We’ve all seen them – the terrible photographs of people who’ve been on the wrong end of cosmetic surgery. The lips that have ballooned with injectable dermal fillers and the facelifts that make the unsuspecting patient look more like Joker than Jolie.
And as we sit in slack-jawed wonder at how the people responsible for it are still allowed to advertise and perform their ‘service’, we probably also feel a sense of great pity for the victims – because it is victims rather than patients that they have suddenly become.
I certainly feel sorry that people have had their lives and dreams decimated by unscrupulous practitioners who lack the skill and knowledge – and therefore the right – to make money from the grotesque surgery they carry out;
But I also feel sorry that people are so desperate to change their appearance that they feel forced to take chances with chancers. Especially when acupuncture can help the body to achieve much of the look they desire in a completely natural way.
In chinese medicine we don’t just consider beauty to be skin deep. We strongly believe that if you feel good on the inside, you’re going to look good on the outside, too. That’s why, here at The Acupuncturists, our treatments also focus on rebalancing the internal energetic flow in the body to promote wellness holistically rather than concentrating on one specific condition or outcome.
I’m pleased to say that this month the Government is expected to launch a campaign that will warn people about the dangers of unregulated cosmetic surgery and the dire impact it can have on the lives of people who find themselves on the wrong end of bad treatment.
There has been greater scrutiny of this sector following an investigation into the rise of botched cosmetic surgery in the UK carried out by an ITV investigative team earlier in the year, which found formal complaints had risen significantly.
Of course, it doesn’t go far enough. Proper, stringent regulation is needed in order to remove the disreputable practitioners from the sector and allow people to have confidence in those that are left. But a fully-regulated industry is likely to be a way off yet.
I understand why people want to give their appearance a helping hand. After all, on a less invasive level isn’t that the purpose the multi-billion pound make-up industry serves? I get it. We want to look our best.
It’s just that I’ve never been completely convinced that invasive surgery, whether through injection or incision, is the right way to do it. In the end, that’s a matter of personal opinion – but I do believe, fervently, that if you choose to go down the route of surgery, you have a right to expect the best possible level of care.
I also know that acupuncture offers another, natural way to improve the health, elasticity and complexion of the skin without any of the risks associated with cosmetic surgery.
To help you to understand why, here’s some very simple background: collagen – the substance cosmetic surgery injects into the skin, lips and so on as a filler to give a plumper and more elastic, younger-looking appearance – is produced naturally by the body.
When we’re young, this manufacturing centre of the body is in overdrive – pumping out collagen as though it were going out of fashion. The result is skin that has that wonderful elasticity and firmness that makes us all feel a bit nostalgic when we see ourselves in old photos.
But as we get older, the body produces much less collagen and the skin loses some of those attributes we associate with youth.
Like any machine, the body becomes less productive and less efficient as it ages. But that doesn’t mean we stop producing the nutrients and enzymes that feed our skin – it’s just that the biological manufacturing process isn’t as productive as it once was.
By painlessly inserting superfine needles into the skin, acupuncture rebalances the natural energy in the body and that does two further things that have a remarkable effect on the way you look.
First, it triggers the body’s collagen production into action so it works as efficiently as it can (though bear in mind, while acupuncture can do a lot of amazing things, one thing it can’t do is turn back time, so the body will never produce collagen at the same level it did when you were 18). This increase in production fills lines and improves both elasticity and firmness.
Second, the clearing of your body’s natural energy flow – or Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) – stimulates blood flow, which is what gives your skin its healthy tone.
The result? You look younger and healthier, your confidence grows and, crucially, you don’t need to sit on Google looking for a cosmetic surgeon who may or may not be able to do the same thing and may or may not disfigure you for life.
And even if, having read this, you’re sitting there with your doubts and reservations about how acupuncture for cosmetic improvement can possibly work, I’d say two things:
One – acupuncture has been part of society to a greater or lesser degree – and certainly greater today than ever before – for two millennia. It’s been around that long because it works.
Two – are you prepared to gamble your health and looks that it doesn’t?
When you look in the mirror, maybe you see a duckling. But you don’t necessarily need surgery to discover the swan inside.
So if you’d like skin that looks healthy because it is healthy and you’re prepared to invest 10 minutes in a confidential conversation with me, why not pick up the phone and give me a call?