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Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

Needles over Knives: Acupuncture Stimulates Youthfulness from the Inside and Out

Feb 08, 2016 10:22PM ● By Daralyn Chase

When I am first introduced to people, they get that look on their face and say, ‘I don’t like needles.’ Some will even move away” says Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Registered Nurse Sheryl Roe. She offers Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies that include gua sha, cupping, tui na, herbology and 5 element, tongue and pulse diagnosis, and probably best known, acupuncture. That explains the “needle” comments.

“As I talk about specific problems that acupuncture can treat, some people will finally ask if it hurts,” she notes. “The answer is yes, there is a very small prick when the needle goes through the skin, but it is slight and goes away immediately. Then, when I mention acupuncture facelifts, women push the men aside and all they want to know is, ‘Does it work?’ To date, I have yet to have a woman ask me if acupuncture facelifts hurt!”

Roe is nationally certified in acupuncture and herbal medicine as a member of National Certification Council of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the American Academy of Pain Management and the Florida State Oriental Medicine Association.

Retiring after 25 years as a registered nurse for 25 years, Roe has been treating people successfully with acupuncture and TCM for more than 12 years as a licensed herbalist. She works with Western physicians in providing treatment for patients with a broad range of illnesses and all types of pain, sleep, eating and smoking disorders, as well as anxiety, depression, hypertension, and autoimmune disorders such as lupus and fibromyalgia.

TCM is based on the goal of wellness in body, mind and spirit. Every treatment or treatment plan is intended to reach that goal. The basis for acupuncture theory is that qi (energy) travels through the body in channels called meridians, most of which go through our face or connect to one of the channels that do. The liver channel is a good example, as it runs from between our first and second toe to the middle of our bottom lip. First, it passes up through the entire body, including the neck to the top of the head and back down, passing thru the forehead, brow, along the side of the nose and then around the mouth. Frown lines can be seen in the brow and around the mouth. 

As the energy travels through the meridians and gets close to the surface of the skin, there is a place or multiple places called points where this qi energy can be tapped. The goal of the treatment is to affect the flow of qi energy based on that person’s personal or physical goals.

Roe feels that we have been taught to behave and show only positive emotions or if possible, to just not have any undesirable emotions. Women in particular, she believes, hide or hold in emotions. Many channels affect several organ functions, Roe explains, and even our emotional state can be affected by the channels. For example, the emotion that affects the liver channel the most is anger, frustration, a feeling of being stuck and particularly stored and suppressed anger.

After long periods of time carrying that anger around, it begins to affect other organs such as stomach and spleen, causing depression and stomach upset. The stomach channel starts in the eye and moves down through the cheek, jaw and in front of the ear, causing more of those lines. 

One of the many explanations of the mechanisms by which acupuncture works is that with needle insertion, the body endures a micro-trauma that in turn stimulates the injury repair system within the body. It is this natural healing process that stimulates the production of collagen at the site of the needle insertion. Regeneration of the dermis and epidermis produces new collagen and elastin proteins, and new skin tissue essentially appears younger.

Roe explained that much of acupuncture’s ability to produce cosmetic improvement was discovered when acupuncturists treating other aging issues of patients would notice a change in the tightness and smoothness of the skin. “Cosmetic acupuncture has been used since the Sung Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) and kept the empress looking youthful,” Roe says. “By inserting needles into specific points on the face, I can stimulate collagen turnover and blood flow to nourish the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. I affect not only the underlying muscles, but also the channels and the qi energy flowing in them that control emotions, as well as water metabolism, waste disposal and energy distribution, sleep and the sense of well-being.” 

The placing of the needles takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Many people rest and often sleep, because the feeling is very relaxing. In most cases, a person can see some results right away, but usually over the next week the person will notice their face being firmer, with fewer lines around eyes, mouth and neck, along with substantial physical and mental benefits. 

Roe says, “While I cannot pretend to fix the things about which women and men have a right to feel anger, acupuncture facelifts can help make the stress less apparent on the face.”

Dr. Sheryl Roe practices TCM from two offices: Navarre Healing Arts Center, 7552 Navarre Pkwy, Ste. 44, in Navarre; and 8th Element Wellness Clinic, 90 Beal Pkwy., in FWB. For appointments, call 850-225-3460 or visit DrSRoe.com.

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