For people who deem needles too scary and surgery too drastic, the latest anti-aging fad may appeal: facial yoga. Based on the premise that facial muscles, like any other muscle, need exercise to stay toned, enthusiasts of facial yoga say the regular practice of making kissy faces or wagging one's tongue can reduce worry lines and wrinkles — and even create a little peace within.
In New York City, Annelise Hagen, a devoted yogi, former actress and author of The Yoga Face: Eliminate Wrinkles with the Ultimate Natural Facelift, runs a weekly facial yoga class. Hagen says she started to develop her face-based technique when she realized that her students, mostly well-to-do, well-educated professionals, were practicing yoga but getting Botox injections during their lunch breaks. "It didn't seem to be in the spirit of yoga to me," she says.
At a recent Friday evening session, Hagen led students through a combination of traditional yoga poses, primal grunts, theatrical expressions and lots of laughter. Hagen's facial exercises include the Smiling Fish (purse your lips and smile slightly), the Marilyn (blow kisses while keeping your forehead smooth) and the Satchmo (puff out your face and transfer air from cheek to cheek). Lined up in front of the mirror, their fingers pressed into their foreheads and their tongues lolling, the participants looked deranged, but they seemed to be onto something good. "When we walk in, you can see how tired and stressed out everyone is," says student Kathy Healey. "By the time we leave, you can see the lines fading."
At least one student thinks the practice has taken a few years off her face. "I look at myself now and say, 'That old lady is leaving,'" says Irene Elmore, who has been attending Hagen's class for about a month. "You can see the difference around the eyes and forehead."
Hopefully Xania will chime in. In the meantime, I can tell you that there is such a thing (in some parts of the world ... usually where rich ladies live) as an "acupuncture face-lift".
I do cosmetic, as well as traditional acupuncture. It is a way to smooth out some wrinkles, brighten the skin and gives a younger appearance. If someone wants dramatic results, have surgery. If you want to look like a healthier, younger you, have acupuncture.
I use very small needles either side of the deepest lines. I apply a blend of which ever oil is appropriate to the patient's skin-type, and I use micro-current stimulation in some areas.
There are contra-indications for this kind of treatment but a generally healthy person will benefit by improved appearance and general well-being. It is not a permanent effect, but then, neither is life!