AcuFacial, a non-surgical alternative that advocates say turns back the clock on aging.ABC News' Jen Pereira reports:The hottest new trend taking the beauty world by storm is
The process involves strategically placing tiny needles on the body and face. Clients can actually come away looking five to 10 years younger, Shellie Goldstein, a New York area acupuncturist, told "Good Morning America" in an interview that aired Monday.
"We are taking your face to the gym, we're exercising it," Goldstein said. "We have muscles in our body, we have muscles in our face, there is no other procedure that actually exercises the muscles and improves circulation in your skin."
While experts say there is no scientific backing for the procedure, people are still choosing the process. AcuFacial works with the energy of the body to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improve muscle tone and "give you a beautiful overall glow and complexion," Goldstein said.
Acupuncture is an alternative system of medicine that has its roots in Ancient China. Sterile stainless steel needles are inserted into the patient's acupuncture points, over 600 of which exist in the human body. The acupuncture points are specific points located along a patient's Meridians, or channels of energy. Each Meridian is associated with a particular organ, tissue, element and emotion, according to information provided by Gabrielle Francis, owner of The Herban Alchemist in New York City.
The particular point combination in an AcuFacial treatment is determined after reviewing the patient's history and evaluating his or her pulses and tongue.
Alyson Halter, a 35-year-old from New York City, said her face "was looking tired" after she gave birth to her daughter. She's now on the ninth of 10 planned treatments.
"The biggest thing has been my skin looks so clear and I rarely wear any makeup on my face, I have a nice glow to my face, my eyes don't look tired or puffy," she said. "I've noticed a lot of tightening especially in the jawline area, lift around the eyes … people look at me and say something is different but they don't really know what and it's all from the AcuFacial."
In photos after those procedures, Halter's face appears smoother and clearer.
She says the procedures are not painful at all.
"It really just feels like a little pin prick … you don't feel it after she does it," Halter said. "I usually fall asleep when I get this done."
The initial visit for an AcuFacial treatment takes up two hours and includes a physical exam. Follow up treatments take one hour and range from twice per week for weeks for the most aggressive treatment plan, to once a week for one month for milder cases.
Dalia Carella, a professional dancer, also from New York, who is in her mid-50s, says people are similarly impressed when they see her now that she's had the procedure.
"I feel like my skin is the way I used to feel when I was 30 years old, I just feel nice and taut now and my skin I feel like it has such a glow to it like when I was younger and I feel it looks healthier," she said.
Francis has been working with Carella for the past three years. Francis says the overall health of the patient has an impact upon the results.
"The healthier someone is overall the more improvement they get and the faster and more long-term it becomes," Francis said. "You'll definitely notice something different after the first treatment but the effects of the treatments are cumulative and the more treatments you come for the longer they last and the most permanent it starts to become."
- Alternative Medicine