Hello babes ! As you probably know, because I spoke a lot about it both on the blog and on instagram, I had some pimples problems since I stopped my contraceptive pill a year ago now (almost exactly – it became a year on Monday the 18/02/19 > happy birthday, annoying pimples! : D).
Main photo credits : Antonika Chanel
Acupuncture against hormonal acne : I’ve tried. SO?
Quick contextualization: why acupuncture against hormonal acne?
I stopped the pill on February 18, 2018. So, a year ago. A year of crises in front of the mirror, searching for solutions to get back my clear skin, depressing a little (or a LOT!) sometimes. Obsessing probably too much… also, I realise this now. But how could you judge me? After 28 years of problems-free skin, having a pimple 4 times a year during my periods, ending up with a teenager skin all of a sudden is NO FUN. Every time you face a new problem, it takes you some time to adapt yourself to it and to accept it. To stop stressing and making everything worse … because oh yes… I can say something to you up front : stress worsens acne!
SO … one of the things I’ve tried is acupuncture against hormonal acne. I had read a lot about this practice, about its potential to rebalance the body, the hormones … and so I wanted to give it a chance. Here is my story and what I thought about it.
My experience with acupuncture against hormonal acne
The decision to start acupuncture against acne occurred on December 3, 2018 after a big panic attack in regards to my skin. For the first time, I got submerged by a feeling of intense stress, thinking that I would never be the same again, that I will never get back my good old clear skin. A feeling of deep sadness and anti self-confidence that those who have acne must know well and that I don’t wish anyone else to know because it’s not nice.
And when I say that stress and pimples are linked, it am not joking. The very evening of this crisis and the following 2 days: I had a big breakout on my face (more and more, always …) and then also for the first time I got a breakout on my stomach. What, can people have acne here? Apparently. Exterior signs that speak very much about the storm of feelings inside. So I booked my first acupuncture session on the same day, both for acne and for stress with a certified acupuncturist in my city. On the phone, he quickly understood what I was talking about, and he almost finished my sentences. He quickly understood that it was due to a hormonal imbalance after withdrawal from the BC pill, which I took for so long (15 years, it’s not nothing!).
Session 1 : December, 5
We started with an interrogation phase, he quickly concluded that my concern was hormonal. Having taken the pill at age 13 and up to age 28, my body had never learned how to function alone. Acne is only a symptom of turmoil inside and according to him there is a double work to do: help acne, of course, but also treat the deeper problem, ie help the body to function well alone and to find its hormonal balance.
I had no pain, only 5 needles, and I felt a pinch like a mosquito bite for each of them. In the evening I felt exhausted, but less nervous. Same on the following days, I felt my anxiety really relieved. In that sense, I already knew that acupuncture would help me, at least for stress.
Session 2 : December, 10
In preparation for this session 2, I had to send the acupuncturist a list of symptoms by email. He had listed all possible and imaginable symptoms in an email, related to my condition, and I had to erase those who did not concern me and leave only what I had. This so that he could get a global understanding of the problem.
During session 2, he put me about a dozen needles, still no pain, really bearable. Then I felt energized for a few hours and exhausted at night. But zen. The next day I had some red marks where the needles had been places, which made me a little nervous. I asked him, went to show him but it was normal, even a sign that the body was reacting and he told me it was positive.
Session 3 : December, 13
In anticipation of this session 3, I had to write a “diary” for a week about everything I eat / drink, how I sleep, go to the bathroom, etc. to get an idea of my eating routine, my habits, etc. and make corrections if necessary. A bit like a naturopathic way of seing things.
After session 3 and some advice on all this, he told me that it would take 2 sessions per week for 4/5 weeks and then one per week for at least 3 months. That it was a long-term job, that would a little while. It was necessary to reorient the body hormonally, and it is a deep work.
Frankly, after these 3 sessions, I felt much better morally. And my skin didn’t get worse anymore … if not better, actually. Because of acupuncture? Just a good period? To be continued… but it felt good in any case! This clearly helped me to LIVE and STRESS LESS.
The rest of the sessions, 4-12 until mid-January
We continued the sessions for about 1 month. In the beginning, my skin really went better so I was delighted. In terms of stress, it made me feel good! So it was all good for me.
Then, towards the beginning of January, I had other personal issues like small health concerns, mixed with a lot of stress at work due to overwork and suddenly I had the biggest acne breakout in my life . Acupuncture could not help to avoid that, and I did a little mini burn out in January (I told you about it here in the Instant Plume of January). Too much of everything, and my brain bugged a little. Me, who is always so happy and full of joy, I can say it out loud : I had a little period of depression.
But be assured, since then I changed what was needed in my life, I took things in hand and I come out of it FULL OF ENERGY, positive and enriched. And I decided to stop the acupuncture that started to cost me quite a lot of money (about 50 euros per session), and that ultimately, only helps if we also help (no stress, typically, which is hyper counterproductive).
So in the end : acupuncture against hormonal acne, do I recommend it or not?
So … a bit difficult question. I would say that acupuncture really helped me manage my stress. So if you’re stressed because of your pimples (or any other condition for that matter), it can clearly help you with that already. And in general, less stress also leads to fewer pimples …
I really felt that my skin was getting better along the sessions until the point where, because of OTHER personal reasons, I had a big dose of extra stress. Then acupuncture did not help me anymore and I decided to stop for budget reasons. But is it because acupuncture is useless? I don’t think so. I just think that like any treatment, if you act in counterproductive behavior, it can not work miracles either.
Example: if you want to get in shape, take lots of vitamins, go to the gym, etc. but on the side to it you eat only chips, chocolate and you drink sodas all day long + abuse alcohol on weekends, you will not see any results. It’s not that dietary supplements or sports are not effective, it’s just that your behavior is counterproductive.
For me, I think it was the same. Acupuncture helped, but I was so stressed that this took over.
So, I would rather tell you to make your own experience with acupuncture … I think this Chinese medicine has proven itself for thousands of year around the world, and that it can be interesting as a natural solution to treat hormonal acne or other affections of the body.
And for my part, since I reorganized some things in my life and I listened to myself for real in order to reduce my stress levels, my skin is much better! Better than it has been for a long time. That feels good. I am convinced that stress creates 80% of our pimples, so … ZEN …