Facial Acupuncture and LED Light Therapy: The Low-Touch Treatment for Enhancing Your Acupuncture Practice

By Shellie Goldstein, MS, LAc (NY), PA (FL) and Patrick Johnson

This Year of the Metal Ox presents its challenges, as many acupuncturists have been forced to adjust their clinical practice regimes due to COVID-19-imposed restrictions. Telemedicine screening, elimination of the waiting room, and modified patient load with enhanced safety procedures significantly impacts the way we conduct business. Many practitioners struggle to uphold their patient-centered commitment and remain financially secure.

On the brighter side, the oxen's diligence, strength and determination continue to push forward as we seek creative ways to thrive. The demand for therapeutically effective, safe and efficient technologies with the potential to enhance patient results and boost your bottom line is on the rise. One such modality is LED (light-emitting diode) therapy, an evidence-based, hands-free and effective treatment option for many health-related concerns including pain management, tissue repair, anti-aging, skin problems, and more.

Definition and Benefits

led light therapy - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark LED light therapy is the application of specific wavelengths of light applied to tissue to obtain beneficial therapeutic results. Think of it as photosynthesis for humans. LED light sources emit photons. The absorption of these photons into extracellular membranes and intracellular mitochondria stimulates an elevation of adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP), the principal molecule for storing and transferring energy in cells.

Increased levels of ATP create a cascade of metabolic, biochemical and cellular changes, resulting in decreased inflammation, accelerated cellular health and restored tissue repair. As a cosmetic facial acupuncturist, I frequently use LED in my clinical practice.

Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture Applications

When applied to the face LED therapy has the potential to enhance skin cell microcirculation, improve lymphatic drainage, stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and delay the signs of aging. Additionally it is relaxing, rejuvenating and affordable for patients, with no post-treatment downtime.

led light therapy - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark LED Therapy & Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture

When incorporating LED into a cosmetic facial acupuncture treatment, use acupuncture points on the body to treat the underlying patterns of disharmony and local acupuncture face points to address facial symptoms. To enhance the effects of the acupuncture treatment, place a large panel-style LED light device over the patient's face. For proper placement and settings, follow the product manufacturer instructions. An average LED treatment cycle is 20-30 minutes. Below are typical protocols for treating facial wrinkles and acne with acupuncture and LED.

Wrinkles Protocol

  • Cleanse or instruct patient to cleanse their face
  • Acupuncture treatment based on TCM pattern of disharmony diagnosis
  • Place needles in legs and arms first, then face
  • Position patient under LED device
  • Cover eyes (optional)
  • Choose anti-aging or wrinkle setting (red dominant) and run for 30 minutes. Red light dominant at 640nm stimulates the production of healthy collagen and elastin in the dermal layer of skin cells.
  • Remove needles
  • Apply appropriate treatment products

Frequency: For best results, perform treatment 1-2 times per week for 5-10 weeks.

Acne Protocol

  • Cleanse or instruct patient to cleanse their face
  • Acupuncture treatment based on TCM pattern of disharmony diagnosis
  • Place needles in legs and arms first, then face
  • Position patient under LED device
  • Cover eyes (optional)
  • Choose acne setting (blue dominant) and run for 30 minutes. Blue light dominant at 465nm effectively kills acne-causing bacteria (C. acne) on epidermal skin tissue.
  • Remove needles
  • Apply appropriate treatment products

Frequency: For best results, perform treatment two times per week for 5-10 weeks.

Enhance Your Bottom Line

LED light therapy is a safe and effective way to maintain a patient-centered practice and increase your revenue. Whether adding LED treatment to existing services or creating signature services, it is possible to add an additional $1-$3 per minute to your bottom line. A quick PubMed search of low-level light therapy demonstrates the proven efficacy of LED treatments. LED devices vary in quality, efficiency and price. For more information, contact Shellie Goldstein at .

Resources

  • Ferraresi C, et al. Effects of light-emitting diode therapy on muscle hypertrophy, gene expression, performance, damage, and delayed-onset muscle soreness. Am J Phys Med Rehabil, 2016 Oct:95(10):746-757.
  • Pei S, et al. Light-based therapies in acne treatment. Indian Dermatol Online J, 2015 May-June;6(3):145-157.
  • Rocha Mota L, et al. Efficacy of phototherapy to treat facial ageing when using a red versus an amber LED: a protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 2018;8(5):e021419.
  • Sorbetta E, et al. Photodynamic and photobiological effects of light-emitting diode (LED) therapy in dermatological disease: an update. Lasers Med Sci, 2018;33(7):1431-1439.

Click here for more information about Shellie Goldstein, MS, LAc (NY), PA (FL).

Patrick Johnson is the CEO of BioPhotas, Inc., and the inventor of the award-winning Celluma series of light therapy devices. He has served as a senior executive in medical device companies, both public and private, for more than 20 years. Considered an authority on the science of light therapy, his expertise is sought after worldwide. For more information about Celluma, visit www.celluma.com.



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