Essential Facial Acupuncture

Essential Facial Acupuncture (EFA) is a customized facial that involves the use of fine, sterile acupuncture needles to improve the appearance of the skin, while incorporating the healing properties of fragrant, nourishing essential oils to bring a new glow and radiance to your face.

Essential Facial Acupuncture (EFA) is a gentle, safe and effective skin treatment whereby fine needles are inserted on areas of the face and the whole body to improve your skin and overall health.


Essential Facial Acupuncture involves the use of a hydrosol mist, lightly misted on the skin to hydrate your skin. It is followed by facial massage that gently involves massage along areas of the forehead, temples, cheek bones, chin, jaw and neck. The massage is followed by the placement of fine, gentle acupuncture needles. The needles are left in for 30-40 minutes. When the needles are removed, your skin is misted once more and is complete with the application of a nourishing facial serum that is chosen for you based on your skin type.

What are The benefits of ESSENTIAL facial acupuncture?

  • Increased muscle tone
  • Improved collagen production
  • Reduction of sagging skin
  • Elimination of fine lines
  • Reduction of larger wrinkles
  • Lifting of drooping eyelids
  • Tightening of pores
  • Improvement of blood and lymph circulation and facial tone
  • Visible brighter "glow" to your skin
  • Reduction of "double chin"
  • Fewer skin “breakouts, “ acne and redness
  • Decreased inflammation and puffiness of the skin

  what are the benefits of facial acupuncture for the whole body?

During your facial, needles will be placed on your face, but also on your body to improve your overall health. Here are some of the benefits of whole body needling:

  • Increased energy levels and improved feeling of well-being
  • Improved mental alertness
  • Reduction in sinus congestion and migraine headaches
  • Improved hormonal balance for women of any age (including those with PMS,
                  peri-menopausal or menopausal symptoms)
  • Improvement in conditions of TMJ and Bell's palsy
  • Reduction in tooth and jaw pain

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Who can benefit from the Essenial Facial Acupuncturel?

Everyone can benefit from Essential Facial Acupuncture, including men, women and teenagers.

Who should refrain from coming for facial acupuncture?

  • Women who are pregnant should not experience Essential Facial Acupuncture, as facial acupuncture may draw energy away from the center of her belly and pelvis where her energy needs to be concentrated for the growth of her developing baby.
  • Individuals with severe high blood pressure. (Those whose blood pressure is under control with a doctor's care and who are taking medications to control it are not included in this group and may come for Essential Facial Acupuncture.)
  •  Individuals who have had laser resurfacing of their skin within four weeks.
  • Those who have colds or flu, or an acute herpes outbreak at the time of their treatment. Facial serums and hydrosols are safe to use by most people.
  • Individuals with acute allergic reactions to medications, environmental allergies, and allergies to specific foods or fragrances must let the acupuncturist know prior to treatment.

 How Long is the Treatment?

The Essential Facial Acupuncture treatment is 60 minutes. You will be asked questions about your skin and overall health and will perform a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis. After the first session, I will recommend the number of follow-up visits that will be required to maintain your beautiful and radiant skin.

The most relevant factors in recommending additional visits for Essential Facial Acupuncture treatments are the factors that influence the health of your skin such as emotional stress, diet & lifestyle, genetic inheritance, digestion, sleep, emotional balance, and age. The more stressful factors in your life, the more regularly you may want to come for Essential Facial Acupuncture treatments. Those who smoke (and have skin that droops or with deep wrinkles) may wish to come for consecutive treatments for 3-4 months.

Whar are the  short and long term effects of Essential Facial Acupuncture?

 After your first treatment, you should observe an increased radiance in your facial skin that is the result of increased energy and blood flow to your face. Your skin may appear more "relaxed" - showing signs of less stress. Your eyes may appear brighter and your energy level may be better, and your skin may have fewer lines and wrinkles visible.

Several treatments will bring about results in diminishing deep facial lines, less sagging skin, fewer "crow" lines around the eyes, and increased tone in the neck muscles.

Your Essential Facial Acupuncture treatment will allow you to feel more rejuvenated overall, with improved, radiant skin.


Pathways Acupuncture and Massage is proud and pleased to exclusively use Hydrosols and Facial Serums by Snow Lotus Aromatherapy ( incorporated with Essential Facial Acupuncture.

Snow Lotus Aromatherapy creates and promotes essential oil aromatherapy of the highest quality:

"Whenever possible I will select only certified organic essential oils distilled from plants that are either organically-grown or ethically wild-harvested with concern for regional biodiversity and sustainability. These are arguably even more potent therapeutically than any obtained from cultivated plant sources. Most of the Snow Lotus oils are, in addition, certified organic by the USDA National Organic Program."   - Peter Holmes, L. Ac, founder and creator of Snow Lotus Aromatherapy, medical herbalist, clinical aromatherapist, acupuncturist and practitioner of Oriental medicine.

Snow Lotus Aromatherapy describes hydrosols that will be used in your facial acupuncture treatment as genuine aromatic hydrosols that are an important form of herbal preparation that have been in popular use in Western herbal medicine for over 600 years. Hydrosols are simply the natural by-product of essential oil distillation by hot steam whereby the distillation water itself has absorbed small quantities of the essential oil being distilled.

