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Caitlin Kilgore

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An image of Jessica Sowards, MS, LAc. She has a short blonde bob, green eyes and pale skin. She is wearing a white coat and tan shirt. She has a slight grin, looking forward.

Jessica Sowards, MS LAc

Updated: 10/21/2021

This new integrative beauty treatment combines ancient and modern modalities for skin-health benefits you can see and feel.

When it comes to caring for your health and well-being, a functional-medicine approach seeks to identify the root cause of issues and evaluates both biological and lifestyle factors, such as stress level and diet.

The same holds true for treatment plans— they are holistic and often draw from both ancient Eastern healing wisdom and modern Western medicine practices. It’s how we do things at THE WELL because it’s what Dr. Frank Lipman, our Chief Medical Officer, likes to calls “good medicine.”

"Truly healthy skin can’t be achieved if you don’t correct internal imbalances."

So why should caring for your skin’s health be any different? The answer: it shouldn’t. “We know that healthy, glowing skin requires topical care as well as tending to overall health and vitality,” says Jessica Sowards, Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Lead at THE WELL.

Vivianne Garcia-Tunon, Vice President of Development at THE WELL and an experienced esthetician and massage therapist, explains the systemic nature of beauty this way: “The tight muscles in your neck affect your forehead wrinkles," she says. "And believe me, the dry skin on your feet is related to your dull complexion."

Enter THE WELL-developed East-Meets-West Facial, which unlike many standard facials, doesn't stop at your epidermis. Instead, it combines Chinese Medicine practices — such as acupuncture and gua sha — with Biologique Recherche’s cutting-edge skincare products to achieve meaningful results.

Beauty Comes From Within

Truly healthy skin can’t be achieved if you don’t correct internal imbalances, adds Sowards. That looks different for everyone, which is why our unique treatment addresses your bio-individuality. On top of all that, it feels incredibly good.

Here’s what to expect from this personalized beauty experience:

This treatment begins with a brief consultation and includes cleansing, facial massage, oxygen spray and serum application, followed by gua sha and a full-body and facial acupuncture treatment that brings together ancient wisdom and modern science.

RELATED: Start an At-Home Dry Brushing Routine

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture

Beauty really isn’t just skin deep. “If energy is not flowing freely throughout your body then your organs, muscles and lymphatic system cannot function properly, which can contribute to puffiness and premature aging,” says Sowards, who explains that “hair thin needles are placed on the outside of the ear to induce relaxation, and along meridian pathways on the body which correspond to the individual’s specific needs.”

This stimulation creates a “sense of well-being as a flood of endorphins gets released throughout the body,” says Sowards. “Once you are in a state of deep relaxation, needles are placed on the face in acupuncture points, as well as wrinkles, creating a micro-trauma, which in turn produces collagen.”

Acupuncture also improves circulation, which brings oxygen to the tissues,” says Sowards, adding: “It decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles, leaving you and your skin more relaxed.” This ancient practice is a “gentle, effective and safe way to combat the signs of aging, without the risk or downtime of surgery and injections,” attests Sowards.

RELATED: All About Acupuncture

Facial Gua Sha

Another integral part of the East-Meets-West Facial is the gua sha massage, which promotes blood flow and lymphatic drainage. “Facial gua sha is a technique that uses a specially crafted hand-held piece of smooth jade to invigorate the skin, smooth out wrinkles and increase blood supply, says Sowards. “It can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, melasma and dark circles.”

This boost in blood circulation helps to move stagnant blood and fluid, which can accumulate in the neck and under the eyes. The gua sha tool can also be used to further stimulate body points that correspond to specific internal organs. “The better your liver and kidney are working, the healthier your skin will appear,” says Sowards.

Functional Products

The East-Meets-West facial uses Biologique Recherche’s skincare products not only because of their high standards of excellence and efficacy, but also because the brand’s product protocols are hyper-customized. “Skin is constantly changing based on a variety of factors, including stress, pollution and diet, to name a few things,” says Laura Gerchik, the U.S. General Manager for Biologique Recherche. "Our system supports your skin's natural healing process."

Please note: Our practitioners will not perform facial acupuncture on women who are or may be pregnant. If you are currently pregnant, please save this treatment for postpartum pampering! Regular Facials at THE WELL (without facial acupuncture) can safely be enjoyed while pregnant. Regular, full-body acupuncture is safe, gentle and effective during pregnancy and is a widely practiced treatment all over the world. If you have questions or concerns about booking a regular acupuncture session while pregnancy, please reach out for more information.


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