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

September 14, 2022 Woman using facial acupuncture and LED light therapy

This Year of the Metal Ox presents its challenges as many acupuncturists were forced to adjust their clinical practice due to COVID-19 imposed restrictions. Telemedicine screening, elimination of the waiting room, and modified patient load with enhanced safety procedures, significantly impacted the way we conduct business, particularly in a professional setting. 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 professionally 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 of LED Light Therapy and Its Benefits

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 stimulate 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.

Facial LED Acupuncture Treatment


Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture Definition and Applications

When applied to the face, LED light therapy has the potential to enhance skin cell micro-circulation, 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.

Cosmetic facial acupuncture utilizes the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to address signs of aging. According to TCM, aging conditions such as wrinkles, skin discoloration, or loss of muscle tone begins from a constitutional imbalance and fundamental weakness of Qi (pronounced ‘chee’). Qi is the energy that circulates throughout the body within a series of pathways to different organs. This body’s natural energy flow is what provides nourishment, support, and vitality to every cell, tissue, muscle, and organ.

As we get older, there are a number of factors that contribute to wrinkles, sagging skin and other signs of aging. By inserting acupuncture needles into specific sites along the pathways of the face and the body, Qi can be manipulated to both improve and prevent aging conditions.

An added benefit to cosmetic facial acupuncture is that changes are not limited to just the face. Since energy pathways travel from head to toe, manipulating Qi in the face affects the body and stimulating points elsewhere in the body addresses the face. When applying the techniques of TCM, a cosmetic facial acupuncture treatment improves facial appearance and addresses underlying body imbalances that may contribute to the aging process.

By strengthening and stimulating the body’s energy circulation, especially those of the face, cosmetic facial acupuncture can tightens pores, improve muscle tone and dermal contraction, while enhancing and increasing the elasticity of the skin. Through a series of treatments, patients will look and feel more energetic, vibrant, and healthy. The treatment is extremely relaxing and revitalizing.

What Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture Treats

This nonsurgical facelift is specifically designed to improve facial appearance by reducing fine lines and wrinkles, toning sagging face muscles, and rejuvenating dull, lifeless, or aging skin. Visible results can be seen after the first treatment. Dramatic and long lasting changes generally occur with a series of sessions. Cosmetic facial acupuncture leaves you looking and feeling your best. It’s like taking your face to the gym! The benefits of cosmetic acupuncture are:

  • Improves muscle tone and integrity
  • Reduces facial fine lines and wrinkles
  • Stimulates circulation and lymphatic drainage
  • Gives face and eyes a radiant glow
  • Improves body health and vitality
  • Creates physical and emotional wellness

LED Light Therapy and Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture

When incorporating LED Light Therapy 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 professional panel-style LED light machine over the patient’s face. For proper placement and settings, follow the product manufacturer instructions. Quality, medical-grade Light Therapy machines call for an average treatment cycle of 20-30 minutes.

Below are typical protocols for treating facial wrinkles and acne with acupuncture and LED Light Therapy. 

Facial Wrinkles Protocol 

  • Cleanse or instruct patient to clean their face
  • Acupuncture treatment based on TCM pattern of disharmony diagnosis
  • Place needles in legs and arms first, then face
  • Position patient under LED machine
  • Cover eyes (optional)

Choose anti-aging or wrinkle setting (red dominant) and run for 30 minutes. Red light 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 1-2 x per week for 5 - 10 weeks

Facial Wrinkle LED Acupuncture Results

Facial Acne Protocol 

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

The primary conditions for not using LED Light Therapy are for patients with a history of migraines, seizure disorders, and pregnancy.  We are also cautious about using LED Light Therapy on patients with photo sensitivity or those on medications that cause light sensitivity. 

Enhancing 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 Light Therapy treatment to existing professional services or creating signature services, it is possible to add an additional $1 to $3 per minute to your bottom line. A quick Pub Med search of low-level light therapy demonstrates the proven efficacy of LED Light Therapy treatments.  LED machines vary in quality, efficiency and price.

For facial cosmetic acupuncture treatments, some charge an extra $50 to add light therapy. Most will also sell individual treatments of light therapy @ $90 for a single treatment or $75 when purchased in a package of 10 treatments. These are suggestions only and are demographic dependent. 

LED Treatment Types

Celluma LED Light Therapy Products 

There are several products in the Celluma SERIES of light therapy machines that can be used in professional services and facial acupuncture protocols. The 3-mode Celluma PRO treats acne, wrinkles, and pain, and is quite unlike any other LED Light Therapy machine available today. Ideally sized for over the face, the Celluma PRO can be positioned easily over any part of the body, including the spine, hip, or shoulder complexes, feet, knees, and more. The Celluma PRO is stand-free, hands-free, lightweight and portable.

Woman using Celluma iPRO

The Celluma iPRO is the battery-powered option of the Celluma PRO. This breakthrough technology offers all the benefits of the original Celluma PRO with even extra mobility and versatility. With the Celluma iPRO, there are no limits to where you can take your Celluma. The iSERIES is the first ever battery-driven, professional grade LED Light Therapy machines. Ideal for professional mobile practitioners and those on the go the iSERIES give you the freedom to use Light Therapy anywhere.

The original version of this article was written by Dr. Shellie Goldstein (see complete bio below) and Patrick Johnson, Celluma Light Therapy CEO and Inventor (see complete bio below) and published in the June 2021 issue of Acupunture Today, www.acupuncturetoday.com.

Shellie Goldstein, DACM, AP (FL), L.Ac. (NY) is widely considered a leading expert of facial acupuncture. Dr. Goldstein, in 2016, founded the Academy of Advanced Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture. Her recent partnership with the Pacific College of Health Sciences to create the Facial Advancement of Cosmetic Enhancement (FACE) program synthesizes an unparalleled advancement in the field of cosmetic facial acupuncture training. She is the author of Your Best Face Now: Look Younger in 20 Days with The Do-It-Yourself Acupressure Facelift and inventor of Touch+Glow ®: The Do-It-Yourself Acupressure Facelift Kit. As a leading authority and educator of cosmetic facial acupuncture, Dr. Goldstein has appeared on major television networks and has been featured in the press.

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, Johnson's expertise is sought after worldwide.

Matt Kovach