Functional Medicine, Energy Medicine and TCM: A Powerful Integration

By Darren Starwynn, OMD, LAc and Deborah Weiss, LAc, RN

If trendsetters are people who introduce large numbers of people to new, cutting-edge experiences then acupuncturists deserve that term. Although the roots of Chinese Medicine are ancient, its growing acceptance as a viable alternative to the limitations of modern medicine constitutes a new trend.
If you study the history of Chinese Medicine you will see that there have been many trendsetters throughout the various dynasty periods of China that introduced new methods of acupuncture. Many of these were eventually assimilated and would now be considered part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

This process of innovation has continued to this day. We would like to introduce you to some of the most exciting and powerful trends in our profession. One of them is the increasing use of functional medicine as an adjunct to acupuncture practice. The other is the integration of functional medicine and acupuncture with vibrational (energy) medicine.

What is Functional Medicine? How is it a derivative of TCM?

The paradigm of functional medicine (FM hereafter) is systems biology. It is a study of functional relationships in the body.

Observation and study of functional relationships is the observation and study of Energy. Like TCM, FM is a paradigm shift from organ-based diseases to functional dynamic systems and relationships.

Grounded in the Zang-Fu, the Shen and the manifestations of qi and Blood TCM is the oldest continually practiced medicine in the world. Therefore, we believe that FM is the 21st century scientific articulation of TCM.


FM core evaluations: TCM core evaluation:
genetics Heavenly Qi
diet/nutrition Post-Heaven Qi
environmental exposure External Pathogenic Influences
stress emotions
exercise movement
psycho-spiritual Shen

Both FM and TCM require individualized diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

TCM principle: No one symptom in and of itself holds any meaning outside the context of all presenting symptoms. Connecting all the dots is what gives rise to pattern differentiation/pattern diagnosis.

Both TCM and FM demand critical thinking skills to diagnose and determine optimal treatment.

The need for functional medicine in acupuncture practices. The greatest contribution FM gives to TCM is the scientific articulation of Yin & Yang.

The value of this in practice is two-fold: One, as TCM practitioners we gain a deeper biological understanding of the bio-chemical correlations to energetic patterns. Two, this articulation broadens our communication with both patients and our allopathic colleagues. We can intelligently speak in two languages.

States vary widely in their scope of practice for LAc’s. In Minnesota we cannot order or interpret lab tests. Therefore, I cannot fully practice FM, but what I continually hone from FM is a deeper understanding of pathology, physiology and pathophysiology. This strengthens my TCM diagnostic skills as well as my confidence in choosing treatment options for working energetically, especially treating with microcurrent.

What is energy medicine?

Over the last 100 years many scientists have demonstrated that biological systems are governed by electromagnetic fields. Rupert Sheldrake described a “morphic field” that surrounds all living things and guides their development and function. Harold Burr wrote about electrical fields that regulate and control living things as well as acting as a pattern for their forms. Popp proved that plants and other living things communicate with each other by means of bio-photon emissions.

I had an interesting insight when I visited a contract manufacturing business in Tucson, Ariz. One of their customers had a black box that contained an ultra-violet light source and a spectrometer. This device was used to positively identify pharmaceutical drugs so that dangerous errors were not made when they were given in hospitals. It worked by placing a pill in a holder, irradiating it with UV, and then analyzing the spectrum of colors that the pill emanated. Any drug could thereby be identified by its unique electro-magnetic spectrum. To me this suggests that the ultimate action of a drug takes place after it is metabolized and various colors of light are released. Light wavelengths rather than chemicals themselves were doing most of the therapeutic work.

This principle applies equally to foods, herbs and nutritional supplements.

We can therefore say that energy medicine is the medical art of “cutting out the middleman” of matter. Instead of a patient having to ingest a substance and then expend a great deal of energy and time to break it down, absorb it and process it, needed frequencies can be directly applied for therapeutic effect. Very efficient!

Energy medicine is also information medicine. Cells rely on low voltage electromagnetic circuits to transmit information while chemical circuits are used to transmit energy/power.

