Q & A with Dr. Stephanie Flockhart Registered Acupuncturist Bhsc (Acu)
What are the benefits of facial Acupuncture? And how does Acupuncture help skin complexion?
Cosmetic Acupuncture offers not only a natural alternative, but one that transcends the superficial approach to beauty and anti-ageing that floods the current offerings in our society. While these treatments are able to offer successful results cosmetically, they fail to recognise and address the deeper issues underlying the ageing face. The illusion of beauty is marketed as something to be revered, with a beauty industry targeting an audience through an idealised idea of perfection, projected via celebrities, magazines, social media- all creating a sense of angst and fear surrounding ageing. We are persuaded to change our face, with surgery, fillers and botox however these treatments fail to recognise that real beauty resides in the radiation of the individuals spirit and state of their internal health. Cosmetic Acupuncture certainly can reduce the specific signs of ageing including wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, and lustre. However its power lies much deeper, the treatment is focused around altering the ageing cycle, assisting the patient to understand why they have the lines, addressing the underlying emotion and in turn expression that caused the wrinkle to form in the first place. Holistic healthcare aims to always seek the root cause of the problem, and the question is raised, why should beauty be approached any differently?
The treatment itself works on everything from fine lines, drooping/sagging skin, dryness, flakiness, dull complexions, hormonal acne, pigmentation, scarring, facial tension and uneven skin tone. The tiny needles used are extremely fine and inserted with a painless specialised technique. They are inserted into the fine lines, motor points, and other areas of concern. This creates a tiny “microtrauma” to the area of insertion which prompts the body to produce collagen and elastin in response. Another technique we use works to specifically target sagging and drooping by needling into facial points to stimulate the muscle to tighten and strengthen, lifting certain areas of the face. Both of these techniques result in an increase of skin density and elasticity, resulting in the improved overall plumpness, radiance and firmness of the skin.
Can having regular Acupuncture treatments help reduce acne and breakouts? Along with reducing oil production?
Yes! This is one of my main areas of speciality as my patients have found Acupuncture to work so well to reduce the frequency and severity of break outs. The treatment is targeted to focus on fixing the root cause of the imbalance. not solely the skin breakout, so the results have longevity. Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture work to heal from the inside out, with the main mechanisms of the treatment working to reduce inflammation, detox the liver and digestive system, boost circulation, and remove inflammation. The treatment involves a combination of local and full body needling so the patient is getting a holistic treatment in the process.
Do you recommend skin care products along with your treatments?
I feel the best approach is to keep your skin care regime as simple as possible, and as natural as possible. It is my belief that healthy, radiant skin is a result of a healthy life. Generally I will recommend a minimalistic approach, and all natural products as chemicals and additives can have a huge impact on your hormones. Personally, I stick with a gentle cleanser and an oil based serum prior to bed.
Can you use Chinese Medicine topically to assist with promoting healthy skin?
Chinese Medicine treats skin conditions both topically and internally. The treatment for most skin conditions includes a blend of traditional oils and herbs, some ingestible and others intended to be applied directly to the skin.
There are so many beautiful Chinese herbs to promote beautiful, radiant skin. They have a myriad of beautiful oils, distilled from various flowers and seeds used in internal formulas that are able to be applied topically, including Camellia and Neroli oils. Pearl shell is crushed and applied as a mask with strong anti-ageing capabilities and various herbs can be mixed into a paste and applied topically for the treatment of most skin conditions. This in combination with Cosmetic or Facial Acupuncture is a powerful combination for promoting healthy, radiant skin.
What are your thoughts on the current stigma around beauty, influencers and instagram? And how do you personally maintain internal happiness when you see the ‘highlight reel’ or ‘flawless’ lifestyles.
The highlight reel is but a carefully curated moment in time, captured and then edited to depict a “flawless” face, body, life. Life is far from flawless, and in that fact is the beauty. I feel it is becoming more widely recognised that this is the case and I feel an important topic to continually address, as mental health issues are rampant and this is certainly fuelling the fire. I don’t feel Instagram is necessarily solely to blame, although it is contributing to the issue.
I feel as you invest more in how you feel, emotionally and mentally, doing things that light you up and make you feel balanced, radiant and healthy, this translates into your sense of self worth and how you view yourself. I urge you to stop giving your power away. If an account you're following on Instagram effects your self esteem negatively and isn’t making you feel light, inspired and happy, unfollow. Curate your life to reflect what lights you up! This isn’t limited to scrolling, consider the shows you’re watching, books you're reading, people you're spending time with and your living and working environment.
Do you think using natural remedies and Chinese Medicine promotes a different view on beauty and self love to the consumer?
Chinese medicine approaches its remedies and perspective on beauty with an emphasis on ritual. I feel this is something that has been interwoven into beauty regime of many cultures and has transcended time, until now, We are increasingly disconnected and stuck in our “Yang” or masculine energies. Failing to acknowledge the importance and power of embracing the “Yin” or feminine aspect of self. The lost art of the beauty ritual embodies self love through self care, and through using tools such as the Jade roller or Gua Sha, invites us to pause in the moment and indulge in the process. I feel this sense of luxury, and the investment in self increases feelings of radiance, femininity and in turn self confidence.
Do you believe in the need for change in the beauty world? Referring to single-use consumerism, cosmetics, waste ect.
I feel things are changing, and I feel this is something to be wholeheartedly supported.There is a revolution of generations emerging that are challenging these pre-exisiting notions of beauty, opting for a natural, holistic approach to embrace and emanate beauty from the inside out. Natural brands have evolved considerably and rival the more well known chemical laden options available. As people are becoming more conscious, considering the environment, and embracing healthy living- opting for natural product and conscious brands is the obvious next step.
How did you find your Sabbia Co face kit experience? And do you think it is a compliment to your current skin care regime?
I love my Sabbia Co face kit! As mentioned, I like to keep things as natural and simple as possible when approaching my skin care regime and I feel the beautiful Sabbia tools support that. My favourite is the Charcoal Konjac Sponge and the inclusion of the headband. I have a huge mane of hair and this addition has solved all my problems! haha
How to you think Sabbia Co face kits will assist in promoting sustainable, eco-friendly, chemical free options? That actually work.
Promoting the use of eco-friendly, multi use products is something we all need to be educated in! Choosing these options over single use products is so important for the wellbeing of our planet. The added benefit of these tools being all natural, and chemical free is the positive impact they have on your hormones. I treat predominately hormone related imbalances in my clinic and find the majority of people aren’t aware of huge impact toxin laden products have on their internal health. Reducing this toxic load wherever possible is important and your skin care regime is the perfect place to start!
Dr. Stephanie Flockhart
Registered Acupuncturist Bhsc (Acu)