Professional Cosmetic and Facial Acupuncture

Cosmetic Acupuncture is the increasingly popular, natural, holistic and aesthetic, non-surgical alternative to BOTOX®, in combating the signs of ageing by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promoting a more youthful presence and improving overall health and skin appearance.

Stephanie Wood

Consultant Cosmetic and Facial Acupuncturist

SW Cosmetic Acupuncture was founded by Stephanie Wood; an experienced, Chartered Neuromusculoskeletal Physiotherapist and Consultant Cosmetic and Facial Acupuncturist, with over years’ private clinical experience.


 BSc Hons Physiotherapy

Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (MCSP)

Member of the Acupuncture Association for Chartered Physiotherapists (MAACP)

Facial Aesthetic Cosmetic Enhancement

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the practise of an ancient Chinese Medicine which involves strategically placing fine needles into points in channels in the body, known as Meridians, for medicinal, therapeutic and preventative purposes. Traditional Chinese Medicine beliefs are of ‘Qi’ flowing freely through the body in such Meridians, whereby a disturbance of this results in illness.

The Western Medicine approach to Acupuncture is that by stimulating sensory nerves in the skin and muscles, we can facilitate the body in balancing hormones and producing natural pain relieving properties and chemicals. Although Western Medical Acupuncture still adheres to using the Chinese Medicine Meridians and points, there is becoming an increasing evidence base behind the neurophysiology as to why such points can be beneficial in treating medical complaints. In either approach, a course of Acupuncture, as opposed to stand alone treatments are shown to have longer lasting effects.

Cosmetic Acupuncture

Cosmetic Acupuncture is the increasingly popular, natural, holistic and aesthetic, non-surgical alternative to Botox, in combating the signs of ageing by reducing the appearance of fine line and wrinkles, promoting a more youthful presence and improving overall health and skin appearance. Not only for ageing skin complaints, this exclusive skin care treatment can be used for numerous concerns such as acne and breakout scarring, dull, dry, uneven skin tone and pigmentation issues.

What is Cosmetic Acupuncture?

Acupuncture in facial points are widely understood to have been used by the Chinese Empress, and the Emperor’s mistresses long before the Song Dynasty in China (960AD-1279AD) and are now becoming increasingly popular in Western medicine.

Cosmetic Acupuncture is an effective, completely natural, surgery-free alternative to BOTOX® (which carries many possible side effects) in achieving a younger, firmer, healthier looking appearance. This exclusive, anti-ageing, aesthetic treatment helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles, whilst eradicating those signs of tension and ageing and improves overall skin tone and quality. The precise, individualised application of small, sterile acupuncture needles throughout the face, ears, neck and body stimulates the production of Collagen and Elastin, which visibly fills out lines and wrinkles while increasing water and oil content; resulting in younger looking skin. It also addresses any possible systemic causes of the issues present; leaving you feel revitalised and refreshed.

it is a relatively pain-free facial treatment which can also include non-facial points in the body to stimulate overall health and recovery, hormone balance, digestive health, stress and anxiety and aid sleep. The overall process usually involves the insertion of around 100 needles.

Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture is an exclusive beauty treatment and can also be used for enhancing definition in target areas such as the cheeks, lips and jaw line by creating a plumping effect through increased circulation and collagen production to the area. With this, the muscles are facilitated and re-trained to hold this appearance.

The Benefits 

  • Physically increases blood and circulation to the skin’s surface promoting a visibly brighter, clearer complexion whilst decreasing puffiness
  • Improves skin tone and strength through increased production of Elastin reducing bags and sagging around the eyes, face, and neck.
  • Enhances muscle tone and dermal contraction of the facial muscles to facilitate a smoother, firmer skin appearance.
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles through the stimulation of Collagen production
  • Increases the rate of cell regeneration through increased oxygen flow and subsequently accelerated efficiency of cellular waste elimination.
  • Aids in hormone rebalance and appearance of acne scarring, dark circles, and stress-related skin conditions whilst decreasing pore size.
  • Facilitates the body’s natural balance restoring mechanism; Homeostasis, achieving overall health and wellbeing.
  • Promotes quality of sleep, particularly REM sleep which is the most important part of our sleep cycle. During REM sleep, blood flow decreases to the brain and re-directs itself to the muscles thus allowing the body and mind to rest and recover.
  • The absence of chemicals or toxins avoids nerve death.
  • Can be combined with an array of Traditional Acupuncture points to assist with varying other health concerns such as digestion and stress. Please discuss any concerns with your Consultant Practitioner at assessment.
  • Often used in conjunction with the NADA protocol for Detox

The Treatment

Following a thorough and detailed health assessment by your consultant, the precise, individualised application of small, sterile acupuncture needles throughout the face, ears, neck and body stimulates the production of Collagen and Elastin. It works by inducing a ‘micro-trauma’ to the skin to stimulate the body’s natural healing response in the area, which leads to a natural increase in circulation of water and oil, Collagen and Elastin, as the body believes it is repairing an ‘injury’, thus it visibly fills out lines and wrinkles.

