An Expert Discussion: Combining Light Therapy With Acupuncture For Acne & Aging

September 14, 2022 A Woman is Combining Light Therapy With Acupuncture
Light Therapy With Acupuncture - Photo 1
Light Therapy With Acupuncture - Photo 2

Images courtesy Oak Point Health & Vitality Centre (NY)

2018 saw a massive increase in consumer demand for more natural, holistic solutions for total body health and wellness. And in 2019, that trend is far from slowing down. From yoga classes to meditation apps, mindfulness journals and essential oil diffusers, the search for integrative options for physical, mental, and emotional health continues.

Another “trend” that’s caught people’s interest? Acupuncture.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment that uses ultra-thin needles to naturally treat pain, calm anxiety, and enhance the body’s own healing powers.

Although acupuncture is far from new – it has actually been around since 100 BC – when combined with modern solutions such as light therapy – its full benefits come to life.

Celluma’s CEO Patrick Johnson recently sat down with the founder of the Advanced Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture Training & Certificate Program, Shellie Goldstein, to learn more about the benefits of acupuncture, and the synergistic effects of using acupuncture in conjunction with light therapy for acne, aging, and holistic health.

Below is a summary of their discussion:

Western vs. Easter Medicine

Western medicine – or “orthodox” medicine – is the traditional form of science-based healthcare that most Americans are familiar with. Western medicine focuses on how physical systems in the body function, and treats health issues and symptoms with medications, surgeries, and other forms of clinically-proven therapy.

On the other hand, Eastern medicine – or “alternative” medicine – takes a broader look at a person’s holistic wellbeing, mind/body/spiritual connection, and other environmental factors to discover the root cause of health issues. Using an array of natural remedies such as herbs, tai chi, meditation, and acupuncture, Eastern medicine stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal from within.

Although there are many differences between Western and Eastern medicine, both forms of treatments can work together to alleviate symptoms, treat whole-body health, and ultimately make people feel better.

And as people around the world continue to search for more natural, non-invasive methods of healing, Eastern medicine is on the rise. According to Healthcare In America, at least 60% of people use some form of Eastern medicine, including acupuncture.

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing practice and has been used for centuries. The treatment involves inserting very thin needs through your skin at strategic points on the body to illicit a natural healing response.

According to LiveScience, “acupuncture is linked to the belief that disease is caused by disruptions to the flow of energy, or qi, in the body. Acupuncture stimulates points on or under the skin… releasing this qi. The qi then travels through channels called meridians.”

Another modern hypothesis is that acupuncture works by creating superficial “micro-traumas” that stimulate blood flow, which delivers much-needed oxygen and nutrients to enhance the body’s natural healing abilities.

Although traditional acupuncture was originally intended to relieve pain, “cosmetic acupuncture” can also be used to fight acne and reduce signs of aging.

What Is Cosmetic Acupuncture?

The way we look and feel goes hand-in-hand, so it makes sense that acupuncture would also be an excellent addition to beauty routines.

Cosmetic acupuncture is administered in the same way as traditional acupuncture, with tiny needles inserted into the face at strategic points, including fine lines and wrinkle creases.

Like regular acupuncture, cosmetic acupuncture creates micro-traumas in the skin’s surface to trigger a self-repair process, thus boosting circulation and enhancing the production of elastin and collagen.

Collagen is an essential protein that provides structure and support to the body’s skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. As you age, production of high-quality collagen begins to slow down. A visible sign of this breakdown can be seen in your skin, which becomes saggy and prone to developing fine lines and wrinkles.

By increasing the production of elastin and collagen, cosmetic acupuncture is thought to improve the texture and quality of skin and fight the aging process.

What Is Light Therapy?

Early NASA research proved that specific wavelengths of light could enhance human tissue at the cellular level, resulting in a wide variety of therapeutic benefits. In more recent years, light therapy has become a mainstream method of treatment for acne, aging, and pain.

In the same way that plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight into plant tissue, human cells can absorb specific wavelengths of light and transform their energy into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the form of energy that cells use to power metabolic processes.

Simply put, light therapy improves cellular health by accelerating the repair and replenishment of compromised tissue cells. Light therapy can increase circulation, accelerate tissue repair, kill acne bacteria, decrease inflammation, improve skin tone, and also ease muscle and joint pain, stiffness, spasm, and arthritis.

How Can Cosmetic Acupuncture Be Used In Conjunction With Light Therapy?

Light Therapy With Acupuncture - Photo 3

Acupuncture and light therapy are both non-invasive, holistic treatments that can naturally improve the body’s own healing abilities, helping us look and feel our best.

When acupuncture is used in conjunction with light therapy, patients will first experience those micro-traumas that bring a rush of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the skin’s surface. Then, with the application of light energy, cells are stimulated on the microscopic level, increasing the production of collagen and elastin, and increasing cell turnover.