Information is yin and Energy is yang. All inputs into the body including food, toxins, stress, emotions are bits of electromagnetic information. Our body receives/absorbs these information bits, and assimilates them into chemical/hormonal signals manifested as energy/qi, Blood, fluids and Shen.

The type of information matters hugely. The human body follows the “accurate information in – accurate information out” and “garbage in – garbage out” principles of computers. The colors of antioxidant foods, the wavelengths of sunshine, positive or negative thoughts or pesticide residues are all information bits that our body “reads” and processes.

Through the advances made in genetics, specifically epigenics, we now know that genes can be unaffected or turned on based upon the information presented to them. This is an important understanding. Many diseases considered partially or wholly genetic such as heart disease, cancer or epilepsy could be switched on by having discordant information fed into the body. Genetics load the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger.

FM – EM connections – why they complete each other

Practitioners of functional medicine use blood tests and other intakes to analyze the functions of the body. They look for missing pieces of the puzzle that can be restored using targeted foods and supplementation. This approach can be very effective when performed skillfully.

By adding needed frequencies of microcurrent and/or colors of therapeutic light through well-selected acupuncture points the benefits of functional medicine can be significantly enhanced. There are powerful benefits to both giving needed nutrients and also “cutting out the middleman” by applying direct energy applications. One of the most valuable methods of doing this is the application of microcurrent and color light to Mu and Shu points to directly target the Organs. I have written about this in previous issues of Acupuncture Today.

This synergy is so valuable because we live on many levels simultaneously. It is an accurate statement that we are “spiritual beings having a physical experience.” Our vibrationally dense physical bodies often lack essential nutrients, and supplementing those can improve many functions. Yet our bodies would be dead and inert without our energy bodies informing and enlivening them. Our energy bodies are exquisitely sensitive to colors and frequency fields. Just using physical interventions can eventually feed our energy bodies, but it is relatively inefficient compared to direct energy therapies.

We propose that this combination of functional medicine and energy medicine is a superior approach that can greatly enhance results for acupuncturists and related professionals. We will next present an example of a valuable therapeutic approach that uses both sides.

The Ideal Weight Program – Example of integration of FM and EM

Back to Epigenics – Genetics load the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger. Post-heaven qi, the information food gives, is the most powerful influence on the body. It is also a factor we have significant control of.

In 1350, a doctor of TCM wrote, “Doctors first, have the find the cause for an illness and determine which disharmony prevails. To balance this disharmony, the first and foremost measure is appropriate diet. It is not until this measure bears no result that one should use medicines.”

Dr. Mark Hyman, in his newly published book, The Blood Sugar Solution wrote; “Lifestyle diseases – heart disease, diabetes and cancer are all fueled by the same preventable risk factors: high blood pressure/triglycerides/sugar/insulin/cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity and smoking. Medications do not address the cause of our afflictions. Poor diet, physical inactivity, stress and pollutants directly correlate to our level of health.”

These two physicians are declaring the same message 662 years apart! Even our current First Lady of the U.S. Michelle Obama has taken on lifestyle and childhood obesity by engaging school children in planting a White House organic garden.

Not only is the health of our nation at crisis, the financial burden of current allopathic medical treatment of diseases of lifestyle will bankrupt this country, and the root problem still won’t be fixed, just poorly medicated and managed.

Embracing lifestyle changes is the treatment and the prevention. This is the mission of the Ideal Weight Program (IWP).

The IWP is a lifestyle change program. As with any endeavor, its comprehensiveness stands on the shoulders of the marriage of TCM and FM.

I strongly believe that understanding physiology, and therefore, pathophysiology is crucial to ethically and effectively treating metabolic dysfunction. My patients rely on me to understand their imbalance, treat and educate them on how to regain their health.

The IWP addresses diseases of lifestyle and obesity through gentle detoxification, nutrition/metabolic pH balanced diet, exercise, stress management and restoring sleep. Key to the program is the application of a series of microcurrent frequencies to fatty areas of the body. This has the effect of moving stagnated Fluids (structure), and tonifying deficient qi (function). It also can have profound psycho-emotional effects.

This microcurrent treatment strategy, along with lifestyle changes of diet and exercise very assertively and effectively aids in the repair of the Middle Burner, strengthens Liver/Kidney/Spleen Qi and calms the Shen.

