SCM, how the lines on the side of the neck relaxed, this is another patient of mine and they had a deep scar right in their nasal labial fold and through treatment.

And over time, the scar dissipated quite a bit another patient who had. Chin wrinkles. And the sides of her mouth will really turn down and through treatment. The chin wrinkles really smooth down and the corners of her mouth started to turn up. And this is a demonstration of using some intradermal needles to help, to break up the melanin that can cause some of the dark spots that we can.

A couple more before and afters. So the patient who had deep four headlines and through treatment, both body points to clear up some stagnant liver Che and some local points. Her far had smoothed out quite a bit, and this patient was concerned because her eyelid. Had started to droop and her eyebrows.

And I just treated one side of her face, the left side of her face. And you can see how much more lifted the one eyebrow is.

So what’s involved in bringing app facial acupuncture into your practice. Many practitioners are reluctant to consider bringing cosmetic acupuncture because they have misconceptions. And one of them is that it’s extremely time consuming. And if done properly, you can actually have two rooms going at once.

With facial acupuncture, you put the needles in one patient while they’re resting on the table, you put the needles in another patient, and then you can go back to your first patient or your cupping and guash Shaw. And then you can go back to your second patient, so you can have two rooms going at once.

And also the pricing should be when you’re pricing cosmetic treatments for. Facial acupuncture. Your pricing should be one and a half to two times what you would normally charge for a regular treatment, depending on what you are offering. For micro-needling you can charge two to three times some, sometimes more what you would charge for the same amount of clock time in the room.

Many practitioners are charging three to $500 for a half an hour microneedling treatment also from a marketing standpoint. Facial acupuncture. It opens up your world. You can convert your patients who are currently coming to see you for whatever they’re coming for, conditions, aches, and pains.

They can become your cosmetic acupuncture patients, and also you can specialize and capture that. Market of people who have neuromuscular facial conditions and specialize in that if the whole cosmetic thing is not what you’re interested in doing

before you begin or embark on a practice of facial acupuncture. It is really important that you get trained. And if the American acupuncture council is who you have your insurance through, they do want you to get trained in cosmetic acupuncture. And part of the reason for that is there are special forms questions.

There is a unique way of documented. Before during and after treatments, when you are working on someone’s face in that capacity, you want to be able to document any previous procedures they’ve had. You want to be able to screen them for any red flags, Contra indications, and this can be really important.

When you’re talking about putting a lot of needles in someone’s face and head unlike most forms of acupuncture although you can cause harm when treating someone just in general, when you’re working on someone’s space, the skin on the face is very thin. The skin, the space. Highly vascularized. And facial acupuncture brings a lot of energy up to the head.

People can suffer a migraine, have a headache. There’s even the potential. If you’re doing techniques. Improperly of the patient having a stroke or fainting, and these are all things you need to be able to pre-screen for also the anatomy of the face. Although we do learn about it in school. Most of us don’t spend a tremendous amount of time noodling the face.

And as I mentioned, the face is highly vascularized. There are over 44 muscles on the face. Far ahead. And then, working into the neck, you’ll probably want to work on the neck as well. So you’ve got veins and arteries, facial vein temporal vein nerves, the two major nerves that go into the face, tiny little capillaries.

And of course we know the face tends to bruise very easily. So learning how to. Take the proper precautions and learn the anatomy so that there’s no danger of harming or even injuring or causing unnecessary bruising to the face. And part of this has to do with needling technique, learning what to look for and.

Also, I’m not using so many noodles I seen, and I think I have a slide in here. I seen untrained acupuncturists take a stab. Pardon the pun at doing cosmetic acupuncture without being trained and sometimes the results or. A little scary looking and really unnecessary. You should not need to put hundreds or even dozens of needles in the face in order to effect a good result.

So here’s some examples of either poor technique or just too many needles. Here, this is a neck and these needles are very deep. And some of them are very close to the juggler vein here on the left. This person’s far ahead, has way too many intradermal needles in it. There are ways to work with lines and wrinkles without using that many intradermal needles here, the intradermals aren’t inserted in a way.

Actually it would be building college in at all. And then over here, this person just has way too many needles. Really just unnecessary. So here’s a couple of pictures I took. My students had needled in class. This is one way that I teach to help, to smooth out a deep line. And this is through submuscular needling and using special needles.

Designed for for the face to work with crow’s feet. And here is a technique I teach and it is submuscular needling to tighten the . I have a quick video. I’m going to show of another skill that I teach and it has to do with the anterior dynastic muscle. So I’m just going to, it might be a little jumpy, but I am going to hop in and get it rolling.

And I’m going to have to talk about. Because the sound is not going to work. So in order to is gastric muscle, let me turn the same. We’ll use one finger, Michelle. The sound is being picked up very pretty well. If you want to leave the sound on the video. Great. Let me start it again. Is.

In order to locate the digastric muscle, you will use one finger and you will locate that mastoid process right here. And you also want to locate the hyoid bone, which was right. But you want to do is draw an imaginary line between the two of them and then using your index finger, you’re going to pal pay along the line and you’ll find a very thin muscle right here.

And that is the posterior die-cast. And if you draw an imaginary line between the hyoid bone and the underside of the chin, you can palpate for the front of the digastric muscle. So the dyad strick goes from the man, the ball, and then it takes a turn here and attaches back here at the mastoid process.

