What is Microneedling or Collagen Induction Therapy?
Microneedling involves using a medical device shaped like a pen that contains 12 very fine needles at the tip. These needles penetrate the epidermis layer of the skin creating a wound effect that stimulates the production of collagen and elastin as well as new capillaries for improved blood flow. The collagen fills in the fine lines giving the skin a smooth plump texture.
What Conditions Can It Treat?
- Fine Lines & Wrinkles
- Acne scaring and large pores
- Melasma – dark spots
- Hair regeneration
- Crow’s Feet
- Above the lips pucker lines
- Neck and chest wrinkles and brown spots
What Does the Procedure Involve?
- The skin is cleaned and numbing cream is applied to lessen discomfort. It takes about 15 minutes for the numbing cream to work .
I will be doing acupuncture on the rest of the body to support your facial treatment and bring your body into balance. I may also make recommendations on diet or prescribe Chinese Herbs if I determine these are needed.
For example, if you suffer from painful irregular periods I will also work to resolve this while we are waiting for the numbing cream to take effect. The amazing thing about seeing a Dr. of Traditional Chinese Medicine is I do more than just treat the external layer of the skin. My goal is to always restore the body to balance so you leave feeling calm, relaxed and regulated. Yes, your face will be very red but you will feel great.
- Once the numbing cream is ready, I apply a serum to ease the glide of the pen. Working in sections, I apply the pen across the face stopping to adjust the needle depth depending on area I am working on.
- After needling is completed a face mask is applied.
Prior to starting, we agree on your facial goals what areas you want to address specifically – for example you may want to work on reducing crow’s feet or acne scaring or brown age spots.
What You Can Expect After the Treatment
You will look bright red and may have some pinprick bleeding in certain areas – commonly on cheek bones and forehead. This is a good thing. We want a bright red face. It stimulates your body’s histamine reaction. You may even feel the need to sneeze. You may experience a heat, tingling and itchy feelings. These are all normal as your body’s healing system has kicked into high gear with fibroblasts responding to the wounds that have been created. These will turn into collagen and the redness will fade after about 6 -8 hours. You skin may also peel – use a gentle wash cloth to slough off dead skin.
Post Care Treatment Do’s and Don’ts
- Keep your face protected from the sun – avoid any direct exposure for up to 7 days – wear 60SPF block
- Stay hydrated apply hyaluronic acid frequently and drink lots of water
- Best to avoid alcohol right before and after your treatment as it is dehydrating and causes heat and redness to the skin.
- Avoid any retinols or abrasive masks – anything that will irritate the skin for at least 7 days post needling
- Do no exercise immediately following your treatment – wait at least 1-2 days as sweat will irritate the skin. Its important to keep it clean and free of any bacteria
Aftercare Treatment and What to Expect
- You will be red for 6-10 hours your skin may feel hot or itchy
- No exercise as sweat can irritate the face
- You need to keep your face clean free of makeup and any other irritants – avoid touching your face
- No sun day of and avoid direct sunlight on your face for 7 days afterwards. Use an SPF of 60 and stay out of the sun
- No makeup following your treatment
- Do not wash your face until the next day
- Soothe skin with aloe/arnica for 24 hours
- Mild soothing cleansers
- Avoid any exfoliants for 10 days
- Stop using retinols for 7 days as it may dry the face – goal is to nourish nourish nourish!!!
- Recommended to use Hyaluronic Acids – like Cerava or serums to keep skin moist
- May experience peeling or flaking for 12-24 hours
- Results begin within two weeks
- Only do 1 x a month – avoid before period – may be more sensitive
- After 7 days return to your regular skincare regime
Possible Side Effects
- Pinpoint Bleeding
- Burning sensation
- Skin irritation
- Pigment changes
Diet Support Post Treatment
For optimal healing support and results avoid wheat and sugar. Recommend eating fresh pineapple, tart cherry juice (no sugar) Omega 3 fish oil – salmons, and bone broth soups. You can also take collagen or connective tissue support supplements for 2 weeks to optimize healing,
Preparing for Microneedling Pre-treatment Instructions
6 months before avoid Accutane
2 weeks before avoid IPL/Laser procedures, unprotected sun exposure or sunburn
5-7 days before – avoid topical agents that may increase sensitivity to sun like:
- Topical antibiotics
- AHA, BHA
- No waxing, depilatory creams
- No Electrolysis
3 days before avoid anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, motrin, advil – these will interfere with the natural inflammatory process that is critical to skin rejuvenation as well as alcohol and fish oils.
