Puncture Me Pretty
The ancient Chinese holistic treatment takes on the wrinkle … the tired and quite possibly, the depressed. Sound like your own prescribed miracle? Could very well be. But it is far from new. Founded on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture heels holistically by targeting imbalances in the body. The energy life force, Qi (pronounced chee), is the root of acupuncture and it is said that “blood flows where qi goes.” The ancient form of healing grew out of the theory of a balanced Yin and Yang. The two forces act in our bodies similar to how they act externally. We are all well aware when our own Ying and Yang is out of balance. Apply this same principle to our health. According to TCM, disease, stress and discomfort are imbalances in the body indicative of a qi blockage. How to alleviate it? Hairline needles are inserted into any one of the hundred predetermined trigger points to get qi flowing evenly rebalancing energy. Each point on the body is aligned with a specific organ that has been mapped out and verified over the thousands of years acupuncture has been practiced. Here’s the catch. It takes time and diligence on your part. So don’t expect results pronto. Patience is key just like the gentle philosophy it is based on. Instant gratification didn’t exist thousands of years ago. In fact, it’s our ‘now or never’ mentality that has stress levels elevated to an all time high and is contributing to pre-mature aging, mass depression and even exhaustion. If you have a healthy outlook on wellness and a realistic expectation of change, acupuncture could be the answer to yes, your deepening crow’s feet, lack of energy and less then happy outlook on life. I, too, was a skeptic. But feeling healthy and grounded all with a fresh radiant complexion, there was no way I was going to let that pass me up without trying it first.
Lets face it; we go great lengths to keep the sign of time off our faces. Some of us follow intricate step-by-step beauty regimes, pump every antioxidant into our bodies and even inject poison into our faces. Botox is the last will-and-testament that we will virtually do anything to look younger. It’s Amanda Beisel’s mission to “save the world from Botox.” The owner of Yaletown’s new SKN Holistic Rejuvenation Clinic practices a kinder, gentler approach to visage fatigue—cosmetic acupuncture. We all know aging is inevitable, “but we can choose, even direct and guide the speed at which we do,” the witty young blond insists. TCM is based on an integral mind, body and spirit connection. “Lines developing on the face are simply a reflection of the aging process originating internally in the organs and by balancing out the whole system, the skin becomes nourished and its natural health surfaces,” she explains. “A more even toned complexion is the first sign of balance within the body.” The beautiful Beisel believes that cosmetic acupuncture is the “only true anti-aging medicine because it works intrinsically both from the inside out. Boosting the internal system increases the results seen externally.” After the full 8-10 recommended treatments, expect to see fuller cheeks, relief of under eye circles, diminished fine lines and wrinkles, a more radiant and youthful appearance, smaller pores, even color, brighter eyes, improved collagen production and muscle tone and a lifted brow and chin line. But even after one treatment, expect to see brighter skin, slighter lines and an all-over glow. You’ll also experience a sense of overall rejuvenation after just one visit. SKN is the only spa in Vancouver who addresses anti-aging concerns with cosmetic acupuncture in conjunction with luxurious exotic spa services like hot jade stone massages and jade and ginseng facials using Jadience, a organic skincare line made from crushed jade. SKN facials are not just about the face, they incorporate scalp, neck, ear, décolletage, hand and arm massages. Here’s a hint: If you start with a cosmetic acupuncture session and end with a facial, your total relaxation is a euphoric 2-plus hours and the bliss will be all over your face. (Need I say more?) Before any session, Beisel takes an intense health intake. She asks me to stick out my tongue. An odd request, but I oblige. “Do I worry,” she asks after studying my tongue. “Of course, I’m a mom,” I reply. Apparently, the colour of the tongue is a telltale sign of ‘spleen deficiency.’ In TCM this correlates to emotions, particularly worry and anxiety. Later, while I rest on her table, she treats my condition by inserting fine needles into a trigger point on my shin. She then moves upward towards the face. I am here for a cosmetic acupuncture treatment, but Beisel first works to bring my body back to balance, and then tackles the lines on my face.
Cosmetic acupuncture has recently come into the spotlight for anti-aging as Lucy Lui, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna are all major fans. But don’t expect drastic changes on the face like the aforementioned celebrity. “Cosmetic acupuncture is far from Botox where results are purely superficial, making everyone look kind of kittycatish,” Dr. Pardeep Dherari tells me in his bright Kerrisdale clinic. “Cosmetic acupuncture is more of an overall approach to wellness that begins within.” The Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine clearly has a command of the human body. Dherari, too, treats specific conditions rather than just the symptoms. “Many meridians begin and end on the face while others have branches leading to the face. By first establishing and treating the underlying problems in the body, the beautifying results appearing on the face are just responses to balance brought back to the body,” he informs me. After another intense health intake, I relax and lay on the table, completely giving my face up to his mercy. He inserts roughly 10 tiny needles in my feet, knee and shin areas, each point corresponding to a specific organ. “This will keep you grounded,” he advises before moving to my face. Next he begins to firmly roll my cheeks and jaw line. It feels like he is manually pinning my skin back. He then inserts 50-75 needles in my face, scalp and ears. Aside from a few sensitive pricks, the entire 10-minute procedure is virtually painless. “Just relax,” he instructs as he closes the door. “That’s likely,” I think. But I lay so still as not to move a single needle that surprisingly I do fall asleep on the table only to be woken when he returns 20 minutes later to remove the needles. “Taking the needles out are as important as placement, he says. “Slow and precise to avoid any possible bruising.” He finishes up with a brisk facial massage. I feel relaxed but energized, happy and strong. My steps are lighter, my breath easier. I look in the mirror and immediately notice a glow. My complexion is even. I am shocked, the deep laugh lines near my lip have faded, lines on my forehead have smoothed, my brows higher and any evidence that I was up all night with 2 sick toddlers has vanished. I am super impressed. I like how I look, and love how I feel. Cosmetic Acupuncture is my new addiction. Hey, we all have a vice.
Both Amanda and Pardeep acknowledge that everyone reacts differently, but for maximum, long lasting results they recommend between 8-10 visits and then monthly maintenance. For these results, to me this is effortless.
SKN Holistic Rejuvenation Clinic
150-1152 Mainland Street
Dr. Pardeep Dherari
260-2025 West 42nd Avenue
- Alyssa Schottland Bauman has been inspired to write about wellness and living a healthy lifestyle. Her work has appeared in NY, FITNESS, Pregnancy, InStyle, Food and Wine, Coastal Living, Spa, Seattle, Nuvo and Montecristo magazines.