While also stimulating the skins own self repairing mechanisms, this in turn encourages all healing potential to the surface through increased circulation. This subsequently leads to an improved tone, texture and appearance of the skin, while leaving you feel revitalised and refreshed.

Further Traditional Acupuncture points are inserted to the rest of the body to address any systemic issues, which may be responsible for premature ageing such as stress and anxiety, poor digestive health, hormone imbalance, reduced hydration and poor sleep, as these stresses and imbalances often manifest themselves in the face. The additional points help to promote general health and well-being by facilitating the body’s own natural ability to find balance; homeostasis. Further points can also be added for detox and recovery.

Target area needling is the use of only intradermal needles into the desired target areas such as frown lines, Crow’s feet, Marionette lines, Jowls and areas of acne or breakout scarring, rather than using the full facial protocol which treats the whole face and body and underlying systemic causes.

The needles used are super fine and much thinner than those used for the rest of the body. Tiny, hair fine intradermal needles are beneficial and used for treating more specific areas such as Crow’s feet, frown lines and mouth lines. There may be an initial sensation upon insertion of the needle but this is rarely a painful procedure with most people finding it very relaxing. The needles are left in for around 15-20 minutes followed by a short facial massage to further enhance circulation, with a full treatment usually lasting around 45-60 minutes. We do recommend that you supply your preferred facial moisturiser for this to prevent any adverse reactions to products that you would not usually use.


 The evidence supporting Cosmetic Acupuncture is growing exponentially.

The International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture (1996): Of 300 cases treated with Cosmetic Acupuncture, 90% showed marked improvements such as improved elasticity of facial muscles, levelling of wrinkles and a feeling of overall rejuvenation, after just one session.

Acupuncture Medicine (2012): Compared the participants’ average levels of facial oil and water content for their age group vs such content following Facial Acupuncture. A course of five treatments of Facial Acupuncture, over a one month period, lead to increased facial oil and water content.

Evidence Based Complimentary Alternative Medicine (2013): A positive change in facial elasticity was reported following 5 Acupuncture Facial treatments over 3 weeks

Detox NADA Protocol

A 5 point acupuncture protocol applied in the ear for detox, recovery and relaxation. Specifically, The Modified National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) ear acupuncture protocol utilizes up to five ear points m- Shen Men, sympathetic, kidney, liver and lung. Through stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system we can achieve a reduction in cravings, improved sleep patterns, improvement of health problems and a marked feeling of relaxation and well-being.

In the 1970’s the NADA protocol was developed to help addicts with their recovery dealing with trauma, anxiety, depression, irritability and cravings. Since then, the NADA protocol has been modified and found effective for a wide range of conditions including emotional, physical and psychological stress. The protocol involves applying very small acupuncture needles to 5 specific points in the ear.

The 5 ear points:

(1) Sympathetic – calms the nervous system and helps with overall relaxation.

(2) Shen Men / “Spirit Gate” – reduces anxiety and nervousness.

(3) Kidney Point – for calming fears and healing internal organs.

(4) Liver Point – for detoxification, blood purification, and to quell aggression.

(5) Lung Point – promotes oxygenation and aids relaxation.

When used primarily to treat detoxification, the NADA protocol is not used as a stand-alone treatment. It works best when used in combination within a comprehensive treatment program that offers other therapeutic elements such as counselling, education, family involvement, peer/community support groups and supportive medical healthcare.

Please speak to your practitioner for a personal recommendation or referral for additional therapy.


 Recent studies by Chang, Sommers & Hertz (2010) and Carter, Olshan-Perlmutter, Norton & Smith (2011) demonstrate that the NADA detox protocol, in addition to standard care, is significantly better than standard addiction care alone.

Carter et al. (2011), though conducted within an addictions recovery setting, demonstrated how the NADA protocol alleviates a number of different common health symptoms.

This study by Karst et al (2007) compared the efficacy of auricular acupuncture with medication, placebo acupuncture, and no treatment for reducing dental anxiety. Following treatment, both groups reported significantly less anxiety in 30 minutes.

In 2011, Bier et al showed a significant reduction in smoking and post treatment cigarette consumption following auricular acupuncture. Results were greater when combined with education (40%) as opposed to acupuncture alone (10%) although there was a limitation to this; calculation dependent upon the number of cigarettes smoked over a longer period of time, auricular acupuncture was deemed not effective.