This article on Epainassist.com has been reviewed by a medical professional, as well as checked for facts, to assure the readers the best possible accuracy.

We follow a strict editorial policy and we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any level of plagiarism. Our articles are resourced from reputable online pages. This article may contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.

The feedback link “Was this Article Helpful” on this page can be used to report content that is not accurate, up-to-date or questionable in any manner.

This article does not provide medical advice.


Is Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture Effective?

Facial Revitalization Acupuncture or Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, known by this name in the United States or other English speaking countries, is a virtually painless technique that implements multiple needles at specific points called acupoints. The principle behind the Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture or FRA is deterioration of the skin, muscle tone, and sense organs reflect the state of the zang-fu, qi, blood, yin, and yang. Therefore, therapy is performed to restore the harmony between the five elements, yin, yang, and various zang-fu, by balancing the movement of qi, blood, and fluids within the body. It gives better visible aesthetic results, which reflects the simultaneous improvement in overall health. Mei Rong is the name by which the technique is referred to in Chinese Cosmetic Medicology.[1]

Is Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture Effective?

Introduction to Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture or FRA

The facial revitalization acupuncture, also called cosmetic acupuncture, is a therapy widely adopted by females to suppress their aging effects. The acupuncture facelift is not merely a beautify technique but is in use for centuries in Chinese medicine, which believes that beauty originates from inside and address the issues accordingly. The famous Chinese axiom, ‘Where qi goes, blood flows’ defines the principles of the therapy that increased circulation of blood flow helps the body to look better and feel better. The results are evaluated based on a mind-body continuum. Also, the media has been a big supporting hand for the promotion of therapy by reporting the celebrities receiving facial acupuncture for the desire of looking young. There is no surprise element in this that many people have adopted facial acupuncture who had not received acupuncture before or would not seek Chinese medicine otherwise.[1]

The technique involves the use of extra-fine gauge filiform acupuncture needles and sometimes intradermal. The acupoints are chosen as per the specific needs of the person and their body constitution. Therefore, there is a set procedure of diagnosis and treatment regime in Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture like any other treatment. The minimal side effects of the therapy have raised the standards in the minds of people who have let the little bruising and hematomas aside. Other than this, the subjects can face headaches or nausea if the precautions of grounding the qi or releasing any tight neck muscles are not exercised before administering Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture.[1]

The Effects of Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture or FRA

The International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture presented a report in 1996, saying 90% of significant therapeutic effects with one course of treatment when 300 cases of China treated with facial acupuncture. Improvement in skin texture and coloring, increased elasticity, decreased wrinkles, and complete rejuvenation (not merely confined to the face) are some of the benefits that subjects reported from the treatment.[1]

Despite the dependency of efficacy on prior condition of the patient, the employment of techniques, and the experience of the practitioner, the facial acupuncture may reduce five to fifteen years of age from the face. Also, the cumulative effects of the therapy continue the progress of the condition.[1]

By balancing the qi, blood, fluids, yin, and yang the cosmetic acupuncture promises the following benefits:

  • Elimination of fine lines from face and diminishing of deeper wrinkles
  • Reduced or eliminated eyebags
  • Reduced or banished puffiness of the face
  • Minimization or removal of double chins
  • Lifting of drooping eyelids and eyebrows, jowls and turkey necks
  • Improved skin texture, moisture content, and muscle tone
  • Regulation of pore size
  • Elimination of broken capillaries
  • Melting of visible stress and habitual expressions from the face.[1]

Overall, the results can be compiled as the improvement of circulation, digestion, and hormonal balance. Also, benefitting the hair and sense organs, thyroid, and brain. The aging process of the skin in women starts by declining estrogen levels and thereby balancing the hormone levels results in the prevention of hormonal acne and dry skin, which are majorly seen after menopause.[1]

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture or FRA: Contraindications

The facial rejuvenation acupuncture requires extra precaution in some cases, and the use is entirely restricted in some instances. The list comprising of contraindications includes:

