Yahoo News – Beauty Benefits of Acupuncture

Yahoo News – Beauty Benefits of Acupuncture

Allie Flinn
December 2, 2014

I’ll admit it: I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to things like acupuncture. I’d rather deal with headaches and stress by popping a couple of Aleve or working my way through a heart-pounding Crossfit workout than “focusing on my breathing” or trying “healing yoga.” But, could taking a more rounded and holistic approach be the way to go? 

I talked to Dr. John J. Kim, L.Ac., O.M.D., founder of ReNuMi Wellness Center and Mila Alexandra Mintsis, licensed acupuncturist at Shift Integrative Medicine on all things acupuncture. It turns out, those little needles can solve a lot more of life’s little dilemmas than ibuprofen can, like acne and wrinkles. Consider this your non-new age-y guide to the beauty benefits of sticking needles in your skin.

“Acupuncture helps energy flow through our body through a network of meridians,” says Kim. Think of meridians like blood vessels that connect acupuncture points to each other. Only instead of carrying blood, these channels carry qi (energy). When we’re stressed, these pathways become blocked; acupuncture needles stimulate points along the meridian, and help open them up. 

To zap stress, needles are most commonly placed in the hands and feet. For me, it was the needle placed between my thumb and forefinger that had an immediate, just-drank-a-glass-of-warm-milk effect. 

To ease stress long-term, Kim recommends a course of acupuncture twice a week for six to eight weeks. This gives the treatment time to help regulate body temperature, improve blood circulation and help you sleep better (all things that lead to reduced stress). Though it may seem counterintuitive if you’re needle-phobic, even the treatment itself is relaxing (just close your eyes). Kim says that a lot of times, people will fall asleep while they’re on the table.

Needles For: Banishing Pesky Pimples

Clearly, acupuncture isn’t our go-to method for clearing up acne (hello, face full of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid). But Mintsis argues that topical remedies treat only the outward appearance instead of what’s going on internally. “Acne is usually an outward manifestation of an internal imbalance,” she says. When you fix that, you also quash future breakouts. 

Because acupuncture addresses the root of one’s acne problem, such as digestive imbalances or a slow-moving lymphatic system, treatment varies from person to person. Mintis says that the tongue and pulse are used to determine a course of treatment and the placement of the needles. “Dietary changes, herbs and essential oils would be an additional important component of treatment,” she adds. She recommends 12 sessions for those looking to clear up their acne.

Needles For: Glowy Skin and Fewer Wrinkles

“Acupuncture has been used to improve physical appearance for thousands of years,” says Mintsis. It works by creating a positive microtrauma in the skin (similar to the tears that happen to your muscles during exercise), which Mintsis says is thought to “stimulate fibroblasts and increase collagen production,” meaning, you can see improved skin tone, diminished wrinkles and fine lines, a decrease in sagging skin and a youthful glow.

Mintsis says that acupuncture is unique in that it also addresses imbalances in the body that results in puffiness or chronically dry skin, which is essential for long-lasting results.

Acupuncture facial rejuvenation, as the process is called, involves placing small, hair-thin needles along certain points on the body, head and face.

Unlike Botox or invasive procedures, cosmetic acupuncture has no side effects. This treatment plan involves ten sessions over five weeks, followed by a monthly treatment to maintain the results.

Kim also developed a treatment system called ART that works by balancing hormones and regulating the digestive and lymphatic systems. “A healthy organ system is reflected as a healthy glow to the face,” he says. “ART treatment cleans body fluids by regulating water metabolism. It refreshes blood and detoxifies the whole body.” Basically, it acts like a detox and increases blood circulation to the skin — this releases muscle tightness and results in fewer wrinkles. Unlike other acupuncture treatments, the needles are removed immediately to improve collagen and muscle tone. One treatment program has four sessions.  

Needles For: Helping With Weight Loss

“A series of acupuncture can regulate water metabolism for the whole body to help suppress the appetite,” Kim says. Mintsis says that two points on the ear (the “hunger point” and the “stomach point”), can be stimulated, AKA needled (my words), to help get cravings and feelings of hunger under control. Certain points on your body — just above the ankle bone on the inside of your leg, for one — can also be stimulated to help improve metabolism. 

Don’t expect it to be magic, however — Mintsis notes that this isn’t any substitute for exercising and maintaining a healthy diet (so don’t toss that kale and gym membership just yet), but it is an effective tool to have in your arsenal to help you reach your goals. Twelve sessions seems to be the magic number; that’s how many are recommended to assist with a weight-loss plan.

Needles For: Calming a Tension Headache

If you’re chronically stressed (see above), you’re probably pretty familiar with tension headaches. While headache pains occur in the head, Mintsis says the culprit is usually somewhere else. “Poor posture, heavy bags and long hours at work in front of a computer create a lot of tension in our neck and upper back muscles,” she says. “In addition, a lot of people carry their stress in their neck and upper back, and feel increased pain and tension every time they are exposed to a stressful situation.” (Which is most of the time, for many of us). 