When Will I See Results??
This is an inside job – not a freezing job like Botox. It will take at least two weeks to start to see improvement and will require at least 4 treatments once a month. It is a strong treatment and the results can last up to five years!
What Does It Cost?
The treatment costs $260. It takes 60 minutes and any herbs prescribed are included in this price. It you have acupuncture benefits a portion can be covered usually up to $100 depending on your provider.
Who Should Avoid Microneedling?
- If you are pregnant
- Prone to cold sores – facial acupuncture of any kind can stimulate them
- Undergoing cancer – chemo or radiation treatments
- On blood thinners
- Severe keloids
- Active skin infections
- Acne – with sebaceous cysts – raised red nodules
- Have used Accutane (isotretinoin) within the last three months
Why We LOVE Dermarolling and What It Actually Does
Ok – what is dermarolling?
It essentially causes micro tears to the epidermis layer of the skin. In short, you are running 540 tiny needles across your face causing all kinds of trauma to the skin. Why is this a good thing?
Because your skin immediately responds by bringing blood and oxygen to the wounds – it activates your body’s wound response which means improved micro circulation to your face.
The result? Immediately following dermarolling your skin is red, its hot and it may feel itchy or tingling. In short it looks like you fell asleep in Cancun with a bottle of tequila. But the redness fades within a couple of hours leaving you with a healthy glowing complexion.
The other great benefit of micro-needling and yes, dermarolling is another form of micro-needling, is that serum applied immediately after needling get absorbed way better then when applied to regular skin. The pores are open – everything is open so absorption and the serums effectiveness are at their highest.
This is a great time of year to micro needle – your tan has faded and your skin is looking pale and blotchy. Needling is a natural way to boost your complexion. You need to stay out of the sun and have realty great sunblock on right after you needle. This time of year – is the best time to do it with cold, dark rainy days.
We also like micro-needles because they help reduce large pores and treat acne scaring – mild acne scaring.
If you want to know more about it – book in for an appointment – https://qiintegratedhealth.janeapp.com/#/staff_member/124
7 Steps to Help Seasonal Affective Disorder
Fall is the time of years when people’s energy takes a hit. After having had the sun’s natural source energy, many people report feeling more tired, down and lethargic. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a big problem here in Vancouver where it’s uncommon to have long stretches of rain and no sunlight. This year we’ve managed to stave off SAD due to a prolonged summer. Unfortunately, our great weather has been replaced with colder, wetter and shorter daylight hours.
The sun is pure yang energy – it’s light and warmth means we don’t have to generate energy to stay warm. We need Yang energy – it’s our get up and go! It’s why beach holidays are soo popular. Unfortunately, we can’t just hop on a plane when we’re feeling tire and run down – well most of us can’t. The challenge becomes how do we generate energy to avoid falling into a pit of despair this time of year with the colder days and diminished light?
- Keep your energy moving – the best, most natural way to improve your mood is to move – walking, biking, running or hiking outdoors in the woods or by a body of water is going to naturally reset your mood. It’s recommended 45 minutes provides the optimum relief. You don’t even need to break a sweat for it to be effective.
- If you want to regulate your mood take a yoga class – the long exhales and guided movement regulates your autonomic nervous system which relieves anxiety. Qi Gong, Tai Chi will work nicely too.
- Check you iron level. People who are anemic they will naturally feel more tired, have trouble falling and staying asleep and feel more anxious and suffer from cold hands and feet.
- Eat warmer foods!!!! You are what you eat! If you’re diet consists of cold raw foods like smoothies, salads and sushi then you are not building yang energy rather you’re depleting it. Build your yang energy naturally by eating warm, cooked foods. Soups, stews, oatmeal and warm beverages should become the mainstay of your diet this time of year and heading into winter.
- FUN!! Yes, fun. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, loved and supported. There is nothing worse than being with people who make you feel anxious, angry or upset – they rob you of your energy. If you want to boost your mood than choose carefully who and how you spend your time. Spending the whole day indoors binge watching Netflix series is not going to get you there.