  • Pituitary disorders such as pituitary tumor
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Bleeding disorders such as Hemophilia
  • Patients prone to bruising extraordinarily
  • Hypertension or diabetes though the blood and sugar levels can be controlled through medications
  • Migraine
  • HIV or AIDS. Extra cautions required in cases of previous hepatitis
  • Facial lymphedema demands for extra judiciousness being more prone to infection
  • Asthma; treatment is decided based on severity & frequency of wheezing, cough and other related symptoms
  • Pregnancy as several must acupoints are forbidden in this condition
  • Complicated acute or chronic diseases including cold, flu, acute allergic reactions, dangerous herpes outbreak, hangover, or intoxication.[1]

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture or FRA: The Location Of Acupoints

One study was conducted in China to compare the effects of facial acupuncture in two cases: one in which therapy is given through conventional acupoints and other in which acupoints are selected according to the temperature of the face detected by a thermogram. Hence, the objective of the study was to determine a particular method for acupoints location for the treatment of facial paralysis.

Participants: One hundred and eighty patients who have peripheral facial paralysis were enrolled for the study. The subjects were divided into two groups: first test group consisting of sixty subjects (37 males & 23 females; average age 43.2 years) treated with acupuncture at acupoints selected by facial thermogram and second control group comprising one twenty patients (65 males & 55 females; average age 40.3 years) received acupuncture at conventional acupoints.

Methods: In the first visit of the test group, the infrared facial thermogram was detected on the face, and the therapy was given at acupoints where the affected sites showed the difference of minimum 0.5 °C from the right side of the face. However, no treatment was given at acupoints, which showed a similar temperature on both sides despite the poor condition of the affected site. Also, Hegu (LI 4) and Yifeng (TE 17) was used as additional acupoints in severe cases of the lesion on the mouth on both affected and healthy side, and pain in the neck or behind the ear on the affected side respectively. In every successive course, the acupoints were re-determined, and consecutively facial acupuncture was given at detected acupoints.

For the control group, the list of conventional acupoints for the affected side include Touwei (ST 8), Zanzhu (UB 2), Yangbai (GB14), Sizhukong (TE 23), Yuyao (EX-HN4), Taiyang (EX-HN5), Sibai (ST 2), Quan Liao (SI 18), Xiaguan (ST 7), Qiazheng (Extra), Yingxiang (LI 20), Nose-Heliao (LI 19), Renzhong (GV 26), Dicang (ST 4), Jiache (ST 6), Chengjiang (CV 24), Yifeng (TE 17), and Fengchi (GB 20) on the head-face; Hegu (LI 4), Zusanli (ST 36), Sanyinjiao (SP 6) in the limbs, etc. Every eight to ten points were selected for every patient at every session.

Results: The cure cases counted were 54 in the test group (90.0%), 93 cases (77.5%) in the control group. The significant difference between the cure rate of the two groups could be easily analyzed (p<0.005). Also, the number of sessions and duration of therapy was much shorter in the test group compared to the control group (p<0.001). The percentage of cases reported the effects due to the use of following acupoints in the test group: Dicang (ST 4, 92.3%), Yingxiang (LI 20, 90.6%), Taiyang (EX-HN5; 85.5%), Yangbai (GB 14; 76.6%), and Quan Lio (SI 18; 72.3%).

Discussion: The facial acupuncture at acupoints selected by the thermogram was superiorly beneficial in cure rate, remedial course, and the number of sessions compared to the Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture or FRA at conventional acupoints.[4]

Study Showing The Efficacy Of Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture In The Treatment Of Facial Elasticity

The study was conducted under the International Committee on Harmonization Good Clinical Practice Guidelines, and the Institutional Review Board approved the trial protocol of Kyung Hee University Hospital at Guangdong. The written informed consent was received from the patients before indulging them in the research.

Objective: To determine the therapeutic efficacy of facial cosmetic acupuncture in regaining of facial elasticity by restoring facial mimetic muscle tone. The procedure involved the insertion of needles into the muscles of the head, neck, and face.

