Cosmetic Acupuncture

Cosmetic acupuncture (also called facial rejuvenation acupuncture, facial acupuncture or “acupuncture face-lift”) is a safe and virtually pain-free method of reducing the signs of aging. It was originally used as a treatment for patients with paralysis of facial nerves caused by Bell’s palsy or stroke. As cosmetic “side-effects” were noted, it was adapted for use as an “anti-aging” treatment.

Benefits of Cosmetic Acupuncture

A number of studies have evaluated the effectiveness of cosmetic acupuncture using a range of standardized measurement tools including the Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale, the Wrinkle Severity Rating Scale, Moiré topography, ultrasonography and use of silicon microrelief impressions. In two studies, benefits were noted after one or two treatments in 90% of participants. Findings confirm the aesthetic benefits of cosmetic acupuncture, including:

  • Improved skin texture
  • Improved skin elasticity
  • Reduction of skin wrinkles
  • Reduction of “double chin”
  • Reduction of “drooping” of eyelids
  • Minimization of pore size
  • Reduction of acne
  • Increased “brightness” of eyes

The overall goal of cosmetic acupuncture treatment is a reduction in appearance of between 5-15 years.

What to Expect

Although benefit may be noted in as few as one or two treatments; effects are typically noticed after five treatments.  10 treatments, once weekly, for one-hour each are recommended to attain optimal results.  

At your initial assessment, an individualized treatment plan will be devised to address your specific cosmetic needs, and can also be used to address other health concerns (e.g., headaches, joint pain, muscle aches) that can be treated simultaneously using acupuncture. 

Treatments involve insertion of acupuncture needles at specific points at and around the face, and at points elsewhere over the body. Pain is minimal, limited to a “pricking” sensation at the time of needle insertion. Music or a guided mediation can be played during treatment to increase relaxation during treatments.  

The effectiveness of cosmetic acupuncture treatments can be optimized by including in your regimen use of Gua Sha, exercises for facial muscles, facial massage therapy treatments or use of nutritional supplements or botanical (herbal) medicines which will be explained at your appointments.

Following an initial course of treatment, maintenance treatments recommended every three months. 

Cosmetic Acupuncture at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Cosmetic acupuncture treatments at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are performed by Janice Wu, ND and Yan Yen Loo, ND.

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine we use only highest-quality, sterile, single-use, extra-fine Seirin® brand acupuncture needles for cosmetic acupuncture treatments.

Cosmetic acupuncture treatments performed at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are covered by most extended healthcare plans.


Doran V. An introduction to facial revitalization acupuncture. European Journal of Oriental Medicine. [Internet]. 2006;5(5) [Cited 2013 Nov 13]. Available from:

Yun Y, Kim S, Kim M, Kim K, Park JS, Choi I. Effect of facial cosmetic acupuncture on facial elasticity: an open-label, single-arm pilot study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. [Internet]. 2013 [Cited 2013 Nov 13].  Available from:

Zhang Q, Zhu L. Meridional cosmetology: report of 300 cases with discussion of underlying mechanism. The International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture. 1996;401-405.

Fabbrocini G, De Vita V, Di Costanzo L, Pastore F, Mauriello MC, Ambra M, Annunziata MC, di Santolo MG, Cameli N, Monfrecola G. Skin needling in the treatment of the aging neck. Skinmed. 2011 Nov-Dec;9(6):347-51.