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PART 2: My JOURNEY
After reviewing all of the above and going in to have a free initial consultation, I decided to go for it. All of the opinions here are my own. I paid to have this treatment done. I am not getting paid to promote this. I truly wanted this for myself and thought there must be others out there also looking for alternatives to injections.
So, come along for the ride. And beware, these pictures are not re-touched. I braved putting my naked face, up close, photographed with a professional camera, for you.
And for all of us. Because we’re so used to seeing air-brushed everywhere. Then we look in the mirror and feel bad about ourselves. Let’s make a pledge to stop that right now.
To love our imperfections. I am so grateful to have a face that can show all my emotions. With lines around my mouth from laughing so hard it hurt. With wrinkles from worrying about my sick babies.
So, like always, I’m not going for perfection here. I still want to look like me (and not have a frozen forehead!), just to look like the healthiest, glowiest version of me.
So, here’s my story…..
After my free initial 20-minute consult I decided to go for it. My next visit was a Cosmetic Acupuncture Assessment. This was about an hour-and-a-half visit. We did a whole intake which included health history, and taking the Before pics. Leave the makeup at home, this is naked and raw!
After the intake, I got my first taste of the needles. Yes, I was nervous. But I had acupuncture done years ago, so I knew what was coming. I’ve just never had needles in my face.
The warm bed you lie on and the heat lamps really help to relax you. With some of the needles, I can’t feel anything. With others, I can feel a little ‘zing’, then nothing. Once all the needles are in, I can’t feel anything at all.
It’s just like I’m resting on a warm bed for a fabulous rest in the middle of the day. Amen, sista!
After a few more questions from Senia about what I typically eat (without any judgment from her at all), it was back up on the table.
Take off your socks and shoes (don’t worry, the heat lamps will be on your feet), and hop on the bed. I made sure to wear comfy clothes that aren’t restricting.
Senia starts by using a cleanser on your skin, then some arnica gel to prevent bruising.
More needles in my feet (watch the video for the explanation on this), in my abdomen (for digestive issues), and in my head and face.
I have to admit that as a redhead, I am more sensitive than most. Ironic that the girl who decided to blog about this is more sensitive to the needles than 95% of Senia’s other patients. So if I can handle the needles, you got this.
Again, sometimes I can’t feel them going in. Other times I jump a little as it feels like a pinch for a millisecond, then it’s gone.
When she takes the needles out, sometimes there is a little bleeding, sometimes none. She applies a little pressure with a q-tip as needed. Then puts a moisturizer on your face and an eye cream.
At the end, she uses a jade roller. I had never seen one of these before.
“Jade has long been used in China to repair and improve the radiance of the skin. Its cooling effect reduces sun damage and inflammation and reduces puffiness under the eyes. Research has shown that jade helps cells knit back together after damage.”
My skin felt slightly more sensitive this time. Apparently, that happens if you’re holding stress! Senia did some extra points to calm my nervous system.
Now I’m grateful that I’m doing this during the holiday season. At first, I was worried that I was trying to fit too much in.
Now I can see that the timing was perfect and that this definitely helped me with stress and staying healthy.
Senia also asked me to e-mail her with exactly what my skincare regimen is and she would identify any missing ingredients in my skincare routine.
Today Senia went over my Report of Findings. This is summary of what’s going on with my whole body.
It goes through Diagnosis, Treatment Plan, what can be done during my visits, and what I can do at home on my own.
In the Patient Role section, Senia identified a few holes in my skincare routine. She suggested that I use a serum with Vitamin C. (I have in the past, just didn’t have any vitamin C in my current products.)
She also suggested that I use an eye cream. According to Senia:
“the cells around the eyes are more tight-knit than other areas of the face, so a smaller molecule is necessary to penetrate and feed the skin (which is why bottles are small and more expensive). Eye serum also works well around the mouth.”
I love the fact that she isn’t just recommending products that she sells. She is looking for gaps in the ingredients you are using. She does have a couple of lines that she carries, but knows there are many other great lines out there, and is more concerned that you are getting the ingredients you need.
She is very careful about the lines she carries and checks them on the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. I knew from the beginning she was our kind of people!!