Through FM we know the physiology of the digestive system and the pathology of leaky gut and triggered immune responses. Did you know that more serotonin is produced in the gut than in the brain?

As we concentrate my study of Middle Burner physiology through the dual lens of FM and TCM, we continue to develop and refine microcurrent treatment strategies to address the myriad of pathology expression. Microcurrent is such a powerful treatment tool. I lovingly refer to microcurrent as “acupuncture on steroids.”

The Ideal Weight Program has produced more than weight loss in clients. Clients have reported improvements in the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, diabetes, depression, fatigue and much more.


The combination of acupuncture with microcurrent has totally transformed our clinical practices. They are synergistic in as much as acupuncture opens the portals of the body’s meridians inviting microcurrent to supplement cellular energy. Energy medicine can greatly enhance the effectiveness of nutrition, detoxification, medicinal herbs and other internal medical treatments.

Debi Weiss is director of Transition to Health in Oakdale, Minnesota. She has been a nurse for over 37 years and a licensed acupuncturist for 12 years. She is the developer of the Ideal Weight Program, an integration of functional and energy medicine.

source:acupuncture today

Medical College Of Wisconsin To Study New Incontinence Device

BROOKFIELD, Wis., Aug. 2, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) has begun a clinical study of InTone®, a new, FDA-approved medical device that treats female urinary incontinence. The 12-week study will evaluate the effectiveness of InTone in women with stress incontinence, urge incontinence, or mixed (stress AND urge) incontinence.

Stress incontinence is unwanted bladder leakage that can occur after coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise. Urge incontinence is a strong, sudden need to urinate due to bladder spasms or contractions. Altogether, urinary incontinence affects up to 25 million, or one in four, adult American women, according to the National Association for Continence (NAFC).

Women who qualify for the study will receive an InTone device and instructions on how to properly use it at home. Study subjects will be evaluated at intervals during the 12-week study period for progress, physical changes and safety factors. Subjects will complete incontinence questionnaires at regular intervals and complete a “bladder diary.”

In most cases the root cause of urinary incontinence is poor muscle tone in the pelvic floor muscles – caused by childbirth, lack of exercise, too much high-impact exercise, obesity, trauma, age, or other factors. Most women who “leak” endure their problem in silence. Absorbent pads and diapers, if used, do nothing to treat the condition. Medications, if prescribed, can cause side effects and are not always effective. Surgery, if performed, can be traumatic and painful, and is not always effective. Research has shown that even when properly taught how to perform pelvic floor, or Kegel, exercises, about half of all women do them incorrectly.

InTone is an inserted device that combines mild micro-current stimulation (similar to a TENS unit), exercises and guided biofeedback to strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor. After prescribing InTone, the physician customizes the settings for InTone and the patient is shown how to properly insert and position the device. A sensor in the unit measures pressure to determine if the patient is doing the exercises properly. The biofeedback unit uses voice-guided instruction to take her through the routine and reports her muscle isolation and strength. Each daily session takes about ten minutes and is done in the privacy of the patient’s own home. Data from each session is recorded, and after two weeks or so, the physician analyzes the recorded data and adjusts InTone based on the patient’s progress. At-home treatment sessions continue, with additional checkups to evaluate progress. It is anticipated that patients will experience progress in a few weeks, and may experience effective relief in about 90 days.

According to Michael Guralnick, MD, principal investigator for the MCW study, data from daily InTone sessions will be collected and analyzed by the study investigators. “This is just as a physician who prescribes InTone would do,” said Dr. Guralnick. “In an efficacy study, we aim to determine whether the treatment delivers its intended result – and to what degree it does so. In other words, does it effectively treat urinary incontinence.” Secondarily, the study will measure improvement in pelvic floor muscle tone, improvement in sexual function based on a questionnaire, and finally, the usability and tolerability of the InTone device.

According to the National Association for Continence:

Two-thirds of men and women age 30-70 have never discussed bladder health with their doctor.
On average, women wait 6.5 years from the first time they experience symptoms until they obtain a diagnosis for their bladder control problems.
Two-thirds of individuals who experience loss of bladder control symptoms do not use any treatment or product to manage their incontinence.

