Graceful and Natural Aging Options
by Jewel Sommerville, DACM
While aging is a natural process, the anti-aging industry often applies a myriad unnatural procedures or chemicals to reduce, or attempt to avoid, the signs of aging. We begin losing approximately 1 percent of our collagen production (the main structural protein found in our skin providing structure, support and strength to not only our skin but also our muscles, bones and connective tissues) every year from the age of 25.
There are many steps that can be taken when fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear. Many opt for Botox injections, but are unaware according to one published study that these are derived from the “Botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous biological substances known,” which “is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum elaborates eight antigenically distinguishable exotoxins (A, B, C1, C2, D, E, F and G).” These injections “interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis.”
While Botox, properly dosed, is believed to be safe, it doesn’t correct the problem, only temporarily masks it, wearing off in approximately 12 weeks. In addition, many find the injections become less effective after 10 to 12 years of use and are discovering new wrinkles may form in areas that are near the paralyzed muscle site(s).
There are many natural aging options that help to “wake up” the body’s natural ability to produce collagen, thereby filling in fine lines and wrinkles and giving a tighter, more refreshed look to the face and neck.
At-home Hibiscus or Banana masks.
Bananas naturally boost skin health and help fade blemishes and dark spots. In addition, potassium from bananas works as a moisturizing agent and provides proper hydration to the skin. Simply mash a banana into a smooth paste, apply to the face for 20 to 25 minutes then wash off with water.
Known as the “natural Botox”, hibiscus is often used for its skin-firming abilities and its ability to stimulate the production of collagen. Simply mix ground hibiscus powder with avocado (which also stimulates both elastin and collagen production), apply to the skin for 20 to 25 minutes then wash off with water.
Daily topical application of food-grade aloe gel helps the skin to remain hydrated, reduces inflammation and increases collagen while protecting the skin from sun damage. Simply apply food-grade aloe gel daily to the face, let dry and then rinse with lukewarm water to remove.
The use of natural oils (coconut, olive or avocado, for examples) in cooking and topically for the face and neck all aid in anti-aging.
Cosmetic acupuncture options to reduce the signs of aging include:
•Full Body Cosmetic Acupuncture Treatments - Known as facial rejuvenation, or the “AcuFaceLift”. These treatments involve complex placement of needles during a six- to 12-week time period (depending on frequency of treatments scheduled per week).
•Micro-needling and/or Nano- needling – Micro-needling is a highly effective anti-aging treatment with minimal downtime. During and after treatment, our body’s own natural collagen and elastin production is stimulated and the skin begins to heal itself. Within a matter of weeks, micro-needling treatments reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, sun damage, stretch marks and hyper-pigmentation while improving overall skin texture and firmness. The treatment protocol ranges from four to six sessions that are scheduled approximately one month apart. Nano-needling is a similar process except more superficial and therefore can be used multiple times weekly. One benefit is it can be performed in delicate areas, such as directly under the eyes and on the pink of the lips.
An advantage of choosing a licensed acupuncturist that is certified in micro- and nano-needling over another practitioner is the additional insertion of acupuncture needles on the body that support anti-aging protocols while the micro/nano-needling treatment takes place.
These are only some of the natural options to help us age gracefully and naturally. Diet and lifestyle factors play a large part in aiding these processes as well. These, and many other recommendations, can be made by a practitioner during an initial consultation.