Cosmetic Acupuncture: What to Expect

You have likely heard of acupuncture, but have you ever heard of facial rejuvenation or cosmetic acupuncture? Although it’s still emerging in the natural beauty world, cosmetic acupuncture is gaining a lot of popularity lately as women look for natural treatments to maintain youthful looking skin.

But what exactly is it, how does it work and what benefits can you expect?

As a Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac) with an additional certification in cosmetic & facial acupuncture, I am here to answer all of your questions!

A bit about me:

My name is Sara Mastrangelo and I am a Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac) from Toronto, Canada. I studied at Humber College where I earned my Advanced Diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine. After completing my program, I successfully passed my board exams and I am now fully licensed to practice under the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO). Throughout my studies, I was always interested in diet, nutrition and natural beauty which inspired me to further my studies in Cosmetic and Facial Acupuncture.

I now have the privilege to work with so many amazing clients to help them accomplish both their health and skincare goals. ✨

Here are some of the most common questions that new clients ask me:

What is cosmetic acupuncture and how does it work?

Cosmetic acupuncture is derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine beauty and is growing popularity around the world. It’s 100% natural, injection free and is often done at minimal discomfort. It works by causing micro-trauma with the insertion of hair-thin needles which encourages the natural production of collagen and newer, stronger elastin fibers.

This results in increased elasticity, firmness, reduced fine lines, brighter complexion and smoother texture.

How does it differ from Botox?

Unlike botox which just treats local concerns of wrinkles, cosmetic acupuncture has the ability to positively impact your health as a whole. This is because Traditional Chinese Medicine treats the body as an energetic system and many skin related issues stem from inner imbalances. This can be due to poor digestion, poor circulation to the face or inflammation. Using a combination of points located on the face and body, the root cause is able to be addressed rather than just masking superficial symptoms!

If you’re interested in reading more about cosmetic acupuncture versus botox, click here to read my full blog.

What’s included in the treatment?


Each treatment consists of a comprehensive intake to learn more about your skincare goals, lifestyle and other factors that could affect the appearance of your skin such as diet, water consumption and sleep.

Cosmetic Acupuncture

From there, acupuncture points on the face + body are selected based on your personal goals and condition. The needles are retained for about 15 minutes while you relax in a heated treatment bed.

Gua Sha + Facial Cupping

The last part of your treatment consists of using gua sha to help promote lymphatic drainage and facial cupping to increase circulation- this is usually everyone’s favourite part! It’s very relaxing and soothing.

You will then be provided with personalized advice on what foods you can add to your diet and lifestyle tips to help you achieve your goals.

Organic and Vegan Skincare

Throughout your treatment, we will use a variety of all natural skincare with the best ingredients to improve skin quality.

Does it hurt?

Cosmetic Acupuncture is often done at minimal discomfort. At most you may feel a light pinch (similar to a mosquito bite) but it will subside after a few seconds.

Are the needles used more than once?

All needles are 100% sterile and single-use. They are safely discarded immediately after being removed, and a new set is used every treatment.

What results should I expect?

After your first treatment, you will immediately notice a brighter complexion, smoother skin, decreased puffiness and a more defined look. Fine lines will also look less visible.

How often should I get it done?

To really maximize the longterm effects of cosmetic acupuncture, I recommend at least one weekly treatment for three weeks. After three treatments, we will reassess your skincare goals and see how often we should continue treatment. Since cosmetic acupuncture influences the long-term health of skin, you won’t need many treatments once you reach your desired results.

Are there any side effects?

There aren’t many side effects other than possible bruising at the needle site but it rarely happens. This is why it’s important to avoid booking your treatment close to an important date or event- just in case! You may also feel a bit sleepy after your treatment because acupuncture can activate the parasympathetic nervous system which will make you feel very relaxed.

Is it covered by my insurance benefits?

If your healthcare benefits cover getting acupuncture by a Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac), then cosmetic acupuncture falls under receiving an acupuncture treatment! 


Cosmetic acupuncture is an amazing low-risk beauty treatment that can positively impact your skin to provide a brighter complexion and a more youthful glow. If you would like to learn more, feel free to book a complimentary phone consultation with me and I will be happy to answer any additional questions that you may have.