“We want women to know that ‘leaking’ isn’t normal, it could get worse, and it can be effectively treated,” said Herschel “Buzz” Peddicord, president and CEO of InControl Medical, LLC, and inventor of InTone. “We encourage women to talk to their doctors about it – and we encourage doctors to ask their patients.”

In pre-market testing, 85 percent of test subjects who used InTone reported that their incontinence symptoms disappeared. “Obviously we are excited about that,” said Peddicord. “We believe InTone can be the new standard of care for the treatment of female urinary incontinence, or unwanted bladder leakage.”

InTone is now available by prescription to patients in the United States. It was developed by InControl Medical, LLC, an FDA-listed company based in Brookfield, Wisconsin providing specialty medical products for women’s health, and is sourced and manufactured entirely in the United States. More information on InTone can be found at

SOURCE InControl Medical

Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics, a Division of Atlanta School of Massage, Introduces the Microcurrent Facial

Leading skin care school introduces non-invasive facial treatment to firm and tone skin

Microcurrent Facials will be available at SensAbility, the teaching clinic of Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics, beginning January 3, 2012. Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics students will provide Microcurrent treatments which firm and tone, resulting in younger looking skin. This non-invasive treatment has been called the skin care alternative to a face lift.

Based on a commitment to teach the most advanced esthetics practices, Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics updated its Clinical Esthetics curriculum in 2011 to include microcurrent treatments. The updated curriculum provides comprehensive training for this popular procedure.

The microcurrent facial helps clients attain a younger looking appearance by improving muscle tone in face and neck, lifting jowls and eyebrows, reducing and eliminating fine lines and wrinkles. It also provides a range of benefits including improving facial circulation, skin exfoliation, lymphatic drainage, sun damage and skin pigment,.

The microcurrent facial is a unique anti-aging procedure that mimics the body’s natural electrical current to reeducate fine facial muscles. Studies by the University of Washington reported that micro current treatments resulted in a 10% increase in production of natural collagen, 45% increase in natural elastin and a 35% increase in blood circulation. Since the function, condition and color of the skin are directly related to healthy blood circulation; this treatment not only produces noticeable esthetic results but also boosts skin health.

A 75-minute microcurrent treatment at SensAbility includes a Signature Facial for $70. Best results for firmer and more vibrant skin are achieved with a series of 6 treatments available for $350.

About the leading Skin Care School, Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics
Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics was formed in 2002 as a division of Atlanta School of Massage. Named a 2004 School of Distinction by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) national accrediting agency, Atlanta School of Massage has been an international leader in massage therapy education for nearly 30 years.

Formed by the same management team, with the same high standards, Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics is following the same path of excellence. This premier skin care school is a national leader in the field because Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics:

Has a program accredited by the ACCSC.
Is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to offer Title IV funding.
Has a staff with 30 years of experience operating a successful massage therapy school.

Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics, a division of Atlanta School of Massage, is located at 2 Dunwoody Park, Atlanta Georgia 30338. For more information about the Atlanta esthetics program.

Battery-Powered Microcurrent Devices can Relieve Pain & Depression

London : Scientists have been exploring the healing powers of electricity, particularly microcurrent therapy (MCT), involving a plethora of domestic gadgets that seemingly relieve pain, gout or depression.

Named Alpha-Stim and Microdoctor, these devices powered by a few AA batteries deliver a tiny current to the skin which cannot be felt through clips or sticky pads.

They are being touted as treatments for everything from joint pain to back pain to headaches, gout, multiple sclerosis and even depression.

Our bodies are composed of billions of atoms which produce electrical signals that run almost instantaneously through the body as nerve signals, controlling all bodily functions both conscious and unconscious.

MCT device companies claim injury and illness upset these signals and the treatment resets our natural electrical currents, aiding healing and reducing pain, the Daily Mail reported.

MCT involves electrical currents measuring less than one milliampere while a lightbulb may use about 500 milliamperes.

“New applications are mostly used for pain relief and soft tissue injury,” said Tim Watson, professor of physiotherapy at the University of Hertfordshire.

