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Japan's non-surgical beauty secret

The ancient art of acupuncture is gaining newfound popularity in Japan. According to acupuncture therapist Takeshi Kitagawa, women are lining up to have needles inserted into their skin to boost their bodies' own natural healing powers.

"This is not a medical or surgical procedure," said Kitagawa. His clients, mainly in their 30s, are increasingly turning to the traditional and the organic, viewing modern plastic surgery as "pricey" and "not as healthy."

"It's different from plastic surgery, it doesn't have the risk of failure," said one advocate of acupuncture. "Besides, it uses the innate power of the human body to create beauty, and that's the reason I like it."

Japan is home to an estimated 40,000 acupuncturists.

APSG Comment: As we've noted previously, there is no credible evidence to support claims that acupuncture creates measurable cosmetic improvement. But then, if beauty is in the mind of the beholder, the placebo effect may be enough to convince many doubters.

And then there are the other factors now feeding this neo-fad. For one, it takes a lot of clever marketing to support 40,000 practitioners. For another, real surgery costs real money, and the Japanese economy is hardly booming.

None of this is odd or unique. Consider the United States, where the same phenomenon is now in play involving scores of minimally and even non-invasive treatments that promise miracles but deliver little beyond a hefty bill. Promoted by an oversupply of plastic surgeons worried about their empty waiting rooms, the mystical lure of cosmetic minimalism can seem impossibly hard for a trusting patient to resist.

Full article here.

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Japanese embracing non-surgical beauty treatments