I’m also currently accepting new clients, so feel free to book a treatment with me below.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you learned something new! Feel free to subscribe to my website for email updates and follow me on Instagram.


5 Reasons to Choose Cosmetic Acupuncture Over Botox

I believe that everyone can age beautifully and gracefully without having to compromise their health with harsh anti-aging treatments. In today’s society botox is becoming increasingly more popular, especially in younger women in their 20’s. Luckily, an all natural and healthier alternative to injections has been gaining popularity- cosmetic acupuncture.

Cosmetic acupuncture is an amazing all natural beauty treatment that both younger and older women can gain benefit from! So today I wanted to write a quick blog on why you should choose facial acupuncture over botox any-day!

How does Cosmetic Acupuncture Work?

Cosmetic acupuncture is derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine beauty and is growing popularity around the world. It’s 100% natural, injection free and is often done at minimal discomfort. By stimulating certain areas of the face with hair-thin acupuncture needles, the body is encouraged to locally increase blood flow, collagen and elastin production.

How does Botox Work?

Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. It’s the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism.

It works by blocking signals from our nerves to our muscles. The injected muscle can’t contract which makes wrinkles relax and soften. However over time, this procedure can actually weaken facial muscles and cause even more aging in the long-run.

Now that we understand the key points of each treatment, let’s go over why cosmetic or facial acupuncture is more beneficial than getting botox.

1. Benefits your overall health

Unlike botox which just treats local concerns of wrinkles, cosmetic acupuncture has the ability to positively impact your health as a whole. This is because Traditional Chinese Medicine treats the body as an energetic system and many skin related issues stem from inner imbalances. This can be due to poor digestion, poor circulation to the face or inflammation. Using a combination of points located on the face and body, the root cause is able to be addressed rather than just masking superficial symptoms!

2. Influences the long-term health of skin

While botox typically lasts 3-5 months, cosmetic acupuncture lasts much longer and will continue to benefit your skin even when you discontinue treatment. By causing micro-trauma with the insertion of needles, facial acupuncture encourages the natural production of newer, stronger elastin fibers and collagen. This results in increased elasticity, firmness, reduced fine lines, brighter complexion and smoother texture!

3. Strengthens facial muscles + prevents atrophy

With the use of motor points, cosmetic acupuncture stimulates or relaxes muscles in the face depending on the individual’s needs and goals. Instead of inhibiting muscle contraction like botox, cosmetic acupuncture aims to stimulate blood flow to the area. Increasing localized circulation allows your body to activate its own healing capabilities and naturally eliminates fine lines and wrinkles by supplying energy or Qi.

4. It Works!

Not only does facial acupuncture have the ability to promote anti-aging effects, it can also benefit many health conditions. In a recent article, facial acupuncture can also be used to treat various neuromuscular facial conditions such as Bell’s palsy, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome and trigeminal neuralgia.

5. Covered by Healthcare Benefits

If your healthcare benefits cover getting acupuncture by a Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac), then cosmetic acupuncture falls under receiving an acupuncture treatment!


Thank you so much for reading my blog! I hope that I sparked your interest in this amazing all natural beauty treatment 🌸

If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to book a free consultation call with me! If you would like to book a cosmetic acupuncture treatment, please click here! I am currently accepting new clients in Toronto and would love to work with you 💗


Kotlyar, Arkady. “Treatment of Facial Pain with I Ching Balance Acupuncture.” Medical Acupuncture, vol. 29, no. 6, 2017, pp. 405–410.,

Rekstis, Emily. “What Is Facial Acupuncture? Skin Benefits, Cost, and Side Effects.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 15 June 2018,


5 Amazing Health Benefits of Fire Cupping 🔥

Glass fire cupping is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that uses localized pressure to promote healing. As a Registered Acupuncturist, I personally love integrating fire cupping into treatments because it has a number of health benefits including improving circulation, reliving pain and naturally eliminating toxins from the body.

