FACIAL REJUVENATION / FACE LIFT TESTIMONIAL

ACUPUNCTURE FOR BEAUTY INSIDE & OUT

Although I am a vain creature, I did not take any great pains to care for my body, face included, outside the standard practices. Cleanliness, relatively nutritious diet, good dental hygiene – that was the extent of my willingness to support the body. Exercise was too much trouble, beauty treatments cost too much – they cut into my cigarette and coffee money, and what need we say of those vitamin and food nuts that measure and scrutinize each morsel that passes their lips as if the fate of the universe depended on it – it was all too cumbersome, time consuming and exacting. So I bought the appropriate make-up, clothes that flattered and my hair had its graceful days, all making me appear a “cared for” human being.

As a writer, I naturally took great care of my mind and inquiry into the needs of the spirit was an easy outgrowth of what I did instinctively as I pondered questions or mapped the lives of characters or fashioned a line of poetry. My body, however, always seemed like a needy, pesky cousin constantly clamoring for my attention – “I’m hungry, I have too pee, I’m tired, I need to stretch, my toe hurts, my lips are chapped...” on and on babbled this body. It never seemed satisfied, or when it was, I took the opportunity to turn my attention away from it, so I never noticed its states of well being.

For the majority of my life this two-against-one ratio existed in relative peace. It did not seem illogical to me to continue excluding my body from the mind/spirit equation – at least until the body lost its patience with me and started exhibiting really, really cranky behavior – headaches, feet aches, bloating, exhaustion– a compendium of ills too long to list, but the final straw was when I began waking up with swollen eyes. I had to sit with a bag of frozen peas on my face for 30 minutes before I could start the prep for work. There was no other way to put make up on those puffed-up peepers.

I hobbled along with this perverse routine for years and then the big assault came– D Day with all tanks and guns blasting. The swelling had progressed to the nose and cheek area, making deep swollen/bloated furrows on my face. I looked like a punched out has-been prizefighter. How could sleeping produce this grotesque creature that stared at me in the mirror? Worse still, even in it’s de-puffed state, my face had begun to assume a kind of cross between sadness and sternness -- and tinged withweariness.On some days this ennui of the face was only vague, slight shadow and on other days it was chiseled into every feature.

I often looked at the brittle, much stretched, but always courant matrons that haunted the Beverly Hills stores. Their valiant efforts to “shore up”, left me frightened and wincing at the prospect of old age. While I applauded their efforts, was the result any fewer grotesques than a dilapidated, chewed-up regular old lady? I wasn’t sure. I kept wishing there was some other way.

Of course, I went for a complete physical. Everything was normal, no discernable state of disease, but I was suspicious. I decided to try some alternative healing –acupuncture had worked for me once before, it might again, and began the search for a healer. My main concern was however, vanity. I only wanted to stop seeing that beast in the mirror. Being a coddled and spoiled. Lady, this “healing salon” I was looking for needed to fulfill certain expectations of beauty and aesthetics. No funky little store front with cheap indoor/outdoor carpeting and tacky furniture could lure me in, no matter how brilliant the healer was.

When I picked Gillis Stuppel from my insurance list of providers, I had no idea that I had stumbled upon an entire body rejuvenationsystem. Gilli would address all the parts and in so doing address the cosmetic and vain concerns. My face would be lifted from within. There would be a less lined and stressed visage. would not look like I was 25 again, but as if the journey through life was happy and the face was naturally firm.Itwas the “look” I wanted–surgery frightened me and I had no desire to look like I’d barely escaped from a high velocity wind tunnel.

Gilli Stuppel practices in a place called silk–Now I concerned that this environment wasn’t “serious” enough and that Gilli’s skills would be “cosmetic” –an absurd stance since my main interest was cosmetic! I wasn’t really worried aboutwhymy body was behaving in this repulsive manner, I just wanted it stopped. This jumble of contradictory feelings did not stop me from going to the free 15 minute consultation.

Forth consult, Filled out a lengthy questionnaire about my general state of being. I was happy to see more down-home items listed --like bloating-- as opposed to the medical menu items which only listed dire things like cancer and heart disease. Doctors never seemed to ask about those vague states of ill being. The ones you can’t quite articulate, the miseries which barely speak their name – the nebulousness of disease before it becomes materialized in the body. I happily checked the maladies and waited for Gilli to appear. The moment I met Gilli, I was struck by the radiance of her face. Her lovely, exotic features seemed to glow with some special alliance between spirit and matter. It wasn’t just youth or beauty. I could listen to what she had to say because she embodied a state of well being. The room was like any other treatment room, except there were pleasing spiritual mementos. She took my pulse, looked at my tongue, and examined some other features. Gentle and soft spoken, Gill went over my list and was able to connect the dots between all the ill defined symptoms.