- Take care of yourself. Schedule a massage or mani-pedi, something that says “I Love You”
- If you do feel yourself going off the rails or if you want to avoid going off the rails then make acupuncture a regular part of your health care program. Acupuncture regulates your body’s yang and yin energies. If you’re especially deficient in yang energy there are Chinese formulas you can take to help boost it.
Cupping for Sore Muscles
Out of the areas of the body I treat – neck and shoulder pain is the most common complaint.
The base of the skull where the occiput meets the trapezius muscle, the top of the shoulder or in between the shoulder blades these three areas are generally the tightest and cause the most pain.
In fact, depending on how tight these muscles are they may also cause headaches that travel up the back of the neck and into the orbital area. If severe enough, it can lead to migraines.
Accidents, especially where people are hit from behind or on the side (T-boned) – in other words – they didn’t see it coming, can cause a lot of pain in these areas. One from the pure trauma to the muscles and tissue itself –seatbelt restraint, but also PTSD. Trauma will also cause the C7 area to light up and feel sore even when the muscles aren’t tight.
So how does acupuncture actually relieve pain in these areas? Different practitioners will approach it differently – but I take several approaches.
First – Relax the Muscle by working the fascia level. Gua Sha does a beautiful job of this. Using a rose quartz stone I continually go over the area repeatedly working out the knots.
Second – Relieve the Muscle by inserting needles. I will insert them into the affected area but I will also use distal or needles located further away from the actual pain points. Energy needs to travel. If something is stuck it needs a way out. That’s the beauty of acupuncture. We are moving energy to and away from affected areas of the body.
Third – Cupping. I like to cup the back – sometimes on the sore muscle but more often on the mid to low back. You can use cups instead of needles, but I like cupping to relieve stress often the cause of the pain. It’s a nice compliment to the needles
Fourth – Electrically Stimulate the Muscle – putting little tiny calipers on the end of needles and sending a small current of electricity down the needle is super effective especially for tears. It has been proven to generate stem cell growth. It brings blood and oxygen to the muscle. It’s great for chronic pain. But it’s not for everyone – i.e. pace makers, epilepsy, pregnancy.
Repeat 3 Times – for the best results, especially if your shoulders are super tight or you’ve had this condition long time, plan on three treatments once a week. I also STRONGLY encourage my patients to book a massage in the same week, ideally about 2-3 days apart. Acupuncture and massage are a beautiful compliment and work really well together to break down the tension in the muscles.
Shinrin-Yoku is a Japanese term for forest bathing. The practice of taking in the forest atmosphere. It was introduced by the Japanese in the 1980’s to address tech-boom burnout. A form of ecotherapy, it connects people with nature.
Walking in nature for at least 45 minutes calms us down – right down. Wood is the element related to liver. When we are stressed, anxious or depressed our qi becomes blocked or stagnates. More and more stress with no relief causes this stagnation to grow eventually affecting our digestion, sleep and hormones.
Exercise helps run our qi or energy. It’s like a release valve. Walking in nature is even more effective as it regulates our liver qi. Like acupuncture when our emotions build, and we have no outlet for releasing them receiving acupuncture is like popping a balloon. It provides a channel for the Qi to be released from the body. Emotions are energy.
I had a new patient come to see me this past week. She had never had acupuncture before – dry needling from physio but not actual acupuncture where we intentionally guide excess energy out of the body versus firing motor points. When I followed up with her to see how she was feeling, she messaged me this,
“Yes, much better. In fact, everyone I spoke to yesterday told me that I sounded “more relaxed than they have ever heard me!”
Running our energy is vital to our health. Exercise, Yoga, Acupuncture, Qi Gong and Tai Chi are all ways we can run our energy and regulate ourselves. They combine awareness with breath with movement. This results in regulating our vagus nerve leaving us feeling calm and grounded.
A regulated body is a healthy body. When we are in balance, we don’t get sick. Our immune system is charged. We feel strong, positive and healthy. In short, if our energy is regulated, we are at our best. This is where we get things done, are most creative and manage life’s challenges with ease.
So get out and do some forest bathing. Allow your body to absorb the beauty and feel the calm sedative effects. The photo featured above was from a hike we did this Saturday along Qualicum River, Horne Lake.