So the part of the gastric muscle that we’re going to needle using submuscular noodling is right here underneath the chin. And this will help with the if someone has a lot of excess or laxity there. To feel the digastric muscle on the, and here, you’re going to ask your patient to open their mask, go ahead and open your mouth and then close it.

And you can feel the underbelly of the digastric muscle. It’s about the width of a pencil. So again, it comes from here and then. Comes up to the height and then it attaches here. So what you’re going to do is once you found the muscle,

you’re just going to grab it with two fingers and you’re going to just use a half an inch red Saron needle and get right underneath like that. And you can usually get two needles and just like that. And then they’re gonna come along on the other side

and you’re going to be right here. No, you get it right underneath the muscle like that. One more

get right underneath like that. And then you’re going to do the same thing on the other side. See how there’s the one muscle is right over here. And then the other one is here. So you would just crisscross the.


Oops, sorry. So that is

that is a demonstration of how you would do some submuscular needling under the chin to help tighten the chin area. So let’s see tools. There are tools that you need that are different than you might use. Regularly. Good needles are really important. I love sirens. My experience has always been that they have a very smooth insertion and there are specialized needles for the face.

Really very tiny. Also when you’re doing any facial cupping using glass cups and specially designed guash shot tools. I love Jade very much a part of our tradition and during the lockdown period of the pandemic, I designed a cutting in wash up. And that can be found@acculiftskincare.com. Also, you need tweezers.

I liked the wide grip tweezers. Those are used to put intradermal needles and then arnica gel is my favorite to help. Bruising also, there are things that you can either use in your treatment room, or you can sell to your patients for at-home use like Derma rollers the, these items right here off to the right as a hydro roller in a Hydra needle.

And I don’t want to get into it. Now there’s information about these products. They’re great for infusing CRMs. You can even put Traumeel and different types of homeopathics in them to infuse it into the scan, but it really helps to revitalize and refresh the scan. And you can use these for some of the neuro.

Conditions as well. Microneedling is very popular right now in our profession. In most states, it is within our scope of practice and it works on the skin level to take care of scars. Discolorations fine lines, even on the body for stretch marks. And that is an entire class and topic onto itself.

But there’s just a wealth of information and it’s a great add on, and it doesn’t take a lot of time in your treatment space. So this is a and tool that you’re looking at and two batteries, the cartridges, which are disposable. That’s the new. Tip. And then this particular, the AccuLift micro pen comes with a court, so you can plug it in if you choose the intradermal needle.

Require a little bit of scale to learn how to use. And these are put around this is a picture of some encroached fee and this was a picture I saw on social media of someone trying to teach themselves how to do it. And really again, on necessary way too much. Okay, so just to wrap it up they shall acupuncture can bring a reliable stream of income into your practice.

It’s cash because we’re not working with insurance companies. Insurance does not pay for cosmetic procedures. And people tend to spend money on cosmetic things before they’ll spend money on their aches and pains. And it is a way for you to widen your scope of practice gives you a unique skill set. You can learn facial motor points, scalp acupuncture, specifically designed to help with neuromuscular facial conditions.

And as I mentioned before, you can really capture that niche market and set yourself apart because not all practitioners are going to do cosmetic acupuncture. For your patients, cosmetic acupuncture. Is a way for them to revitalize their appearance with Al injectables or fillers or toxins, they get a full body treatment.

So it helps their digestion. Their immune system helps to reduce inflammation and it’s all done. Naturally. We don’t put anything into the body. We don’t take anything out of the body. It can help with double chins. If they’ve had a facelift, it can help their facelift to last longer. And it stimulates college in naturally.

This was a patient of mine who had eyelid ptosis. And as you can see her one lid is lower than the other. And through treatment, both of her lids became more even, and she was getting married. She was very self-conscious. She didn’t want. To have this drooping eyelid, because especially as she got tired, it would get much worse.

And she was told she’d have to have surgery, but she didn’t need to have surgery. I mentioned things like skin conditions here is someone who had cupping and wash Shaw on one side of their face, not on the other. And you can see just right there on the table, how all that heat dissipated. So things like rosacea molars, melasma acne can all be helped with facial conditions.

Doing a full body treatment is really important because you don’t want to just treat the superficial signs of aging you want to get underneath. And treat the zone and the Fu the substances to help the body to get back out of disharmony and into harmony. Dealing with the emotional underpinnings of why we get some of those facial expression lines.

I have an entire class called the anatomy of expression, which gets into that and looking at something like fear. Which muscles are used. And what points might you use to help to relax the face? Because when the face relax, the body relaxes, there is a feedback system between the face and the body. I mentioned micro-needling.

This was me doing some needle Lang on someone who had sun damage on their chest, a microneedle. Again, it’s very quick. And there are a lot of benefits and the results are very, long-term and they only have to come once a month between treatments. Here is my 2022 practice schedule. All of my classes are.

And then you can come for an optional hands-on practice session if you choose. And if you sign up for my advanced certificate program, the hands-on classes are included. That is all I have for you today. And again, I want to thank the American acupuncture council. For this opportunity to present and give you an overview of bringing facial acupuncture into your practice.