“All Snow Lotus hydrosols or aromatic waters are produced, just like the essential oils themselves, from organically cultivated or ethically wild harvested plant sources. They are fully and therapeutically potent, as well as wonderfully fragrant.” – Snow Lotus Aromatherapy

Hydrosols have a special place in skin care because they are hydrating and toning to various skin types. Certain hydrosols are more stimulating and rejuvenating to the skin, while others are more calming and soothing. When you come for Essential Facial Acupuncture (EFA) treatment, a hydrosol will be chosen for you based on your skin type.

 Snow Lotus Aromatherapy has also created revitalizing facial serums are blended with organic essential oils in a base of fine, highly absorbent, non-clogging vegetable oils. Each formula is designed to condition, nourish and revitalize a particular type of skin. The facial serums can also be used to prevent or remedy the particular problems associated with each skin type.

Please visit Snow Lotus Aromatherapy at for more information on their essential oils, hydrosols, and facial serums. 

What HYDROSOL AND FACIAL SERUM will be used on my skin when I arrive for my Essential Facial Acupuncture treatment?

The hydrosol and facial serum chosen for your skin is based on the following:

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) facial and comprehensive full body diagnosis.The appearance of your skin and a personal description of your skin (problems that you would like addressed).Overview of your general health.

Hydrosols that may chosen for you are from the following four (4) essential oils:

Lavender. For a refreshing, rejuvenating, soothing, and relaxing facial that is effective in hydrating, toning and cleansing all skin types. Also ideal for soothing and healing irritated skin, rashes and sunburned skin.

Melissa. For a refreshing and uplifting facial with a lemony scent. It is used for toning and decongesting oily skin types. It is also cooling for any skin irritation, soft tissue congestion, hot rashes and other similar conditions.

Neroli (Orange Blossom.) For an uplifting and euphoric facial. It is gently cleansing and toning for the skin and is gently hydrating for dry, delicate or sensitive skin. Neroli can gently smooth out and brighten blotchy or damaged skin.

Rosemary. Rosemary has a refreshing, uplifting and energizing sweet-herbaceous aroma that is a fresh, stimulating conditioner for pale, sluggish or devitalized skin. Rosemary can also be used for normal, congested or oily skin, and for combination skin in general.

 Facial serums that may chosen for you are from the following five (5) essential oils blends:

 Combination Revitalizing Serum.This serum conditions combination-type skin by carefully balancing the areas of dry and oily skin. Combination serum contains organic essential oils that regulate and balance the skin in a conditioning base of light, penetrating vegetable oils.

Ingredients: Oils of Apricot kernel, Coconut), Jojoba and Essential oils of Lavender, Rose geranium, Palmarosa, Ylang-ylang, Bergamot and Rosemary.

Dry and Sensitive Revitalizing Serum.This serum is for dry and/or sensitive skin. It nourishes, moisturizes and hydrates dry, underactive skin while calming and protecting sensitive or irritated skin. This serum can also be used to help prevent wrinkles or smooth out existing ones.

Ingredients: Oils of Apricot kernel, Rosehip seed, Macadamia, Coconut & Evening Primrose and Essential oils of Palmarosa, Lavender, Carrot seed, Roman chamomile and Jasmine absolute.

Mature Revitalizing Serum. This formula deeply nourishes and tones mature or aging skin, and is also helpful for dry skin and wrinkles. It contains organic essential oils with a deep penetrating and nourishing action in a nourishing, moisturizing base of vegetable oils.

Ingredients: Oils of Apricot kernel, Rosehip seed, Macadamia, Coconut, Evening primrose and Essential oils of Rose, Vetiver, Frankincense, Carrot seed and Sandalwood.

Oily and Problem Revitalizing Serum. This serum formula calms and detoxifies oily, overactive, congested or problem skin involving excessive sebum production. It may also be helpful for acne, pimples and blackheads. It contains organic essential oils with lipolytic, astringent and detoxifying actions in a light, neutral, penetrating base of vegetable oils.

Ingredients: Oils of Apricot kernel, Coconut, Jojoba and Evening primrose and Essential oils of Bergamot, Rose geranium, Lavender, Sage, Laurel and Atlas cedarwood.

Sensitive Revitalizing Serum.This serum formula calms and protects sensitive or irritated skin; it may also help mend broken facial veins. It contains a very low dilution of organic essential oils with calming, anti-inflammatory and soothing actions in a light, neutral base of protective and balancing vegetable oils.

Ingredients: Oils of Apricot kernel, Coconut, Jojoba and Evening primrose and Essential oils of Blue tansy, Roman chamomile, Lavender and Rosewood.

My Training
Your Licensed Acupuncturist, Shelley Szymko, trained in Constitutional Facial Acupuncture with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, L.Ac. in 2007. Shelley received training in Aroma AcuPoint Therapy I and II with Peter Holmes, L.Ac. and Tiffany Pollard, L.Ac. in 2012. Essential Facial Acupuncture brings acupuncture and aromatherapy together to achieve the best results possible to your skin.

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