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Did you know that 5 years after graduating, 50% of acupuncturists are NOT in an active practice? For those who are in practice, the average income is less than $50,000/year.

The impact of allied health professionals practicing "dry needling" may have adversely affected your practice…. or perhaps you may have just not found your niche yet…

If you’re like most acupuncturists you are frequently thinking of ways to attract patients to your practice. Perhaps you’ve gone to seminars to learn some skills, but walk away after the weekend overwhelmed or feeling ill-equipped to incorporate these techniques into your practice.

What adds value to a practice is a skill set that is unique, that sets you apart from other practitioners. Most acupuncturists are trained in treating acute and chronic pain, infertility, inflammatory conditions, sleep disorders, perhaps even some spiritual issues such as anxiety/depression/grief. But few of us are trained in treating the face, either for cosmetic, or neuromuscular conditions.

We all know how effective acupuncture is for treating aches and pains, chronic and acute illness. But many of today’s practitioners are missing out on one of the largest growing markets, and that is: acupuncture's ability to reverse the signs of aging. Celebrities such as Madonna, Demi Moore and Sandra Bullock are using Facial Acupuncture…because it works!

With so many baby boomers competing in today’s work place, the anti-aging industry is literally exploding. Acupuncture has a unique ability to naturally rejuvenate a person’s appearance, without surgery, toxins or downtime. The treatment is very relaxing and patients typically fall asleep before the needles are in. Facial acupuncture is effective for a myriad of concerns, from wrinkles to acne, rosacea, to scars, and paralysis, neuropathy and pain.  

Practicing facial acupuncture requires special training, and for most malpractice insurance companies, additional certification. Nationally, there are only a handful of practitioners certified through the AAC to teach facial acupuncture classes. Although there are many different types of trainings available, to truly affect the skin, muscles and underlying disharmonies you need a multifaceted approach. Facial motor points, facial cupping and Facial Gua Sha, submuscular needling, intradermals, and clearing blocks to treatment such as aggressive energy should all be part of the protocol.

When treating the skin and musculature of the face, there are many considerations to take into account.  The face is heavily vascularized, and has more muscles and acupoints per inch than any other part of the body (except the ear). Facial cupping, facial gua sha and the use of a microneedle derma roller can be tremendously effective in the cosmetic and neuromuscular treatment of the face, but these skills must be professionally taught and practiced to avoid bruising and excessive bleeding.

My CEU classes offer techniques ranging from submuscular needling, body and face points, intradermal needing, facial cupping and facial gua sha. All of this is taught in a three-day class, in a small, interactive environment.  Hands on practice is a large part of class. Therefore, you will walk away at the end of the weekend with a valuable, usable skill set that you can implement. Live and recorded webinars are also available.

For class schedules visit

About the Author: Michelle Gellis, L.Ac., M.Ac, DiplAc, has been a faculty member and clinic supervisor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health since 2004 and has been teaching facial acupuncture classes since 2005.  She has been published in the Journal of Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture Today, the Maryland Acupuncture Society Newsletter, The Acupuncture Desk Reference, as well as featured in Her Mind magazine, Howard County Business News, and Be Well World magazine. She is also the founder of AcuLift Derma Roller.   

For more information about Michelle Gellis, L.Ac., M.Ac., Dipl.Ac.and facial acupuncture visit her websites for:

Facial Acupuncture Classes
Her practice                 
Aculift Derma Roller     

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Q: Is acupuncture tax deductible?

A: Are acupuncture treatments tax deductible? Yes! So keep track of your treatments.  The costs ... Read More