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The Power of Intent, Part 2: Excellent or Mediocre Results With Facial Rejuvenation?
By Darren Starwynn, OMD, LAc
Editor's note: Part one of this article appeared in the August 2006 issue of Acupuncture Today.
In my last article, I wrote about how practitioners can tap into the unlimited power of positive intent to amplify the results of their treatments.
This article discusses a very popular treatment called facial rejuvenation, and why there has sometimes been a wide variance in results and client satisfaction reported by various practitioners offering this service in their practices.
As most readers know, I have been developing therapeutic devices utilizing microcurrent and color-light electroacupuncture for a long time. I also have trained what is by now thousands of practitioners, most of them acupuncturists. The majority of practitioners (well over 90 percent) who use these tools and techniques for pain management and internal medical electroacupuncture have consistently reported very positive clinical results.
My associates and I also offer trainings in facial rejuvenation/de-aging treatments using the same forms of stimulation, but with different techniques. While a clear majority of those we have trained enjoy positive results and success (about 75 percent), there is a relatively higher percentage reporting mediocre results in comparison with the pain and internal medical treatments (around 25 percent). Those not enjoying consistently positive results often give up on the technique, foregoing a great deal of potential income and referrals. This has prompted quite a bit of inquiry on my part to try to understand why some practitioners of facial rejuvenation enjoyed consistent good results and other did not, even though both were using the same equipment and similar techniques.
In my analysis, some clear patterns emerge. For the purpose of this study, I will refer to the practitioners reporting mainly positive, consistent results as Group A, and those reporting less-than-positive or mediocre results as Group B.
The two main professional groups trained in facial rejuvenation have been acupuncturists and estheticians.1 In general, acupuncturists tend to enjoy better results than estheticians, who make up a disproportionately large percentage of Group B. This is ironic, considering that estheticians receive far more training in rejuvenation procedures in school than acupuncturists do.
Those in Group A, especially those with the most successful, thriving practices, radiate a more positive, confident attitude and appear highly committed to promoting the healing and greatest good of their clients. They are able to inspire openness and receptivity to subtle energy in their clients. They also regularly take continuing education courses to keep expanding their skills.
Group A individuals seem more aware of the underlying spiritual aspects of their healing art and seek to empower their clients to heal themselves. They are committed to instructing and inspiring them to make necessary lifestyle and attitude changes. Group B practitioners seem to demonstrate fewer of these traits and focus mainly on the physical, technical aspects of facial rejuvenation.
Group A practitioners are creative and research-oriented. They rarely stay with the exact procedures we teach them for facial rejuvenation. Each seems to develop their own style combining the core techniques and equipment with adjunctive treatments and nutritional and skin care products. I almost always learn a great deal from talking with these practitioners, and often integrate some of their findings into my methods.
Group A practitioners seem to intuitively grasp the importance of positive intent in their work. They seem to be more committed to being the best healer/practitioner they can be than in making as much money as possible (which is often the main focus of Group B). Yet again, ironically, they tend to make more money than Group B people, who tend to feel more insecure and stressed about it.
In reality, it is somewhat artificial to classify practitioners into Group A and B. Most of us manifest some aspects of each type and are hopefully on a path toward developing greater skill, confidence, compassion and success. The observations above are offered to help the reader sort out those factors in themselves and hopefully make some positive choices that will allow them to emulate the positive Group A qualities.
What Is Facial Rejuvenation?
Now let's take a closer look at the specific aims of facial rejuvenation. The term rejuvenation is often used synonymously with the term anti-aging; in other words, procedures that help make clients look younger than they would look without the treatments. Some of the aspects of rejuvenation are:
Collagen synthesis: Collagen is the most plentiful protein in the body. It helps produce the smooth curves of the facial surface associated with youth. Collagen is produced by a chemical reaction in the cells between the amino acid hydroxyproline and vitamin C, facilitated by the energy of ATP. As people grow older, their ability to produce new, pliable collagen declines. Energy applied to the skin, in the form of electricity and/or light, has been proven to stimulate the synthesis of new collagen and elastin, even after the body slows its own production. This can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help restore youthful fullness to the face.
Detoxification: One of the aims of facial rejuvenation is to remove dead skin cells, excessive oils and unnecessary chemicals from the skin of the face. On a deeper level, rejuvenation is facilitated by stimulation to promote lymphatic drainage using light massage, low frequency microcurrents2 and yellow color light.
