Is Acupuncture the New Botox?
I’m a wellness advocate, but I want Botox.
The wellness industry is all about self-love. It’s about accepting ourselves for who we are. So does that include us pumping our faces with Botox?
When I was 23, I was told by my modelling agency that I needed Botox. Awesome. So I got it and the results changed my life forever. Not only did my first experience result in looking 10 years younger, but I was also lucky enough to birth a protruding vein on my forehead. This vein is otherwise known as the "Botox vein". It moves into your forehead forever and is quite ugly. Regardless, I knew from that moment I needed to keep getting Botox forever. When you know how silky smooth your face can be, it’s very challenging to go back the other way. Once you go Botox, you can't go back... or can you?
I love Botox; it makes me feel good. It makes me feel younger and fresher, and I would constantly get compliments from people about how young I looked. I’ll take that, 'cause I did. I wasn’t happy with my outer shell so I felt I needed to change it in order to have more self-love. I get it - Botox makes you feel good, and I'm all about doing things that make me feel good.
But I started on my wellness journey a few years ago and my life has taken a shift. I love everything to do with fitness and health. So much so, I’m now studying Integrative Nutrition at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) based in New York. I’m now all about minimising the use of plastics, switching to non-toxic products, and buying organic, where possible. I'm about sustainability, including sustainably caught fish as I’m currently a pescatarian.
So how can I now inject my face with chemicals - essentially poison - to basically freeze it!? For the past six months or so, I have wanted to get Botox so badly. When I looked in the mirror, wrinkles was all I could see. I tried to book in so many times, but something just didn’t feel right. My soul wasn’t aligned, so I cancelled.
On my search for a more natural remedy, my beautiful yogi friend Em Maidment told me about this wonderful lady who does acupuncture. So for six weeks I saw Dr Abbie Acupuncture and got “cosmetic acupuncture”. Cosmetic acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese Medicine and works on the skin's elasticity. The process involves fine needles being inserted into the face (and body) into the muscle layer to access and release pressure points. It looks painful, but it's not - well only a wee bit during insertion.
Dr Abbie warned me that I may bruise a bit after our sessions, which I did. But the thing that surprised me most is that not only did we work on my wrinkles, but on my entire body. Acupuncture can also be good for complexion, digestion, hormonal, stress and anxiety - which I can 100% confirm is true. My periods were not as painful and my digestion improved.
Dr Abbie also recommended a few home remedies, such as a foot bath each night, no phone or digital devices an hour before bed, and that I only ate cooked food. Eating cooked food is a practice of Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda - essentially your body has to cook raw food to process it, so your digestive system works twice as hard. Cosmetic acupuncture is recommended for at least six sessions, to see results that can last up to 12 months. That is 10 months longer than Botox/Dysport lasted for me.
The sessions with Dr Abbie surprised me. I went in wanting to change my appearance, but I came out being happier within myself. My stress levels were turned down a few notches and I stopped giving a flying F about many things that I used to stress about. Her love sessions taught me so much. Dr Abbie coached me on self-love without actually saying a word. She taught me not to focus on my wrinkles but to focus on the precious human being that I am.
I want to be an inspiration to young girls. I want to teach them self-love and self-acceptance. Im very disturbed at the moment with the amount of cosmetic procedures young girls as young as 15 or 16 are getting. It’s people like Kim Kardashian and her clan that set really poor examples for our youth. Our youth look up to “celebrities/influencers” for inspiration. But it seems young girls are feeling pressured to completely change their appearance in order to fit in and feel beautiful.
As women, we are so focused on the negative aspects of ourselves, we forget about all the positive elements. We forget about deep love for ourselves. Why are we so critical of ourselves and spend so much brain power complaining and criticising, when that brain space could be spent on something positive? Why, when someone gives us a compliment, can't we just say "thank you" rather than, "oh but...."?
I want to teach these lessons to all women, because if more humans felt better on the inside, they would feel more confident in their outer shell. We are all given precious gifts, we just need to open our eyes to see them.
I’m not saying I will never get Botox again (never say never). There is a deep part of me that wants to inject my face tomorrow and maybe I might, but I'm determined to at least show people there is another option. I truly believe many women are morphing into each other with pouting "duck faces" plastered all over social media (which I am certainly guilty of). I’d love to live in a world that sees more women embrace their uniqueness, their quirks, their wrinkles, their inner light. And we all have an inner light.
So would I recommend cosmetic acupuncture? Absolutely. But not only to diminish wrinkles; to accept them. To accept ourselves for who we are and become better human beings, not only to ourselves, but to others, too. There is always another way, so let's work together to love ourselves more and be the inspiration to our youth. Next time you book in, ask yourself, do I really need that cosmetic procedure?
For my journey process and an interview with Dr Abbie please see the following clips.