Friday, March 4, 2005

Keep au currant

Microcurrents light up valley

Express Staff Writer

Microcurrent Tech Heidi Donohoe applies electrical probes to client Drew Chittenden's face.

Feeling only slightly like a science project, a client lies on her back while a practitioner turns up the electrical current machine and places small probes on select spots on her face. It zings just a tad but after a while there is a sense of relaxation that settles over her nerves, face and mind. By the time her session is over, she is grinning for no reason. It sounds like a miracle but instead is actually a very effective facial that happens to involve electrical currents.

As people age, the skin on the face, along with the rest of our physique, falls from the effects of gravity. At the same time the ability to generate cellular growth falters. It doesn't take a scientist or even a holistic medical practitioner to tell us the obvious. Superficial means can only do so much. Yet people continue to spend millions of dollars on cosmetics, cosmetic surgery and various invasive treatments to tighten face muscles in the hopes of restoring a youthful appearance.

Creating a buzz in the skin industry currently is a non-invasive procedure that uses the latest state-of-the-art microcurrent technology to stimulate facial muscles, cellular function and acupuncture meridian points

Sounds like a gift from heaven. Called Microcurrent Facial Rejuvenation or Myotonology, the process uses small spurts of electric currents to firm facial muscles, while increasing circulation and stimulating the natural production of collagen and elastin.

The effect is an energized local region, as well as improved health throughout the whole-body.

The process was actually discovered after being used to treat sagging facial muscles of post-stroke and Bell's Palsy patients. As well, it's been used to relieve pain and inflammation on injured athletes and those with chronic and post-surgery pain.

In Idaho, the medical use of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Devices is considered an insurable treatment. Clinical trials consistently show positive results.

Cosmetically, results can be seen even after one session, though a series is recommended, as it gives the muscles the necessary memory to maintain the tone. Amazingly, the session is an entirely nurturing experience. The microcurrents actually feel like they're doing something productive. And acupuncture is often used in conjunction to increase the flow of chi through the body.

The process is not just the domain of the enlightened, however. During Oscar week in Hollywood, stars line up for quick fix treatments. Rocking the spa world, everyone from Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock and Susan Sarandon to Gwyneth Paltrow and Renee Zellweger have been known to frequent the Tracie Martyn Spa in New York, where microcurrent treatments are booked months in advance.

But in the Wood River Valley, there is no need to go further than Hailey. Heidi Golden Donohoe and Licensed Acupuncturist Lisa Lintner of Lotus Medicine in The Gateway building have begun offering the treatments.

The program involves more than the facial treatment. While Donohoe makes use of her tiny light and current filled probes, Lintner works on acupuncture points in the hands and feet, and addresses the body's needs with specified herbal supplements she custom creates herself.

"This is feeling and looking your best, it's not vanity," Lintner said.

Comparing a person's skin after six weeks of treatment is like looking at the younger self. In fact, Lintner and Donohoe are themselves amazing walking examples of the treatment.

More than anything, when people look to improve their skin tone they are being made aware that the whole body's health reflects upon the face. Charging the circuits occasionally just makes sense.

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