Correct coloration: As a microsystem, the face contains a holographic map of the entire body. Weak, toxic or sluggish organs and glands often show up on the face in the form of unsightly discolorations, wrinkles, blemishes and lesions. Correct application of energy can show immediate, but temporary, results in shifting facial coloration toward more youthful, healthy appearance. Over a series of treatments, this effect will generally be longer lasting.
Facial rejuvenation also can reduce the visibility of so-called age or liver spots, although other nutritional and herbal products usually need to be used as well for maximum results.
Muscle toning: Bodily tissues tend to prolapse, or droop, as a part of the aging process. Drooping areas on the face can be holographically connected to prolapsed internal organs. For example, a very slack jaw line can be associated with prolapse of the stomach or intestines. Stimulation of facial and distal acupoints that influence facial muscles which are too loose or too tight can balance the muscle, helping to restore a more youthful appearance.
Healing lesions: Rejuvenation can help resolve facial lesions due to acne, rosacea and scar tissues through the healing acceleration effects of microcurrent and light.
Intent and the Acupuncture Effect
As mentioned in the introduction, I have observed hundreds of acupuncturists and estheticians who have learned the same techniques of facial rejuvenation at my seminars. They have used the same equipment and same techniques, and are treating similar client populations. If the beneficial effects of rejuvenation were only due to the physical effects on collagen synthesis, muscle tone improvement and cellular health as summarized above, how can we account for the widely varying results reported by these practitioners?
It appears successful rejuvenation is based on a combination of physical and consciousness factors. When both levels are present, true mind-body healing and balancing takes place that can dramatically improve the appearance of the face, which holographically reflects the health of the entire body.
The following flow chart shows a useful way to understand the interplay of these factors.
Information (Positive Intent, Light Medicine)
Energy (Acupuncture, Microcurrent)
Matter (Physical or Biochemical Effects)
Matter in the form of wrinkles, crow's feet, acne and sagging muscles is what clients want to transform. These symptoms can be changed through purely physical and chemical methods such as plastic surgery, chemical peels, botox and dermabrasion. As you are no doubt aware however, there are significant risks to intervening only on this level, and the root of the symptoms is not changed.
Energy in the form of stimulation from acupuncture needles, microcurrent or sound through the acupuncture points of the face and body can drive cellular and tissue-level reactions, such as improvement of muscle tone and increased ATP levels. Energy is what animates Matter.
Information is what informs Energy. This is where the power of intent makes such a huge difference. Those practitioners who radiate confidence and true caring for their clients are tapping into the infinite power of intent that makes everything work much better. The Energy and Matter levels happily dance and transform accordingly.
Light is a pure carrier of intent. If you choose to practice medical or rejuvenation treatments using light and/or microcurrent equipment, you can surely supercharge your results by taking a moment to set your highest intent for the client prior to performing the techniques. With appropriate clients, I also ask them to do so as well at the start of the treatment session.
Acupuncture points are also doorways of intent. The Chinese names of many of the points indicate a clear intent, such as shentang, or Spirit Hall (UB 44), and qishe, or Chi Shelter (St 11). I have found that applying color light to a point while holding the intent of the point in mind amplifies the results.
The placebo effect has been widely studied in medicine. Many research studies have confirmed powerful therapeutic effects to sham pills and procedures when the patient believes they are good medicine. In a sense we can say that their belief is invoking intent. There are also very well-documented rejuvenating effects on facial rejuvenation using the techniques of acupuncture, microcurrent and color light, as summarized above. It is my understanding that the most successful practitioners are practicing good techniques with proven physiologic effects, as well as consciously directing their positive intent to enlist the full healing potential of the client.
In this case, it is not an either/or paradigm. Both factors are essential for success. My advice is to learn the best techniques you can and the science behind them, use the best tools, and then direct the awesome power of intent. This will truly make you a superior practitioner with "A" results.
Estheticians are professionals licensed to provide facial rejuvenation and other skin and beauty care procedures. Although some also work as massage therapists, few are trained or licensed in health care.
A recommended EAV frequency for lymphatic drainage is 2.5 Hz.
Click here for more information about Darren Starwynn, OMD, LAc.
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