Participants: 40-59 year aged Asian women were enrolled for the study suffering from Glogau photoaging scale 3. Patients who had botulinum toxin, filler injection, or steroid therapy within the six months were not made part of the study. Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers were also excluded from the study. Subjects were not allowed to indulge in any other therapy of facial elasticity during the survey.

Study Protocol: The open-label, single-arm study administered five sessions of FCA treatment over three weeks. All patients received the same FCA treatment at every meeting. The evaluation of the therapy was done based on Moire topography criteria.

Methods: Approximately 100 to 110 needles were inserted in the muscles of the face, neck, and head at every therapy session:

Location of Insertion Of Needles For The Acupuncture

The intervention time of the insertion of needles was ten minutes.

Outcome Measurements:

Primary Outcome: The contour lines were generated on the face using a Moire topography system and pictures taken by a digital camera Ixus750. A single independent evaluator studied the digital image by reading the contour lines at the cheek and perioral region. Then, images were graded based on Moire topography criteria.

Secondary Outcome: Patients were told to perform the self-assessment during and after the study. They had to measure the degrees of facial elasticity using a 10 cm vertical line visual analog scale (VAS). The range was marked at the top with “most severe condition” and bottom as “fine condition.”

Statistical Analysis: The clinical improvement was assessed with the nonparametric Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Data management and statistical analysis were performed with SPSS 15.0. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered significant.


Participants: One patient out of the selected 28 dropped out after the first course of treatment due to the pain.

Primary outcome: Moire topography criteria measured it, and the study resulted in significant changes in Moire topography just after the first session (p= 0.0001). Out of the 27 treated subjects, 15 responded positively with single-level improvement, while 12 showed no changes.

Secondary outcome: Mean changes in the self-assessment of the patients showed no significant changes after the study (p=0.06) though patients admitted improvement.

Patients reported no adverse events such as nerve damage, scars, or lengthy recovery period. Only mild bruising at the needles inserted area was observed.

Discussion: The study included a small sample size with no control group, and the period of trial was also concise compared to clinical acupuncture. Moreover, Moire topography is an ordinary scale with wide intervals and hence, could not evaluate the small changes effectively. Despite these limitations, the study proved a valid point for the therapeutic efficacy of facial acupuncture in the restoring mimetic muscle tone. The study highlighted possible mechanisms of Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture or FRA for future investigations in this region.[2]

Facial Membrane Mask With Acupuncture

The patented invention is composed of two devices which works synergistically for cosmetic and healthcare. The innovation is related to the cosmetic facial membrane mask and transcutaneous electric acupoint stimulators. The facial membrane mask absorbs the skincare solution, whereas the electrodes integrated with the membrane work as stimulators at facial acupoints. Therefore, when the wet facial membrane mask covers the face, the electric impulses generated by the stimulators at the corresponding facial acupoints. The simultaneous stimulation provides acupuncture or massage effects. Hence, the device is used for skincare effects such as moisturizing, whitening, etc. by facial membrane mask as well as acupuncture effects concurrently. The method has gained worldwide publicity for use in cosmetics and healthcare.[3]


Facial acupuncture is an old century therapy arisen from Chinese Medicine Cosmetology. Several names know the treatment in different regions. The principle behind acupuncture is balancing of qi, blood, fluid, yin, yang, and various zang-fu organs to restore the mimetic muscle tone of the face. They maintained harmony resulting in defined shape and a beautiful look. The article has described the effects, mechanisms of action, procedure, and contraindications of the facial revitalization acupuncture therapy. Later, the focus is on to study the acupoints for the treatment. One such study conducted in China revealed a significant cure rate in facial paralysis when acupoints were selected based on the temperature difference between the affected site and the healthy side. Next, the study on the measurement of the efficacy of facial acupuncture in restoring facial elasticity has elaborated on the requirement of future investigations on the therapy. The studies resulted in the launch of innovative products in the market. One such device is a facial membrane mask with acupuncture, which provides synergistic effects of moisturizing, whitening, etc. by membrane mask and acupuncture effects due to the stimulation of acupoints by the electrodes inserted on the surface of membrane mask. Hence, facial acupuncture is a safer and more effective alternative.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 8, 2022

Recent Posts

Related Posts