The Cure Had the Word `Puncture’ In It, But Beauty Through the Eye of a Needle or Two Is Worth It
By Susan Reinhardt, Columnist
Jan. 17, 2005 5:13 p.m.

An e-mail from a lovely friend was like a giant fishhook in my wrinkling and rapidly aging gills. Tracy Adler, who owns Cafe on the Square and is the face of Burt’s Bees, had a beauty tip she was breathless to share. And since I shared my tip with her on how to stay sane – Rest, Relax and Release – she was willing to hand one over on a platter for me.

Bless her beautiful heart. She sent me straight into one of my biggest fears and misconceptions. Acupuncture.

As a Southern woman who came of age in the ’70s, acupuncture conjured in my mind giant needles the size of epidural shots sticking all over a body like a giant porcupine’s quills. But, as they say, a woman will go to almost any length to hog-tie the hands of time.

Tracy said there was a woman in town who could stick a bunch of needles in you and voila! Youth could be recaptured without a single stitch or scalpel.

“I’ve been using the services of a licensed acupuncturist who studied in California – where the requirements are 10 times those of other states,” Tracy exuded. “She’s been telling us about her treatments for cosmetic acupuncture for the FACE and for the STOMACH!”

Lord, those are two areas we women love to hear there are cures for. Even if those cures have the word “puncture” in them.

“I had never heard of such a thing,” said this fresh-faced Burt’s Bees cover girl who manages to remain dewy even in her late 30s. “It really sounds fascinating.”

She set up a meeting between me and Lorraine Harris, the acupuncturist who can restore the glow to a gal who’s been sapped by the stresses of life and by the years rolling forth.

Tracy had been pleased with the health benefits she’d received from acupuncture, an ancient technique that originated 3,000 years ago in China and has gained the respect from even practitioners of western medicine.

The way it works, according to pamphlets on the subject, is by restoring and balancing the body’s energy through the use of needles aimed at specific points. Lots of my friends were suddenly getting cured of back pain and depression, and even my insurance was offering to cover a portion of acupuncture treatments. That in itself says a lot.

Harris explained the needles were thin, small and sterile and how over time, her technique could help flatten a tummy and firm up those facial puckers and jowls.

So, what else could I do but lie down on her sterile bed and allow Lorraine H. Harris to insert her needles into my head?

And guess what? It didn’t hurt! I always thought acupuncture would feel as if one were the target of an off- balance circus knife hurler. Instead, the whole process was relaxing.

The next morning I looked in the mirror. It might have been age-related near-sightedness, but dang! I did look 30 minutes younger.