- Can you treat yourself at home with pressure on the same points? Dr. Zhang said that acupuncture is more effective than pressure on the same points (known as acupressure), because it penetrates the surface and is deeply connected with your meridians. He strongly recommends acupuncture for loose, sagging skin. However, you can give yourself very basic treatments at home, one to fight puffiness and the other to fight breakouts.
Place your index fingers directly under the iris of each eye, and lower them until the pads of your fingers are between your lower lid and your orbital bone. Massage these symmetrical points for up to 60 seconds several times a week to reduce eye puffiness. After you've finished massaging these areas, drag your fingers lower on your face until they sit just under your orbital bone (close to the top of your cheekbone). Massage these points for fewer breakouts.
- Is acupuncture better than going to a dermatologist? "Dermatologists often use antibiotics and other chemicals to treat the skin," said Dr. Zhang. "Topical skin care products and medications help some skin conditions but not those caused by internal problems." Also, acupuncture is a healthy and safe alternative to prescribed medications. Accutane has some side effects that shouldn't be taken lightly. He does admit that in order to prevent or reduce wrinkles, you must maintain steady treatment (about once a week for 30 minutes). You may consider this to be too much of a time investment, but think about it: you also need to continue getting Botox to be line free. Dr. Zhang is strongly against that method. "Botox isn't natural. Acupuncture is. Choosing a natural method that promotes energy in the body is the best way to get results."
Finally, if you're nervous around needles or think you don't have time to get acupuncture, let me soothe your concerns. I rarely feel Dr. Zhang insert the acupuncture needles (that's how small they are!). And while it can be a struggle to make room in my schedule for acupuncture, I make sure it takes precedence over happy hour. Plus, it makes for a very relaxing break in my week. During each 30-minute treatment, Dr. Zhang turns off the lights. Coupled with the fact that I have needles on the tops of my hands, this makes it difficult to go on my phone (he knows me too well), so I have no choice but to close my eyes and decompress, resulting in a multitasking power nap. That night, I have the best sleep ever instead of the usual restlessness, and I wake feeling clearheaded and serene.