His team concluded that microcurrent is most effective when used for significantly longer than the daily 20 minutes recommended by most manufacturers.

Joanne Thompson, 32, a photographer who lives in Cambridgeshire with her husband Steve, 41 and their daughters, Ella, eight and four-year-old Amy, reported remarkable results.

She developed depression four years ago after her youngest daughter was born with a rare bowel condition.

“For the next two years I suffered panic attacks and had severe side effects from the medication – tummy upsets, nausea and weight gain. A friend of mine had been using a machine called Alpha-Stim. She suggested I try it alongside the pills. I was sceptical at first, but did some research and was impressed by the clinical studies and testimonials,” she said.

“You attach the clips to your ears and turn it on. I used it daily for two to three hours and would fall asleep with it. Within two months I felt a definite lift in my mood. After three months I felt I was able to cope with everyday life. It was a gradual process,” said Joanne.

Source: IANS

MIcrocurrent Facials, Botox’s New Best Friend

Electric facials, which have been beloved by insiders for decades, are finding a new set of fans

Fifteen times a week on average, Robert Schwarcz, MD, a New York City–based cosmetic surgeon, injects patients with Botox. For certain individuals he also writes down a phone number on a piece of paper and tells them to make an appointment. It’s not for a dermatologist or a colorist with a flair for youthful-looking highlights. The number is for Angela Kulangi, a facialist at Total Skin, a day spa that specializes in electric facials that deliver, via small wet sponges, low levels of microcurrent—1/1,000,000 of an amp (a light bulb runs on less than one ampere)—to stimulate the muscles of the face and neck. “If the patient has been using neurotoxins for more than three years, and if she has genetically thin skin and slim facial musculature, I’ll make a gentle suggestion for her to see Angela,” says Schwarcz. “I like the idea of providing a plumpness to a nonactive muscle and generating controlled muscular activity.”

This same youthful fullness is what everyone who opens a jar of hyaluronic acid cream or books a filler session is attempting to retain or replicate. And it’s not that the botulinum toxins—Botox, Dysport, and the recently FDA-approved Xeomin—are in direct opposition to that end. In fact, the toxins do not act directly on muscles—they bind to neurotransmitters, preventing them from signaling muscles to contract. Initial medical use for the toxins wasn’t even related to wrinkles or anti-aging. In 1980, doctors began using it to quiet uncontrollable blinking and relax muscles that cause eyes to cross. The cosmetic neurotoxin revolution began in 1987, when two Vancouver-based doctors discovered the neurotoxin’s smoothing effect on “the elevens,” the frown lines between the eyebrows. Derms and nonderms alike promptly took it one better, using injections to create lift. When a neurotoxin is shot into a muscle that pulls downward, say, in the brow area, the antagonist muscle that pulls upward is left unopposed to dominate. Add to that carefully placed injections to relax the frontalis muscle, which creates the “worry lines,” those horizontal ones across the forehead, and doctors could mimic the effect of a brow lift without picking up a scalpel.

If a muscle is immobilized, even temporarily, “it will use less energy and have a tendency to atrophy,” says skin physiologist Peter Pugliese, MD, author of the textbook Physiology of the Skin, who notes that researchers soon figured out how to make this atrophy yield short-term aesthetic benefits. Dermatologist Fredric Brandt, MD, whose New York and Florida–based practice is the largest user of Botox in the world, explains that one can, like a sculptor, dramatically slim the jawline by injecting a large amount of a neurotoxin into the masseter, the primary “chewing muscle” that runs along the side of the face. “It is reversible,” Brandt says. “But one treatment will last for a year.”

However, atrophy can have a downside—which is where, for some doctors, electric facials come in. These doctors believe that, in the wrong hands over time, neurotoxins could cause the face to lose desired fullness, and so they are prescribing microcurrent as a noninvasive companion to neurotoxin injections to diminish any loss in muscle tone. In fact, dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, MD, steers his patients away from using neurotoxins at all, believing microcurrent, plus the right diet and topicals, to be the best anti­wrinkle strategy. Electric facials, whether done at home or in a spa, he argues, help build “convexities” in the face. “Convexities are what make you youthful,” he says. “That is critical. If you look at the cheekbones, the forehead, the temples, the jawline of someone young, they come out in an arc away from the face. They bulge out. Around the age of 40 to the midfifties, the convexities go flat. From 60 up, they can go concave. Electrostim keeps the muscles plump and active, preventing or correcting loss of the convexities.”