Acupuncture creates inflammation – it’s all part of the healing process. But when used in conjunction with light therapy, light therapy works to reduce that inflammation and provide additional cellular energy, so patients look and feel better more quickly after treatment.

Treating Patients With Cosmetic Acupuncture And Light Therapy

Shellie Goldstein has over 27 years of experience in cosmetic facial acupuncture, and she has recently introduced light therapy into her practice to enhance the benefits of traditional cosmetic acupuncture for her patients.

According to Shellie, she likes to pair cosmetic acupuncture with light therapy for enhanced patient outcomes for acne, aging, pain, and general health and wellness.

When used in conjunction with acupuncture, Shellie says light therapy can:

  • Stimulate skin cell micro-circulation
  • Improve lymphatic drainage
  • Soften wrinkles and fine lines
  • Increase collagen and elastin production
  • Delay the signs of aging
  • Relax and rejuvenate clients
  • Produce efficient, effective results with no downtime

Shellie’s patients enjoy the benefits of using acupuncture in conjunction with light therapy, and they have seen amazing results from using both methods to achieve better skin clarity, tone, texture, and vibrance.

A Step-By-Step Look At The Treatment Process:

Treatment process of light therapy with acupuncture

For Shellie’s patients who choose to do acupuncture treatments in conjunction with light therapy for acne and anti-aging, the process looks like this:

  • Acne Reduction Treatment
    • Acupuncture Treatment
      • Cleanse face
      • Acupuncture treatment to clear heat in the large intestines & stomach
      • Place needles in legs & arms first, then face
    • Incorporate LED Acne Protocol
      • Position patient under LED device
      • Cover eyes (optional)
      • Choose wrinkle setting (blue dominant) & run for 30 minutes
      • Remove needles
      • Apply appropriate treatment products

For best acne results, Shellie recommends 2 treatments per week for 5-10 weeks.

  • Wrinkle Reduction Treatment
    • Acupuncture Treatment
      • Cleanse face
      • Acupuncture treatment based on TCM pattern of disharmony diagnosis
      • Place needles in legs & arms first, then face
    • Incorporated LED Wrinkle Protocol
      • Position patient under LED device
      • Cover eyes (optional)
      • Choose wrinkle setting (red dominant) & run for 30 minutes
      • Remove needles
      • Apply appropriate treatment products

For best wrinkle results, Shellie recommends 1-2 treatments per week for 5-10 weeks.

Why Does Shellie Use Celluma Light Therapy?

Shellie has chosen to use Celluma for her practice because Celluma is the only all-in-one, FDA-cleared light therapy device on the market and has been proven to promote cell proliferation and cell migration using blue, red and near-infrared wavelengths synergistically.

Additionally, Celluma devices offer different treatment modes, so they can be used for acne, anti-aging, and pain management, which makes them a smart, convenient choice for professionals who are looking to diversify their patient treatment portfolio.

Celluma is affordable and profitable for Shellie, and her patients love it. She can even leave the room while Celluma light therapy goes to work, and she often comes back to find her patients snoozing beneath the device – it’s just that relaxing!

What’s more, Celluma’s unique ability to conform closely to the treatment area allows for maximum absorption of light, so you’ll see more effective, faster results with Celluma when compared to other light therapy devices.

According to the Inverse Square Law of Optical Physics, as you double the distance between skin and light energy, the energy available for absorption decreases by 4 times.

That means if you position Celluma .5 inch away from skin and another device is 1 inch away, that second device would need to be 4x as powerful to have the same effect.

Celluma is an affordable, convenient, and effective light therapy device that’s perfect for professional and personal use.


Acupuncture has seen a resurgence in popularity since the 1970s, and for good reason. It can help increase the body’s self-healing abilities by creating micro-traumas on the skin’s surface, thus increasing circulation and boosting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to compromised tissues.

Acupuncture physically affects skin tissue, which naturally causes inflammation. When used in conjunction with acupuncture, light therapy can quickly reduce that inflammation, which helps to decrease social downtime and get patients back on their feet.

When combined with light therapy, acupuncture’s benefits are more pronounced, and can have more effective results.

If you’re interested in learning more about the synergistic benefits of combining acupuncture with light therapy for cosmetic affects, you can listen to Shellie and Patrick’s full webinar here.

Or, if you’re already a practicing cosmetic acupuncturist looking to add light therapy to your treatment regime, check out Celluma’s full line of light therapy devices here. Healthcare professionals gain exclusive access to discount pricing on select models of Celluma.

Need help deciding? Our Celluma specialists are always happy to help. Call us at (714) 978-0080 or fill out a contact form here.



Matt Kovach