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Acupuncture in facial feminization recovery

The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved acupuncture as an adjuvant therapy for pain management.

For our patients, the goals of acupuncture in facial feminization are adapted to the typical postoperative circumstances: to alleviate bruising, inflammation, pain and stress after FFS surgery. This translates into the restorative sleep and relaxation so beneficial to the ffs healing experience.

Acupuncture in Facial Feminization Surgery

The strategy of acupuncture in facial feminization patients is two-fold:

  1. Regulate the energy meridians to re-balance the flow of fluids blocked after an operation, so inflammation may subside.
  2. Increase the level of endorphins in the system, substances with analgesic effects.

Medical acupuncture therapy for facial feminisation patients

Dr. Jiménez’s protocols for acupuncture play an important part in your FFS Journey.

As Facialteam’s acupuncturist for facial feminization patients explains, “The therapy is relaxing, creating the sense of well-being optimal for post-operative healing.

We can say that acupuncture is a very safe therapy technique, performed by an experienced professional, since it practically never has adverse effects.”

Dr. Manuel Jiménez – Clinical Neurophysiology & Medical Acupuncturist

Facialteam offers patients a method of distal acupuncture which acts on the meridians of the head, face and neck, yet stimulating them from a distance. This way, we treat the facial area without the need for acupuncture directly on recently operated tissue.

How to prepare for the acupuncture session

First, be sure to read the dossier about the session in preparation. Otherwise, there is little preparation, just relax.

You will need to be lying down face up, with eyes closed and in a relaxed state for about 20 minutes. The specialist will give you the opportunity to use the bathroom in advance or play music if you wish.

Once the needles are placed, you should remain still, motionless, and do not remove the needles without supervision, as the specialist should do this for you. There is little talking involved. Due to anti-covid protocol, the specialist will leave the room for most of the session, but you are not alone.

If you require attention for any reason, there will always be someone who can hear you, and the acupuncturist has access even if the door has been accidentally closed.

What does the acupuncturist do?

Depending on the performed facial feminization procedure and their health status, needles may be inserted in either legs or arms, or in all four members. One or two sessions are provided for each Facialteam patient within the first week after surgery when the benefits are at a maximum.

The objective is to correct the energy balance of the meridians of the face, head and neck to accelerate the natural physiological processes of tissue regeneration and homeostasis. In addition, the powerfully relaxing anti-stress effect of acupuncture in facial feminization patients helps with sleep regulation when it is needed most.

Very fine caliber acupuncture needles of sterilized stainless steel (0.22 mm) come with a silicone coating for minimally noticeable insertion. However, drops of blood may appear in the puncture sites when removing the needle, which is easily resolved by applying gentle pressure. Sometimes, a slight bruise may appear around the needle sites.

About the Acupuncture Specialist

Dr. Jiménez is a licensed medical practitioner with a masters in Clinical Neurophysiology, with decades of experience within the government health service of Andalusia. He is also a Medical Acupuncturist, with memberships in the Spanish medical societies of Neurophysiologist, Epilepsy and Acupuncturists and published author of scientific research on related studies.

Empirical and scientific evidence exists to support the benefits of acupuncture, manual therapies and several medicinal plants for chronic or mild conditions. For instance, the effectiveness of acupuncture, a popular treatment for relieving pain, has been demonstrated both through numerous clinical trials and laboratory experiments. As a result, 90% of pain clinics in the United Kingdom and 70% in Germany include acupuncture as a form of treatment.

Patient Relations Manager Lilia Koss, presentator of Lilia's Livestreams
About the author

Hello world! I’m Lilia Koss and I use she, her, and they pronouns. What are yours? With a background in humanities and diverse professional experiences, I have been working with the Facialteam founders and directors since 2018. Involved from the ground up, so I’ve had hands in many pots: patient coordination, orientation events on 3 continents, social media, written and audiovisual content about our gender-affirming healthcare...but now life is more defined. Lately, I focus my energies on Public Relations, community management and live streaming to help raise the visibility of trans health. Life is pretty complete.