Acupuncture is one of those alternative therapies that many shy away from because of the perceived lack of western medical support. But indeed many conventional physiotherapists and doctors are now using it as a complimentary therapy to relieve pain and treat a wide range of illnesses, including acne prone skin.

This Eastern healing therapy works on the principles of ancient Chinese philosophy. Fine needles are inserted into the top layer of skin to balance a person's flow of ‘motivating' energy (or qi) flow which can be disturbed by anything from anxiety, poor nutrition, overworked muscles, infection to poison.

In fact, I've just come from a session now so I can tell you how I feel. A little shaky in my hands as I type; only ever so slightly but it's as if there's a dull force of electricity or rather energy flowing through my muscles, veins and skin. Though I don't go for skin issues I've certainly noticed an improvement in the areas of my body I've been struggling with for a decade or so, namely my digestive system.

Two friends, grown women who still suffer from the occasional bad bout of acne have been seeing the Dr Yang, the same acupuncturist I've been to. One says it's too early to tell; the other, who's a natural beauty therapist, keep going back when she has a break out because of the marked difference in how her skin looks.

It's not a 'fix it now' solution to acne and troubled skin but it can ease the intensity (and associated feelings) of an outbreak. As my beauty therapist friend says ‘it's a little bit like a well balanced diet: if used in conjunction with other good measures (natural, chemical free skin care products, exercise etc) then it will contribute to happy, healthier skin.

You can contact Dr Yang from the ZWJ Chinese Medical Centre on 020 8858 6644. Also if you're interested the British Conference of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine 2009 is on in September this year. Visit the British Acupuncture Council's website for more details.

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