My kidneys and spleen were out of whack. Suddenly, I felt the truth in this.Thoughmedically sound, my body was in some state of flux – not quite ready to collapse into disrepair but not great either. This was the best time to course correct and the best thing aboutacupuncture.It addressed matter (the body) at the level of energy – which animates it. Acupuncture addresses the many dimensions that the body occupies. As 21stcentury beings, I liked the idea that we were going to have to come to terms with the notion that simultaneous to existing in three dimensions, we also occupy several other realms. I was delighted to be able to partake of these dimensions and energy levels. Made an appointment for the first of five treatments.

The first session was joyous. Lying on massage table, in only my undies, but covered with a blanket, we began a verythoroughhunting for what Gilli called“owies” on my body. I came to find out I had several that I had no idea existed.ToGilli they all told a story and seemed to deepen her understanding of The GrandOwie.With little or no effort on my part, I was appropriately perforated, punctured and pierced from head to foot and on the face, feeling only the slightest stinging sensation. There were some points which were more pronounced, but none that could be called painful. She covered me, dimmed the lights, turned on an enchanting meditation tape and left the room. Although dimmed lights and meditative states were no stranger to me, the addition of this body tingling, totally relaxed state, was a revelation. I could feel a lifting or shifting in the energies.

I felt buoyant and light as if I was floating, but not like the extreme sensations induced by alcohol or drugs. I followed along with the tape, which was particularly refreshing, and would have happily remained suspended like that for days. Forty minutes flew by andGilli returned to remove the needles.Aftershe removed them she put sliced cucumbers dipped in something marvelous on my eyes and face and covered everything with a moist towel. Covering my body again, she gently massaged all of the points, all of which made me want to extend my stay from days toweeks.It felt nurturing and thoroughlyindulgent.But alas, she removed the cucumbers, gently massaged cream into my face, and the session was over. I lay on the table for a moment or two and when I sat up I had a funny feeling of well being – it was not something my body was used to feeling.

I dressed and gave Gilli a heartfelt hug and many thanks. I was given an herbal formula – 3 caps 3 times a day, which seemed a very acceptable task and a daily massage regimen for the face and to stimulate chi. The first of five sessions over, I stepped out of the salon into the warm sunshine and gentle breeze and beautiful sky everything seemed have a heightened presence. It was not like manic euphoria, but euphoria it was.

Although skeptical of my ability to follow Gilli’s expert demonstration of the facial massage, I stumbled through the first few days dutifully doing my face exercises in the morning. After I got comfortable with the motions, I could actually feel the affects of this chi stimulating and most importantly -- after just two days, the swelling had gone down and I was waking up looking like a normal human being. I was stunned. No sitting around with peas on my face? I thought I was shackled to that pitiful ritual for the rest of my life. How great was that -- it made my devotion to the morning exercises all that much easier? It was a thousand times more enjoyable than the peas.

At session #2, Gilli worked on other points – in particular the emotional seat in the body and added electro stimulus to the face needles. The electro stimulus added another dimension of tingling and again was not painful.Thistime the tape was relaxing music and again the time flew by. Instead of herbs. Gilli had outlined a diet which would tone and support the kidneys and spleen. This was a little tougher – some faves had tobe thrown out or cut down, soy protein powder and flax seed oil were added but fortunately list of foods which were beneficial and had to be eaten were very common.

As the week progressed, I did my best to follow the diet. I wasn’t perfect, but a far cry from my usual wastrel ways – coffee cigs, little or no lunch, and coffee until the end of the work day. Couple more cigs.Gym on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays, dinner around 9:00/9:30.Sometimes I gorged, sometimes I was too tired and settled for a banana or a snickers. Since girlhood I had learned to dull my appetite and forestall eating. When I added coffee and cigs in college, it was a revelation to me just how long I could go without food. To round out this brilliant, if stypefyingly destructive, effort to ward off excess pounds, I also Worshiped at the altar of sugar – literally since infancy, when my well meaning parents would dunk my pacifier in sugar and give it to me to keep my squalling down. It worked. It’s still working.

Needless to say, the combination of two treatments and real nutrients sent my body into a tailspin of energy and well being. I seemed to naturally cut down the cigs and I wondered whether Gilli had secretly” pinned” one of those meridians having to do with smoking. After all, sugar and cigs were my drugs of choice, and I wasn’t giving them up. Took the opportunity to do a little extra that week, what with all that energy and I eagerly looked forward to my third treatment. By this time I knew the drill and I savored each segment. We discussed my diet.Gillihas a gentle approach. She doesn’t insist on a radical change – she says to do what I can and I find myself doing more than I thought me could.Sheexplains why it would be good to do something and leaves it at that. This kind of attitude works well with me. I don’t like scare techniques and I hate edicts.