The idea of using electric current to stimulate muscles sounds both high-tech and barbaric, but in truth it has been in practice for hundreds of years. For that we can thank Jean Jallabert, a professor in Geneva, Switzerland, for credibly reporting in 1748 that he alleviated paralysis in a locksmith’s right arm by using a 90-minute series of electric shock sessions over the course of several months. In 1982, researcher Ngok Cheng, MD, at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, led a study that provided hard evidence of microcurrent’s role in cellular vitality by proving that microcurrent increased levels of ATP—the fuel a cell needs to function—in lab-rat skin cells by 500 percent. Orthopedic surgeon Robert Becker, MD, compiled multiple studies in his 1985 tome The Body Electric, citing the role of electricity in cell regeneration. For decades, microcurrent has been used in different frequencies and waveforms to treat everything from wounds to migraines to chronic pain. Professional athletes and anyone who has had physical therapy have often experienced an electrostim machine, as orthopedists routinely prescribe microcurrent to aid in the repair of ligaments and muscles.

On a muscular level, the microcurrent acts like a personal trainer to tone and shorten muscle fibers. On a dermal level, as Pugliese, the skin physiologist, notes, there is serious anti-aging action going on. Pugliese has spent more than five years analyzing microcurrent’s effect on fibroblasts by biopsying skin before and in between microcurrent treatments, and has found a statistically significant increase not only in the production of collagen and elastin, the skin’s main structural proteins, which degrade with age, but in that of glycosaminoglycans, or “GAGs,” the viscous material in which the proteins are embedded. “When you see a nice plump cheek like a baby’s and you pinch it and it feels very good and snappy,” he says, “that’s GAGs.” And, according to Perricone, the long-term benefits are more than skin-deep: If you have a microstimulation machine, “you don’t have to have perfect genes,” Perricone says. “When I first started working with celebrities, I assumed they were genetically gifted and had perfect symmetry.” But now he knows that symmetry can be made: “Not only can we use electrostim to increase our muscle mass, we can accentuate one side of the face by working it harder than the other to give a more symmetrical appearance.”

Electric facials are on the menu everywhere from Perricone’s New York flagship spa to Four Seasons hotels to Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door salons. Professional-grade microcurrent machines emit a positive and a negative current via two wands, probes, or sponges. When the probes are placed a few inches apart on the face, a circuit of current travels from one point to the other and “stimulates” the tissue in between, Perricone says. The current is subsensory, which means all one feels is the gliding of the rods and perhaps a slight tingle. Customers often fall asleep midfacial. The other option is to DIY with an at-home device. Suzanne Somers teamed up with engineer Rodger Mohme, who previously led the team at Apple to shrink a desktop computer down to laptop size, to create the FaceMaster, a vanity-table version of a large in-spa machine. The only handheld microcurrent device with FDA approval is the NuFACE, created by Carol Cole, a SoCal facialist who got tired of lugging her gigantic machine up into the Hollywood Hills. It emits the same level of current as a pro machine (you can get a 30-minute poolside NuFACE treatment at the Four Seasons Maui for $125), but the micro-amps deliver via two fixed metal probes.

ELLE editors tested both the FaceMaster and NuFACE in our offices and found they instantly increased circulation for that glowy, plump-but-not-puffy look that lasted for a few hours. But, in our untrained hands, the DIY could not provide microcurrents’ more sophisticated, bespoke effects. With the right expertise, microcurrent can be used to dramatically, if temporarily, shape the face. It’s no wonder celebrities have become insatiable consumers of electric facials, especially during awards season. “The pop lasts for about five hours,” says facialist Melanie Simon, whose skin-care company, Circ-Cell, is partially backed by Lynn Harless, aka Justin Timberlake’s mom. Madonna and Kate Winslet are outspoken fans of Tracie Martyn’s trademarked Red Carpet Facial, a proprietary treatment that incorporates mild electrical current. Regular microcurrent sessions were rumored to be Princess Di’s beauty secret. And according to an industry source, J.Lo just spent $22,900 on her own professional-grade CACI Ultra (no word on whether she’s administering them herself).

