Suffering from Acne? Fine lines and wrinkles? Has time taken the freshness from your face? If your complexion has you on pins and needles, ACUSKIN at Bluesky Acupuncture might have the solution. The cutting-edge fusion treatment works on a cellular level combining acupuncture, LED light therapy, and microcurrent therapy to rejuvenate the skin. Or, you could say, to reduce acne and mitigate the ravages of time.
Acupuncturist Elif Aran Kayra offers ACUSKIN treatment in her cozy office on Amsterdam’s Keizersgracht, and earlier this week I got to experience it first hand. Over a cup of tea, Elif told me how she learned the technique from an American acupuncturist active in New York’s fashion scene. At the time she was already working with needles and LED light therapy, and as of this November, she has added new microcurrent therapy from the New York protocol, effectively bringing the complexion boosting, anti-aging technique from the catwalks of New York to the canals of Amsterdam. Elif, aged 41, also applies the technique to herself. Her skin looks fantastic.
The specifically customized acupuncture treatment treats the underlying imbalances in the body, therefore, ACUSKIN is not a cosmetic but a therapeutic treatment on many different levels for various skin problems.
The specifically customized acupuncture treatment treats the underlying imbalances in the body, therefore, ACUSKIN is not a cosmetic but a therapeutic treatment on many different levels for various skin problems. “I have quite a few patients who have the skin treatment in addition to their regular acupuncture treatment so they can be treated for whatever condition they may have and have the skin treatment with an extra fee,” Elif said.
Each hour-long ACUSKIN session involves three stages of treatment with an interaction of elements that provide the total effect. “The first is acupuncture. Needles are applied to certain facial muscles to relax them as they activate the weakest muscles, which cause sagging and drooping of the face,” Elif explained.
Lying on the table in Elif’s office is a relaxing experience, and she explained what she was doing as she began the first stage of the treatment. A few of the needles stung just a bit, but I never even felt others. It was a very positive introduction to acupuncture.
The second stage of treatment involves the application of LED red light and microcurrent therapy. “The low power light is emitted through the skin to increase blood circulation, bringing nutrients and oxygen to the cells to promote collagen production, Elif said. LED red light therapy improves natural collagen and fibroblast production, two components that are important in a youthful skin appearance. Tissue is repaired and natural healing is achieved, as well as a lowering of oxidative stress, something highly associated with the aging process.
“Next, the microcurrent is applied, which mirrors our own body’s electrical current,” Elif said. Microcurrent therapy, the new aspect of the treatment, is a facial workout that trains the muscles on the face on a cellular level. Three specific frequencies are used during the treatment. One frequency relaxes the muscles that have tightened on the face causing wrinkles, while the other tones and strengthens the muscles that have weakened causing the face to sag. Another frequency is used to simultaneously repair the production of collagen in the dermis, the deepest layer of your skin.
My skin must have been working hard, but I was comfortably relaxing on the table. The LED and Microcurrent application takes 20 minutes and involves wearing a pair of goggles to protect the eyes with a large mask over the face. The light feels warm as it is emitted through the mask, and it leaves a sort of red visual impression on the eyes. The experience began to feel more like a meditation than a skin treatment. Elif said she has actually had patients fall asleep.
When the light treatment is finished, the mask comes off and the needles are painlessly removed. Elif then soothes the warm face with a sweet-smelling, cooling hydrogel mask. This mask consists of a gauzy, wet material which sits lightly on the face. “It’s 99% water, super moisturizing, and it emits a microcurrent which connects through the water in the mask to generate repair reaching the deepest layer of skin,” Elif said.
It takes 10 to 12 treatments to see improvement.
Finally, she saves the best for last, finishing the treatment with a Guasha, a Chinese facial massage. This feels incredibly soothing and relaxes everything. Elif follows this with facial cupping, which drains any extra fluid. By this point I was so relaxed I could indeed have slept.
The hour-long procedure has an accumulative effect. “It takes 10 to 12 treatments to see improvement. Sometimes after four or five treatments, you can see effects, depending on the starting condition of the skin. The 10 to 12 treatments are followed by maintenance treatments every four to six weeks,” Elif said.
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Photo credit: Mary Petiet
Mary Petiet is an author, poet, and freelance writer. Her work is inspired by her native Cape Cod and her experiences in the Netherlands. The author of the recently released Moon Tide: Cape Cod Poems, and Owl Magic: Your Guide Through Difficult Times, Mary is also the founder of Sea Crow Press, a small independent imprint curating creative nonfiction and poetry to give her titles a home.