I’m sure you’ve seen it now on TV and in magazines, photos of celebrities and star athletes with acupuncture needles on their face and body or cupping marks on their backs.  Do you know why?  Because they, and the masses, are discovering the ancient “secret” to enhanced beauty, a stronger immune system, increased mental and physical performance, and drugless recovery from chronic illness.  Often regarded throughout the West as a mysterious form of pain relief, acupuncture is so much more than that!  Here are just a few celebrities who love acupuncture, and why they use it.

Robert Downey, Jr. told one source that acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has impacted all areas of his life for several years. He is an avid supporter of TCM and was awarded an honor for his advocacy of TCM through my alma mater, Yo San University. In addition to acupuncture, Downey utilizes Chinese herbal medicine and practices qigong.

Sandra Bullock reportedly demands that acupuncture be included in her contract with studios, whether she’s at home or on set.  She gets treatments three times a week.  According to one source, Bullock has needles placed in her forehead, face, stomach, and feet, and believes it helps her look more youthful and feel healthier in general.

Cosmetic acupuncture, which I now offer as a service (I learned a special technique during my education trip to Japan in Fall 2016), is a specialized method of acupuncture that aims to reduce wrinkles, balance oily or dry skin, clear acne, eliminate shadows under the eyes, get rid of puffiness, and bring a healthy color to the face by stimulating circulation.  Cosmetic acupuncture is hot among a number of celebs (as well as ordinary people who just want to look as great as their favorite celebs).  Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Kim Kardashian, Natalie Portman, Alicia Keys, Jim Carrey, Julianne Moore, Gwen Stefanie and Sean Connery keep looking gorgeous in the spotlight thanks to their acupuncturist! 

In addition to helping celebrities look youthful without going under the knife, acupuncture also helps them get slim and trim for events where paparazzi are sure to be snapping photos of everybody’s bare triceps as they wave.  Jennifer Lopez used acupuncture and Chinese herbs to help her lose 15 pounds.  According to OK Magazine, one source revealed that Lopez has “been gushing about how obsessed she is with acupuncture and herbs.”  Acupuncture assists with weight loss by helping the body to balance its hormones and stimulate a sluggish metabolism.  The relaxation brought about by acupuncture can greatly improve sleep quality, which assists with building lean muscle and reduces a voracious appetite for unhealthy foods.

For Gwyneth Paltrow, acupuncture is not just about the physical benefits.  According to her, acupuncture has brought her to a higher state of consciousness.  The positive influence of acupuncture on her mental and spiritual well-being had helped her during her marriage and to cope with her father’s death.  Paltrow told Oprah, “I have been a big fan of Chinese Medicine for a long time because it works.”

Supermodel Elle McPherson eschews new fads for tried and trusted ancient remedies.  She sees a Chinese Medicine doctor of acupuncture on a regular basis, and she prefers to use herbal preparations for her ailments instead of reaching for pills.  McPherson reports that she looks after her body from a Chinese Medicine perspective, which she believes promotes optimal health.

Most recently in the news, cupping, a form of treatment used in Asian Medicine, was highly visible in the form of cup marks on numerous Olympic athletes during the Rio Olympics 2016.  Michael Phelps, 23-gold medalist winner in swimming, is an avid user of cupping, and I want to say, along with his grueling training, cupping helped him win five gold medals and one silver medal in the Rio Olympics.  Cupping is excellent at relieving muscle tension, sore muscles, and respiratory problems.  I use cupping on both my pediatric patients and adult patients, and they all love it.  My kiddos ask me all the time to do cupping and when it’s done, they are so relaxed and happy.  Same with adults.  In addition to Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston, we’ve read Victoria Beckham and Jessica Simpson also love cupping, to help them get over jet lag and travel fatigue.

More and more in the news now also are celebrities using acupuncture and herbs to help them conceive.  Celine Dion and Mariah Carey credit TCM with helping them conceive their babies.  Women often come to TCM when they are having a hard time conceiving naturally or even with the aid of reproductive endocrinology (RE).  However, what I see often in my clinic and hear from my colleagues is that when a woman incorporates acupuncture and herbs into her health care routine, she conceives, even after failing previous IVF cycles. 

Luckily, you don’t have to be billionaire engineer, Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man), to afford acupuncture sessions!  It is extremely reasonable, especially for all the good it does for your body and mind.  If acupuncture is helping our most attractive celebrities and accomplished sports figures, maybe it’s time you try it, too.