Aging creeps us on the best of us. The first hint of a wrinkle becomes a deep line seemingly overnight. Buying a satin pillowcase wasn’t making a difference. Neither were any of the anti-aging (and potentially harmful) beauty products. I was already used to seeing an acupuncturist for overall wellbeing, so when I learned about facial acupuncture, the multi-tasking, time-saving part of me immediately fell in love. Heal the insides and reap the benefits on my face? Sold!
I did a great deal of research online, had hundreds of needles stuck in me in the name of research, and adore Shellie Goldstein. She combines the best of Eastern practice with Western technology. Read our quick interview below, and order her book, Your Best Face Now, if you live out of town or can’t make the financial commitment for 8-10 facial acupuncture sessions.
Louise McCready Hart: What inspired you to go into facial acupuncture?
Shellie Goldstein: One day I looked at the mirror and was shocked. I had always had a good complexion, good skin and muscle tone, exercised regularly, and considered myself fit, but when I looked in the mirror, I was starting to show the signs of aging. I had a line between my nose and mouth, heavy eyelids, saggy cheeks, dry skin, and I just didn’t like the way that I looked. You can put on a lot of products, but they won’t affect muscle tone. I graduated with a master’s degree in nutrition and my first job out of NYU was in cell biology. After I had an acupuncture degree and was liscenced in cosmetics, I went to Columbia Iniversity and observed a facial dissection course and went to the facial paralysis section at a hospital in China. I came up with a facial acupuncture treatment and it worked. I find the science between nutrition and products fascinating.
LMH: How long have you been treating patients with facial acupuncture?
SG: I got liscenced in 1991 and from the beginning people were asking about facial acupuncture. But it was when I noticed its affect on myself that I took it more seriously.
LMH: What have you enjoyed most about practicing facial acupuncture?
SG: I loved creating it and providing people with an alternative or adjunct to services out there. It is unique and different but fits the gap that so many people are looking for.
LMH: What would a typical client’s complaints be?
SG: The complaints that I hear most is people look in the mirror and feel they either look tired or angry. Tired means sagging cheek muscles. Angry indicates a deep crease between the eyebrows. There are some more specific complaints–wrinkles across the forehead, around the eyes, sagging in cheek muslces, loss of muscle definition, crepey neck, sunspots, adult acne and roscea.
LMH: What has been your greatest success story?
SG: I have a lot of success stories. A very high powered man in finance who traveled the world and had horrible skin and acne rosea. As a result, he had a horrible self-image and when he gave presentations to hundreds of people at the time he thought the only thing they were doing is looking at his skin. He came in, I treated him, and he started noticing a difference after four or five weeks. Six months later, with diligent work and sessions, he has perfect skin. It’s been five years now, and I see him periodically.
In terms of wrinkles, I can see the difference in one treatment. There was a woman who came in with pale skin, puffy sagging cheeks, loss of definiteion in jaw line, and heavy eyelids. And in one treatment–the combination of the acupuncture, microcurrent, and LED–the results were dramatic. Incorporating acupuncture treats the inside to affect the outside.
LMH: I very much enjoyed reading your book Best Face Now on facial acupressure. When I took the quiz, I was all over the map: 13 each for kidney and spleen; 12 each for heart and liver; and 8 for lung. Which type recommendations should I follow?
SG: Generally when that happens, you’re a kidney type. The kidney is the root of everything. If you can’t get a clear answer, look at the kidney system.
LMH: I was very interested to learn that facial acupressure can make a difference. I admit, I haven’t been doing it consistently, but do you find it makes a real difference?
SG: Whats nice about accupressue is it’s nice to do something for yourself on a regular, daily basis. The cumulative effects of a weekly acupuncture treatment could be four or five acupressure treatments. I have people fly in and see me, then they do daily acupressure and come back two to three months later, and I notice a difference. It’s great for people who don’t live in NY or who can’t afford the treatments.