Facing My Future One writer tries acupuncture to look younger

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We all age in our own special ways. For me, I tend to get puffy — particularly under my eyes, where makeup pools but doesn’t really cover the dark circles that also appear.

Because growing old is fun like that.

For this reason, I was curious about acupuncture for facial rejuvenation. The treatments are offered by Let It Be Acupuncture, a Westminster-based wellness practice that provides acupuncture, cupping and gua sha. All three techniques are used for the facial rejuvenation treatments, and each one has its own remedy to ease the stress we hold in our faces.

For some, the idea of needles in their face is not a relaxing one. For me, these acupuncture treatments are something I can’t stop raving about.

But first, let’s meet Let It Be’s owner Jamie Schmidt, who studied at Maryland University of Integrative Health in Laurel, a three-year program that taught her where to find a body’s acupuncture points (there are hundreds). It also, she says, emphasized how to interact with patients and to learn the best ways to
get them on a path to wellness.

Not surprisingly, Schmidt knows a lot about acupuncture, but she also has a calm and soothing demeanor that immediately relaxed me. On this day, she is working out of Change Space, a cheerful downtown Westminster storefront with a meditation space and a great inventory of wellness products such as jade rollers, meditation supplies and even cleaning products.

The treatment starts with acupuncture, and Schmidt puts the first needles in the upper part of my ears. There are two points there, one is the sympathetic point, which connects to the sympathetic nerve system, and the other is Shen Men, an anxiety point, and placing a needle there “calms the spirit,” Schmidt says.

She’s right. I feel my shoulders relax into the table. I am ready for the rest of the needles. Acupuncture that targets one area also requires needles in other areas, so Schmidt places them in my feet, legs, hands, chest, abdomen and neck as well as on the top of my head. “They get the energy moving to the face,” she says.

In total, there are 22 needles in my face, neck and head and a similar number on the rest of my body. I relax for 20 minutes and take what Schmidt calls an “acu-nap,” dreaming about jumping and dancing before I wake up feeling refreshed.

Schmidt removes the needles from my face and leaves the rest where they are. Next, she takes a small cup and makes sweeping, suctioning moves across my neck and around my jaw. A smaller cup is used on my cheekbones and forehead. An even smaller one circles around my eyes. The motion feels soothing but is doing the work to stimulate my skin.

Ironically, this was the part of the procedure that made me the most nervous. Many years ago, I had a cupping treatment after a massage and it left a red, fist-sized hickey on the Irish shade of my pale skin. But Schmidt doesn’t linger in one spot, and the cups feel like a gentle facial massage. Next she uses two rose quartz gua sha tools — each a small rectangle that fits in her hand — and smooths my face.

In all, the treatment, from introduction to gua sha, takes about 90 minutes. I feel refreshed, and my eyes are much less puffy. I return to work feeling invigorated — and ready to book another appointment.

Acupuncture for facial rejuvenation, $150 for 90 minutes; acupuncture, $80 for 60 minutes; facial cupping and gua sha, $50 for 30 minutes. letitbeacupuncture.com

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