In addition to skincare recommendations, she goes over your food. Remember when she asked me all about what I ate way back in the beginning?
She analyzed that too. This is what she means by holistic. I got specific recommendations for me based on the deficiencies in my body. This is not about a diet at all, just what my body, personally, needs more of and less of.
I also had recommendations on sleep, exercise, meditation, and more. It was crazy thorough.
Don’t feel like it’s a crazy list of homework. Review it at your own pace and implement it as it works for you.
These went about the same as #1. Each time you chat a little before the treatment so they can find out if anything new is going on with you.
Since I did this during the winter, and during Christmas/New years, it was a very stressful time as well as being around a lot of people getting sick.
They inserted needles at specific points to relieve stress and boost immunity.
I am telling it all like it is here. Just like I’d want you to do for me. Visit #5 was my most challenging of all. It was December 29. Kids were on winter break, right after Christmas and before the New Year.
But the biggest stressor of all was that my mom had just fallen and broken her hip. She was in the hospital in Colorado recovering from surgery. And then I had some technical difficulties with the blog. There was a post I needed to get out before New Year’s and it didn’t look like it was going to happen.
Let’s just say, perfect storm.
I was actually looking forward to the “acupuncture nap”. As Whitney (another Acupuncturist in the office) got started, the needles were hurting more than usual. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. I tried with everything I had to hold them back.
My body had another idea. All of a sudden, I was uncontrollably sobbing. Full-on ugly cry.
Whitney stayed there calmly comforting me. Telling me that this isn’t unusual. The acupuncture is helping to release that stored emotion that needs to get out. She stayed there while I let it all out. It was such a welcome release. Eventually, I stopped shaking and was incredibly calm, relaxed and peaceful.
My body knew exactly what it needed because it is designed to heal itself. Emotions that don’t get released get stored in the body and lead to dis-ease. If I originally thought I was just going in for my skin, I was wrong!
These go much smoother than the last one. My body is more relaxed and most of the needles I can’t even feel.
My skin is feeling really smooth. I’m going much longer without exfoliating. The color in my face is evening out. I tend to have reddish skin and always need foundation. But I’m going without it!!!
I even noticed that I didn’t have PMS this month, what???
Another HUGE benefit is that I stayed healthy!! I was on vacation with my girlfriend for a long weekend, in the same hotel room and she was very sick. After she got home, her son got it and her husband got it. But I didn’t!!!!
Between the acupuncture and elderberry and other things I talk about in my post about immunity-boosters, I stayed healthy!!!
At one of these visits, Senia gave me some Chinese herbs to boost my energy. I was hitting an afternoon slump every day where I wanted to crawl into bed in the afternoon. Between the herbs and acupuncture, my energy and sleep are both improving.
Here are my Before and After Pics: (Hello creepy mug shots!)
Note that it is really tricky to get the same position, lighting, etc…. We did our best. Here’s what I noticed: huge reduction in my dark circles, slight reduction in fine lines, smoother skin around mouth, tighter jawline, much less redness, and smoother skin in general with less congestion.
I fell in love with Senia and Whitney and everyone in the office. It is such a welcoming, non-judgemental, cozy spot. My skin has not looked this good in 10 years. I am really happy with the results. I love how the treatments worked on my whole body and improved my energy and digestion as well.
Besides seeing a huge reduction in my dark circles, slight reduction in fine lines, smoother skin around mouth, tighter jawline, much less redness, and smoother skin in general with less congestion, I am also amazed at the other benefits I saw, like stress reduction/release, and my immune system working like a rock star.
Not only was I on vacation with my girlfriend who was really sick, I also spent a day with a friend who was diagnosed with influenza the following day, and both of my boys had what was likely influenza and were home sick for a whole week….I stayed healthy through it all. Miraculous!
This is definitely going to be added to my maintenance routine. Along with chiropractic, massage, and energy work, this is a keeper. I will do the monthly maintenance not only to keep my skin looking my best but to keep my body running as well as it can.
For more information please visit Senia’s clinic, Healing Insights here.
And just for my favorite people, you, Senia has generously given us a coupon code.