Did you know that Botox is manufactured from the most deadly bacteria known to humans?
Also called botulinum toxin type A, Botox is made from the bacteria that causes botulism, a severe, life threatening disease that causes muscle paralysis[i]. Proclaimed a “miracle poison” Botox is widely used today for cosmetic purposes, in particular paralyzing muscles to smooth the appearance of wrinkles.
Unfortunately, once you start using Botox, it can be difficult to stop. As soon as Botox wears off the wrinkles bounce straight back, meaning you need to continually refresh your injections, around $500 every 3 months, every year. If this sounds a little excessive to you, then here are my top three tips to avoid falling into this Botox trap by the time you hit your 40’s.
- Mindful expression
Lines and wrinkles are an expression of emotion. Yes, there are some other factors too, including dehydration and sun exposure, but emotions have the biggest impact. Are you aware of your concentration face? Think about it now. Do you furrow your brow or clench your jaw? Do these actions and notice the strength of the muscles making these expressions. If you can, look in the mirror. Are your lines accentuated? If yes, then your expression is what is causing your frown lines in the first place.
So how do you overcome constant tension and frowning in the face? Mindfulness, or being aware of the here and now, is a great tool. Start by closing your eyes, and noticing the tension in your facial muscles. Notice how it feels, and wiggle your brow and roll your eyes. Relax your jaw, and let your mouth open slightly. Take a deep, sighing breath. After a few breaths, look in the mirror again. Better? You can practice this several times daily, and pretty soon your will be holding less tension in your face. You will also feel more relaxed and centered, a wonderful side-effect.
- Facial yoga
You are probably familiar with yoga for physical fitness, but how about facial yoga? Facial yoga is ancient yet effective way to keep the muscles of your face and neck toned, supple and relaxed. Facial yoga exercises encourage the tensing and relaxing of facial muscles, through forming a series of often hilarious facial expressions. It is recommended you do these in front of a mirror, but be warned, you will crack yourself up!
Facial yoga works on the same principle as body yoga; if you stretch and strengthen your muscles they will be healthier and less likely to tense or sag. Facial yoga also has the added benefit of helping to relieve tension and stress in the body, which can leave you feeling calm and blissful.
- Cosmetic acupuncture
Mindfulness and facial yoga are a great start, but sometimes you need something a little stronger. At 5,000 years old, cosmetic acupuncture draws on the ancient techniques of Chinese medicine to help create harmony and health within your body. It is a well rounded approach, taking into account your emotional and psychological well-being, stress levels, diet and hormonal balance.
With a full diagnosis and treatment plan, cosmetic acupuncture aims to soften lines and improve your appearance naturally. Research has shown that cosmetic acupuncture can improve skin’s appearance by boosting the water and oil content in women’s skin[ii]. Other research has shown that a minimum of five Cosmetic acupuncture sessions improves facial elasticity in women aged 40 and 59 years, and hypothesized that cosmetic acupuncture could also be used to improve muscle tone in the face and neck[iii].
I have been practicing as a Chinese medicine doctor since 2006, and in that time treated hundreds of cosmetic acupuncture clients. Whilst I do not tout it as a miracle cure for women, I have found that many of my clients have gained wonderful benefits to both their appearance and health through a course of treatment. One of the most common requests I get in practice is to treat frown lines, or what I call the ’11’s’. This is also one of the most common areas women feel they need Botox to look fresher and more youthful. I have helped many women avoid the Botox trap through cosmetic acupuncture, including emotional mindfulness and facial yoga as part of their sessions.
To read more about cosmetic acupuncture you can do so on our website here, Qi Medicine acupuncture Melbourne. Taking a natural approach to beauty and wrinkles can offer you the best gains in the long run, with improvements to your overall health and vitality. Don’t feel pressured to follow the pack, and fall in to the Botox trap too.
  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Indian J Dermatol. 2010 Jan-Mar; 55(1): 8–14. Botulinum Toxin
 http://aim.bmj.com: Cosmetic acupuncture to enhance facial skin appearance: a preliminary study. Nozomi Donoyama, Ayumi Kojima1, Sachie Suoh, Norio Ohkoshi,
 Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; Published online 2013 Jul 28. Effect of Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture on Facial Elasticity: An Open-Label, Single-Arm Pilot Study. Younghee Yun, Sehyun Kim, Minhee Kim, KyuSeok Kim, Jeong-Su Park and Inhwa Choi
[iii] Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; Published online 2013 Jul 28. Effect of Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture on Facial Elasticity: An Open-Label, Single-Arm Pilot Study. Younghee Yun, Sehyun Kim, Minhee Kim, KyuSeok Kim, Jeong-Su Park and Inhwa Choi