Depending on where the probes are placed, either above the origin or insertion point of a muscle, and how many seconds they’re held there, users can smooth a furrowed area by stretching the muscle or add lift by shortening the muscle. “If you lift from the cheekbones toward the hairline, it will make your eyes more almond shaped,” says makeup artist Kristin Hilton, who travels between New York and L.A. to work on clients including Uma Thurman and Milla Jovovich. “You can even create an arch in the eyebrows.” Hilton keeps NuFACE in her makeup kit so she can “sculpt and lift” before she applies a client’s makeup. “I’m a skeptical person,” Hilton says. “For me to like something like this is unusual. But I use it for five minutes on each side, pulling upward. Everything’s tighter. You look more awake. People know something’s different, but they don’t know what. Usually they say, `Did you get your hair cut?'”

The exact protocol for combining Botox and microcurrent has yet to be written, but most proponents agree to wait a few weeks post-injection before getting a facial. According to Charles Boyd, MD, a plastic surgeon with practices in Michigan and New York, “In the first 24 hours after an injection, you could potentially move the Botox from a muscle where you injected it into a muscle you did not intend,” he says. “That doesn’t mean it’s going to move from your forehead to your neck, but maybe from your eyebrow to your upper eyelid.” Simon’s clients wait two weeks post-Botox for an electric facial, then return for monthly follow-ups (per skin’s renewal cycle, which is 28 days). “Botox and electric facials are great companions. I could spend hours smoothing lines out and then my clients will walk out the door and make the expression that caused the wrinkle 1,000 times that night,” Simon says. “Botox is very efficient at knocking out expression wrinkles. Electric current fixes everything else­—it’s the cherry on top.”

Source:elle magazine

What is Microcurrent stimulation?

Microcurrent Stimulation is a painless, non-invasive treatment that uses  small barely perceptible impulses of square-wave direct current at low voltages, delivered through electrodes in contact with the skin overlying key nerves around the eye. This current is applied to key points around the eyes, helping to increase blood flow to the macula, the portion of the retina affected by macular degeneration. 

This treatment is adapted from a FDA  approved therapy used to treat other disorders.  In preliminary studies by the Macular Degeneration Foundation this treatment has improved both visual acuity and color perception.

The body beautiful

Girls on a hip slimming machine
Gadget queens: the Bluebell girls show off a ‘high-tech’ hip slimming machine in Paris

Your guide to make-up and more by Lesley Thomas. This week: Bond-style gadgets

Though I am barely capable of getting a BlackBerry or laptop to do its job properly, I am a sucker for any sort of futuristic beauty tool. Indeed, one of my most vivid memories is of my mother and her friends on an “exercise belt”. This early Seventies device looked like an old-fashioned weighing scale, but with a 5in-wide rubber belt attached. Women would lean back against it, flick a switch and it would begin vibrating noisily – to shake cellulite into smooth submission, I assume.

The image of juddering peau d’orange on those primitive machines is burnt on to my memory, and perhaps explains why gadgets offering a battery-powered fast track to loveliness have always held a fascination.

Fortunately, there are plenty of them around – indeed, despite his absence from the recent Bond films, you could be forgiven for thinking that Q is alive and well, inventing gadgets for the beauty industry.

If beauty had a baddie, it would surely be Cellu Lite (even the name is sneaky), a force for evil whose goal is to upset and humiliate the female of our species.

But thanks to the latest gadgets, you can foil her plans from the comfort of your living room. For example, Endermologie, the salon-based cellulite massage technique favoured by Elle MacPherson and Claudia Schiffer, now offers a DIY version. The device includes the mechanical, pulsating rollers offered in the popular salon treatment, which lift and rejuvenate unhappy thighs.

Manhattan women went mad for this “body-sculpting” contraption when it was launched and, despite the £1,000 price tag, there’s a waiting list at Harrods. However, it’s worth booking an Endermologie session.