The interesting thing about cupping therapy is that it originated in both Ancient China and Egypt, tracing back to over 2,000 years! Although cupping has been around for centuries, it has recently gained more popularity after world renowned athletes like Michael Phelps and Alex Naddour were seen sporting circular red marks at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Cupping therapy can be performed in a number of ways by using glass, bamboo or plastic cups. My personal favourite form of cupping is using glass cups, because the heat of the fire used to create suction adds additional benefits.

So without any further ado, let’s get into some of the amazing health benefits of this unique treatment!

How does Cupping Work?

Cupping therapy works by creating localized suction on various parts of the body to improve circulation and promote natural healing. Often referred to as a “reverse massage”, cupping is painless and benefits both the lymphatic and circulatory system.

It works by briefly placing a cotton ball that has been set on fire inside of a glass cup. The cup is then placed upside down on the body, and the negative pressure locally draws skin inside of the cup.

Here are some of my favourite benefits of Fire Cupping:

1. Migraine Relief

If you regularly suffer from headaches or migraines, cupping can help by improving blood flow, easing congestion, relaxing muscles and decreasing stress- all of which can be the root cause of your migraines. By placing the cups on the upper back, it also minimizes pressure on the neck which is where many people feel tension.

In a recent study, it was found that glass fire cupping can reduce pain and improve the overall quality of life for those who suffer from chronic migraines.

2. Naturally Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation can manifest in many ways including pain, fatigue, muscle stiffness and even loss of appetite. By creating suction in localized areas, the surrounding blood vessels dilate (expand), signalling your body to treat it like an injury.

Your body responds by increasing circulation which has some amazing benefits like sending more fibroblasts and leukocytes to the area, triggering the natural healing process and reducing inflammation.

3. Boosts Immunity

Cupping has been used for centuries to naturally boost the immune system as it pulls toxins out of your body. The suction from the cups can affect tissues up to four inches under the skin. So, by placing cups located near the lungs, mucous-filled toxins will naturally be dislodged. In turn, this eases congestion and cold/flu related symptoms.

4. Helps Treat Sports Injuries

One of the main reasons why people seek cupping is because of pain. Because fire cupping therapy acts as a reverse massage, it uses suction rather than pressure to ease muscle aches and pains. Fire cupping combines both intense heat and strong suction to help guide fresh blood to painful areas of the body, which can greatly benefit athletes and active individuals. This helps speed up recovery and reduce risk of injury!

5. Detoxifies the body

Cupping has the ability positively impact your circulatory and lymphatic system, which helps to naturally detoxify your body. This is because the circulatory system is stimulated to increase blood flow, while toxins are drained out through the lymphatic system. This is why I always tell my clients to drink lots of lemon water after their treatment- lemon water helps to flush out unnecessary toxins!


Fire cupping is an amazing therapy to help treat a number of conditions. I use fire cupping therapy in addition to acupuncture and it works wonders!

If you would like to book a treatment with me in Toronto, please click the button below!


Treating Infertility using Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient technique that has been used to treat many conditions and create inner balance for over 2,000 years. However, it wasn’t until recently that women started to explore Traditional Chinese Medicinal therapies as an option for fertility treatment. So today I wanted to write a quick blog on how acupuncture can help benefit infertility and help to increase your likelihood of conception.

What is infertility?

First things first, if you are struggling with infertility know that you are not alone. According to the CDC, about 10% of women (6.1 million) in the United States aged 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. This can be due to many contributing factors in both partners.

What causes it?

In women, the cause of infertility can include endometriosis, uterine fibroids and thyroid disease. In men, it can be due to low sperm count, low testosterone, a pre-existing condition or injury.

Certain lifestyle factors can also increase the risk of infertility in both partners:

  • Age (over age 35 for women and over 40 for men).
  • Excessive alcohol use.
  • Smoking.
  • Stress.
  • Eating disorders including anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
  • Sexually transmitted disease (STDs)
  • Over-exercising.
  • Obesity.

How is infertility treated?

Typically, your healthcare provider will ask you to record signs of ovulation such as basal body temperature, do blood work and perform a pelvic examination to try to narrow down the root cause.

Varying treatment methods may be offered such as medications or even surgery.