To relieve this, Mintsis explains that, in Chinese medicine, you place the needle where the tension is to balance the qi and increase blood flow to the area. “That is the ‘calming point,’ and if you place needles at many of these, then you open the channels of chi, to ease pain in the body,” she explains. 


Affinity Acupuncture provides acupuncture services to treat the conditions listed above, and much more. To learn more, visit here.

Holiday Gift Cards Available

It’s that time of year, folks – figuring out what to get our loved ones for Christmas presents. Why not give someone you love the gift of better health? Affinity Acupuncture offers gift cards in the amount of your choice for acupuncture and massage therapy sessions. Our services offer the following benefits: 

Relaxation and Stress Relief
Improved Health and Wellness (Immune system, pain relief, digestion, sleep, etc.)
Weight loss
Addiction Cessation
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture
Women’s Health
And more

Call 615-939-2787 to purchase your Gift Cards today. 

Why Wait Until New Year’s?

So many of us make fitness resolutions for the New Year, many of which are to make up for indulgences during the holiday season. Why wait until then to make the wellness changes that your body needs?

For many of us, the holidays mean extra calories and extra stress that lead to complications in our bodies. We don’t sleep as well, we’re more vulnerable to illness, we have extra tension in our muscles, and we carry more stress. Or we don’t enjoy the holidays as much as we could because we suffer from chronic headaches or digestive issues, and worry about the extra weight we may already be carrying, or how the new lines and wrinkles that showed up in the past year will look in holiday photos. Acupuncture can help with all of that. This year, pledge to be more proactive than reactive. Start taking care of your bodies now, so they are better able to handle the flurry of activities at holiday time.  

Even if you’re in good health now, you can protect yourself against the coming vulnerability. Treat yourself right by treating yourself to some massages or acupuncture treatments to overcome any wellness problems that you are experiencing, and to help your body defend itself against future illness, stress, and injury. Affinity Acupuncture offers cost saving packages and an exclusive Membership program, and we offer evening and Saturday hours as well. 

Call 615-939-2787 today, or book through our website. Your health is worth the investment. 

Is Acupuncture Right For You?

For almost everyone who has asked themselves that question, the answer is YES.

Most of us know that acupuncture can help with chronic pain associated with arthritis, injury, and demanding lifestyles. Acupuncture is growing in popularity for other areas, as well, including allergy treatments and fertility. There is a whole host of other conditions that acupuncture can bring great relief for, also, including digestive issues, sleep disturbances, menopause, stress/anxiety, smoking cessation, and weight loss. Acupuncture can even help improve your sex life and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. 

If you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, or if you’ve reached a point when feeling ok just isn’t good enough, congratulations! Realizing that you deserve more is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Making a commitment to take the steps to change how you feel is the next step. Affinity Acupuncture in Brentwood can help you on your wellness journey. We offer acupuncture, massage therapy, nutritional counseling, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Our services are safe and highly effective, and we offer evening and weekend appointments for your convenience, as well as cost-saving packages and an exclusive membership program. 

Call us at 615-939-2787 or visit our website, to schedule a free consultation today. 

The Health Benefits of Pistachios in a Nutshell

Our twins love pistachios. We can’t crack the shells open fast enough. And we can feel good about giving this healthy snack that benefits their heart, blood, eyes, immune system, nervous system, and skin.

Eye Health – Pistachios have two types of antioxidants called carotenoids which aren’t in many other nuts. Lutein and zeaxanthin protect your tissue from free radicals in the body, which can lead to macular degeneration among other things.

Immune System – The B6 found in pistachios is essential for a healthy immune system and brain activity.

Blood Health – Vitamin B6 also helps the body make red blood cells and maintain lymphoid glands. These help the thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes produce white blood cells that protect the body from infection. B6 also produces hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood stream.

Diabetes Help – Pistachios are rich in phosphorous, which helps the body break proteins into amino acids. It also supports glucose tolerance, which is may help prevent Type 2 diabetes. 

Skin Health – The Vitamin E found in pistachios is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant that maintains the integrity of cell membranes. It also protects the skin from UV damage, and is a great defense against skin cancer and premature skin aging.

Heart Health – Pistachios can help the body reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL levels after being in your diet for only a short period of time. 

Pain Reduction – Vitamins A & E are antioxidants found in pistachios. These help fight inflammation which can trigger arthritis pain and more.

Digestive Health – A serving of pistachios contains 3 grams of dietary fiber, almost the same amount as in oatmeal.

We hear about the virtues of almonds constantly, and they’re great to have in the snack arsenal, but when you’re looking for a change of pace, grab a handful of these cute little nuts. There’s even something therapeutic about cracking open the shells when you need to get a little stress out of your system. As an added bonus, pistachios have fewer calories and less fat than most other nuts, supporting weight loss and maintenance.