Ultratone, a more traditional electronic toning technique, has been around for decades. The latest incarnation, the Futura Pro home kit, will tone tummies and bingo wings as well as tackling lumpy thighs. Essentially, it consists of pads that use electromagnetic pulses to stimulate muscle activity, so it’s great for people looking for escape routes from their gym membership, and will also help with skin tone and lymphatic drainage.

Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow use it, I’m told, so it should be very handy if you need to top up your two-hour-a-day workout. There’s also a facial version, which works on the principle that toned muscles will keep your skin smooth and perky.

Kate Moss, meanwhile, was so impressed by Tua Viso, a hand-held device that offers microcurrent facial stimulation, that she bought them for herself, her mum and all her pals. After a couple of weeks’ use the skin appears more toned. Two electrodes covered by soft pads boost circulation and collagen production, warming up sallow skin.

Technology is also being used in the war on wasted energy: you can now style your hair with a reduced carbon footprint. Eco Dry from Babyliss uses 1,000 watts instead of the usual 2,000, but remains just as effective, as the motor uses less heat but has a more powerful airflow.

Even zits can be zapped with Bond-style gadgets. The Zeno is a small, hand-held tool for the removal of blackheads and spots. You apply the machine to the offending blemish and it heats up and speed-dries the spot without damaging the skin. Silent, deadly and it looks like a mobile phone – Q would be proud.


The NuFace® device is the first and only hand held device FDA approved for OTC (over-the-counter) facial toning and stimulation. The NuFace® device safely and effectively improves the appearance of the face through the use of microcurrent technology, gentle electrical stimulation. A noninvasive approach to facial rejuvenation, the NuFace® device is used to advance muscle tone in the face and lift and smooth the skin within 5 minutes. The NuFace® device will deliver instant facial rejuvenation results and with regular use will continue to provide long term facial strength and tone.

This battery operated device is an extension of your daily skincare regimen. Apply the Derma-Gel to your skin areas to be treated, then, following the natural contours of your face, simply glide the NuFace® device for an instant visible lift. Upon completion of treatment, utilize the Optimizing Mist to promote continual hydrating and firming.

The NuFace® device works by combining a unique electrical microcurrent waveform discharged from the dual probes. The probes are designed for optimal contact with faces of all shapes and sizes. The device continually alternates between the positive and negative probes and allows you to adjust the current settings for a personalized comfort level.

The NuFace® Kit includes the following:

  • NuFace® Device
  • (8.45 oz.) Derma-Gel
  • (8 oz.) Optimizing Mist
  • 9-volt alkaline battery
  • Instructional DVD
  • User Manual
  • One year warranty with 30 day money back guarantee

“Where Botox has made the anti-aging market turn on its heels, the NuFace® device is a new innovative skin health product, NuFace® makes skin appear tighter and well toned” – Dr. Peter Pugliese, February 2008

Benefits of microcurrent:

  • Non-invasive facelift with immediate results
  • Lift and tone the facial muscles and skin tissue
  • Reduce and eliminate fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improve facial circulation
  • Improve hypergimentation and acne
  • Increase product penetration
  • Complimentary with other advanced professional treatments such as microdermabrasion, LED, Oxygen, IPL, ultrasound, laser treatments and injectables
  • Pre and post operative care (consult physician before use)


  • Reduction of fine lines, creases, and wrinkles
  • Skin hydration and revitalization, resulting in smoother and softer skin
  • Decrease of puffiness and edema
  • Restoration of the “pink glow” of youthful tones
  • Visible firming and contouring, lifting overall drooping features
  • Tightening of sagging jowls, doubling chins, and fatty cheeks
  • Shrinking of enlarged pores
  • Reduction of blackheads and acne
  • Reduction of scars and pitting
  • Reduction of dark circles and puffiness under eyes
  • Reduction of the symptoms from Eczema, Melasma and Rosacea

Microcurrent is:

  • For all skin types
  • For all ages
  • Used and recommended by skin care professionals

*NuFace® is the first and only hand held device FDA approved (class II medical device) for facial toning and stimulation.