The Alternative Approach to Infertility 🌸

Now that we have explored a little bit about what infertility is, let’s talk about how acupuncture can increase the likelihood of conception.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the body is viewed as an energy system. Each organ plays a role in the smooth flow of energy (or Qi) and maintaining an inner balance. When our inner balance is disrupted, many related symptoms and conditions can arise such as infertility.

How Acupuncture Can Help

Research suggests that acupuncture in combination with moxibustion can have positive effects when it comes to preparing the body for conception. This is because in most cases, the body or the uterus is too cold (doesn’t have enough energy) to carry and hold a baby.

When moxibustion is used to improve fertility, specific points over the ovaries and uterus are warmed to increase blood circulation. This in turn improves the availability of nutrients to growing follicles, assists with the elimination of toxins and improves the quality of the endometrial lining.

Moxibustion is a Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy which consists of burning dried mugwort on particular points on the body. 

In addition, diet plays a huge role in the success rate of conception. Traditional Chinese Medicine takes factors such as the temperature of foods, current season and nutritional value into mind to create a personalized plan based on the patients constitution.


Acupuncture is amazing treatment approach to many health conditions. Regular acupuncture sessions can help to monitor stress levels as well as promote relaxation which may also increase the likelihood for a successful pregnancy. It’s one of my favourite aspects of alternative medicine because it really does provide incredible effects! To learn more about how acupuncture works, check out my blog All About Acupuncture.

If you are looking for an acupuncturist, feel free to book an appointment with me, I am currently accepting new clients! 🌸


All About Acupuncture

Whenever I tell someone that I am a Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac), they always have so many questions! So today I wanted to write a blog on what exactly acupuncture is, how it works and some of its origins. The cool thing about this ancient technique is that it originated in China over 2,000 years ago- so as mystifying as acupuncture may seem, it has been around for longer than most people realize!

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles in strategic points around the body. These points were first mentioned in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine which dates back to approximately 100 BCE. This information continued to be passed down from generation to generation, until the acupuncture points were refined and it became a standard practice in China.

Today, acupuncture has gained popularity around the world and is a regulated health profession in many countries. Research suggests that acupuncture can be used to help treat a number of conditions and diseases such as pain, insomnia, digestive issues, migraines, anxiety and depression.

How does it work?

In biomedical terms, acupuncture works by stimulating the central nervous system using specialized points to activate your body’s own natural healing capabilities.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine however, our organ systems play a pretty big role. Take the digestive system for example, the main organ responsible for digestion is the stomach or spleen. If a patient presents with no appetite and feels tired all of the time, I would choose acupuncture points on the “Stomach Meridian” to promote healthy digestion and help the overall digestive system function better.

*I did not create this image, credit goes to its rightful creator.

It’s important to differentiate between both Eastern and Western Medicinal systems because both systems look at the human body completely differently. Utilizing all of the knowledge that we have as a modern society, while applying it to ancient concepts can be an amazing integrative approach to any treatment plan.

What does it feel like?

In most cases, patients report feeling a dull sensation after the needle is inserted. But because acupuncture needles are so thin, most people don’t feel a thing! My personal acupuncture style is to make sure that my patient feels comfortable at all times. This can be done by engaging in an open conversation, asking questions and reading body language.

How to prepare for your very first acupuncture treatment!

Booking your first acupuncture treatment can be intimidating but it’s something that you should be thrilled about! Taking your health into your own hands and trying new things is something to celebrate!!

Here’s a list of things that I always remind my clients to do before our session:

  1. Make sure you eat beforehand! Because acupuncture works at a superficial level, it’s hard to predict how you may feel afterwards. Eating a nutritious breakfast will help you to feel fully energized and provide your body with everything it needs.
  2. Wear loose and comfortable clothing. This allows your practitioner to locate and needle acupuncture points precisely.
  3. Don’t drink coffee before your session- aside from coffee preventing relaxation, it also affects the appearance of your tongue. The tongue is a crucial indicator of internal health and can be used to aid in diagnosis.
  4. Try and book your appointment on a day off. Booking on a day off will allow you to fully relax and immerse yourself in the experience.

I hope you enjoyed my blog and learned something new about acupuncture! I am currently accepting new clients for Registered Acupuncturist treatments, so please check out my services page!
Stay healthy and stay glowing ✨