As she went about her insertions –which by the way require that I take deep breaths each time a needle is inserted, and improbably the only real breathing I do –she explained that very soon I would begin to feel a lightness in my body as I went on about my day. That it was the goal to make the body glide easily and hum with an energy rooted inharmony.Leaving me in the lovely, dusky lit cocoon, with a new meditation tape about harmony, I began to ponder the notion of a “light” body. It boggled my mind since it seemed to me that over the years, maneuvering my body felt more like dragging a dumpster across Siberia. Were there bodily states that could actually feel light and ebullient? Gilli also said I would begin to loose weight, a welcome bit of news I had not even aspired to.

The old dumpster had packed on a bit of a load that exercise barely managed to contain. That’s why I continued to smoke – to raise the metabolism and stave off hunger. Could there be another way to stimulate a weight loss? A way that the body would just shed – in essence detoxify via pounds – what was unnecessary, leaving it lighter both literally and in sensation? I imagined what it must be like to achieve a sort of electrical epiphany – a state where all the energy in the body flowed in the direction and speed which was optimum for it. No knots or tie-ups, no rankled bits of flesh and bone, just clear river ways that buzzed with the activity of atoms and molecules happily living out their lives and summoning energy from the cosmos. It was a lovely thought. A lovely way to envision the body instead my previous image of it as a pestering, gas-bag of revolting symptoms.

I left my third session with a little gift from Gilli.A lovely Chinese silk box filled with 20small ampoules of pure pearl powder. Was to drink one at bedtime. It was slightly bitter to the taste, but it was an intriguing idea to drink the essence of pearls. It added to the whole mystique of the transformation I was undergoing.

My fourth session, we addressed fears and releasing them. This was a bit of a surprise –alarm bells started going off. Fears, who become noisy little (or big) entities in their own right, don’t like to hear that they’re going to be “released”. I am their charming hostess, who has done her utmost to accommodate them. There was no question that they would cling to me for dear life.

This time the insertion points were more sensitive. Still not reaching the level of pain, the points were definitely morepronounced.Could there be a way to release fear through the body’s own system of gates and portals? Then Gilli hit the big nerve – did I want totry cutting down on the cigs even more by virtue of tiny implants in my ear. Of course I’d heard of the technique – but was I ready to release my cigs? My beloved cigs --who were all that stood between me an obesity, me and insanity, me and frustration and anger -- could I let go of them?” Yes,” I said weakly and may the lord have mercy on my soul and all souls who must deal with me henceforth.
This meditation tape was wonderfully visual and magical, leading me cleverly down path of blissful scenes and feelings.Bythe time we got to the place where fear was once again addressed, I cavalierly tossed the damn things right into the glowing ball of light, as the tape had asked me to do. The end of this session, though still soothing and pampering, felt a little less peaceful and calm. I won’t say I was rattled, but I did put my T-shirt on inside out.Coincidence? I think not.

Session 5....
Over the next five weeks I began to experience better health as we nurtured and cleansed the kidneys. All other systems benefited from the new diet and facial exercises and herbs and delightful essence of pearl potions. Began getting comments like I seemed brighter. My eyes were the biggest miracle. They began to lift in very subtle ways and made my entire face appear less strained and unburdened. Furrows in my brow softened and practically disappeared. My features were no longer distorted when I awoke. I had more energy and a feeling of lightness, due in no small part to the meditation tapes which played during the sessions, as well as specific work on emotional centers in the body. In short, it was a total – whole appreciation of what this sagging entity called me was all about. One by one, all the noisy body parts started humming in unison.

Unlike cosmetic surgery, which only addresses aging at the outer most edges, acupuncture treats the underlying physical causes of why a body might be sagging or wrinkled to bits. Nor does surgery ask if there any spiritual reasons why a body is in downward slope. Cosmetic surgery is like an E.R. trauma situation, where severe damage has occurred and it is only salvageable through drastic intervention. Acupuncture is the exact opposite of trauma –it is a euphoric, gentle awakening of well being in the body mind and spirit, for without the harmony and equilibrium of all parts, no “lifting” can be said tobe organic or complete. Mere rearranging of flesh on bone, however artfully done, cannot encompass and engage life force energies. It is these energies which youth exudes so well and why the absence of wrinkles and a taught face alone cannot express it.Acupunctureadds that dimension of energy which had seemed lost forever. We forget to re-engage it if we opt for only external changes. I am grateful to have found a life long method of keeping this vehicle I so shamelessly ignored/abused in harmonious running order. I’m no longer afraid of old age and can now concentrate on getting full value for my ticket to ride.

 

 

-Gilli Stuppel, L.Ac
Licensed Acupuncturist, Childbirth Doula, Herbalist, Naturopath