Between the hectic pace of life and a seemingly never-ending to-do list, taking time for self-care is essential. In fact, prioritizing your health and well-being can accomplish what no beauty routine can — it can make you look *and* feel your best. Adding acupuncture to your regimen, for example, can have a whole host of benefits, from calming puffy eyes to keeping stress under control. Read on to learn more about how tiny needles can make a big difference in four ways.

1. Reducing Puffy Eyes: Waking up with puffy eyes is a daily occurrence for most people, but if the swelling lingers, acupuncture may be the solution. Since the practice helps with blood circulation, it can be an effective remedy for under-eye bags. “Blood contains all the components we need to heal: Red blood cells rebuild tissue and white cells reduce inflammation, for example,” says Karinn Gallagher, a licensed acupuncturist at San Francisco-based Retreat Acupuncture. “It’s a simple matter of directing the proper material (white blood cells) to the source, which in this case, is the area around the eyes.”

2. Diminishing Fine Lines: If your anti-aging cream isn’t holding up, consider facial acupuncture. Using acupuncture to target pesky wrinkles can plump up problem areas, like crow’s feet or laugh lines. “By repeatedly working with the tissue under fine lines and wrinkles with tiny acupuncture needles and electric stimulation, we can build muscle tone, which can lift and brighten the face,” Gallagher tells us. “The added bonus to having acupuncture facial rejuvenation is that bringing blood to the skin’s surface hydrates and creates a glow that no moisturizer or serum will ever achieve.”

3. Decreasing Stress: Regular acupuncture sessions can help you deal with the day-to-day pressures of life by both calming you and controlling stress-related issues like breakouts, according to Gallagher. “By placing acupuncture needles on the body, we can create a state of rest and digest, which means that blood flows to the core, nourishing the skin and internal organs,” she explains. “It’s really important to take some time each day to tap into this space through rest, meditation, or acupuncture to keep stress levels under control.”

4. Boosting Gut Health: Since so much of our outward appearance is based on what’s going on inside, it makes sense that our skin is impacted by our stomach. Discussing your lifestyle, like diet, stress, and sleep habits with your acupuncturist, and targeting the gut with treatment, can help them find a solution to various inflammatory concerns like eczema or rosacea. “One’s facial glow and tone are all a reflection of the gut,” she says. “It takes time to address skin conditions related to the gut, but working together, we can get to the bottom of the inflammatory source.”

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