Last week I had the chance to try out traditional eastern medicine and a hi-tech western spa treatment at Noy Boutique Spa in NYC, a holistic skin care & wellness studio led by a talented mother daughter team of professional practitioners, (located right near Grand Central). Derived from Hebrew, Noy is defined as a state of beauty and grace. At Noy, Danna (the daughter) and Elana (the mother) believe that the face is a mirror that reflects any imbalances inside the body. Once they analyze a clients’ skin, they can identify the root of their concerns – not just symptoms – and treat the underlying condition. What makes Noy special, and what I had the pleasure of experiencing, was their east meets west holistic approach to skin care, which combines the time-tested natural therapies of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine with state-of-the-art western technology. So when I went to visit Noy, I was sure to try out both sides of the wellness spectrum with acupuncture by Elana and a customized Laser Genesis facial by Danna. This beautiful spa is truly a classy, clean and professional boutique, which provides an intimate and inviting atmosphere for you to get to know both Danna and Elana, and for them to get to know you. First, I met with Elena, to discuss the ancient art of Acupuncture. After a brief survey of my medical history and an in-depth discussion of my current aches, pains and concerns, Elana and I decided that she would be focusing our session on my shoulder pain (from a volleyball injury in college) and my overall stressed-out-ness. With so much stressing, Elena concluded I have an intense “Fire” personality, categorized by someone who wants to do it all and is always running around trying to get everything done. That intensity and anxiety to have it all can sometimes lead to over-indulgence, which isn’t so good for keeping a trim waistline (I admit, I can’t stop at just one Oreo!). So, we focused on my stomach and ears for weight and stress management and my shoulder for pain management. East: Acupuncture with Elana First we started on my stomach, where Elana created somewhat of a bull’s-eye around my belly button, strategically placing individually wrapped and sterile acupuncture needles into my skin with a “tap, tap” motion (that you can see in the video). I couldn’t feel any of the needles entering my skin at all. I was so surprised. Then she moved to my left shoulder, to work on the opposite pressure points to relieve pain in my right shoulder. I only felt one of the needles with a very slight twinge or vibration as it was secured into my shoulder, but other than that… I felt nothing. Then, moving onto my ears, Elena placed three needles in each; I felt the acupuncture points for heart (anxiety), for sugar cravings and for appetite a little bit more, with a dull pinch in each point. Next, she tap-tapped one needle in the center of my forehead, in the heart position for balance. Moving back to my stomach, Elana placed little alligator electrode clips onto the needles still in my stomach to pulse an electric current though the meridians in my stomach, increasing the impact of the needles. It felt like a light vibration or buzzing throughout my skin. After a little tuning fork vibrational therapy and some more relaxing, Elena removed the needles and I was off to see Danna for my facial. West: Laser Genesis with Danna Danna, a very skilled esthetician, cleansed and toned my face with customized cleansers selected for my skin type (I have dry skin) and the assessed my skin under a large florescent magnifying glass. Then, after donning some super stylish protective eyewear, using the Laser Genesis machine, Danna skillfully passed the laser wand over my entire face, as it pulsated warm, red light into the upper dermis of my skin. The heat, which felt similar to the warmth emitted by a low-grade tanning bed, essentially warmed up the lower layers of my skin, to kick-start collagen renewal, improve the appearance of large pores, acne scars, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. After a few minutes, there was a weird aroma and without me even having to ask, Danna informed me that the scent was of the invisible hairs on my face being slightly singed by the powerful laser (can you say free face wax?! ha ha). After the treatment, Danna applied a customized facial mask and gave me a magnificent little shoulder and arm massage. After the mask was removed, my face was cleansed, toned moisturized (with SPF) and I even got a little SPF lip moisturizer to boot. The results: The night after my acupuncture treatment, I slept like a baby. And that is no exaggeration. I’ve always had a hard time falling asleep at night (mind racing, thoughts wandering) and ever since my treatment I have seen a dramatic improvement on my ability to fall and stay asleep. Not to mention, my right shoulder, with which I always wake up with numbness, pain and discomfort, was completely pain-free after my acupuncture session. It worked almost instantly after the treatment and lasted for about a week afterwards. To say I was pleased and shocked is an understatement. In the next two to three days that followed my Laser Genesis treatment, I noticed a stubborn nose blemish on my nose dramatically faded and the skin around my cheeks and eyes was noticeably plumper and firmer (at least it was to me). My make-up goes on smoother and I am happily applying less because my skin has retained a fantastic glow ever since the treatment. I definitely recommend acupuncture for the immediate relief of chronic, nagging pain and for stress management. I haven’t seen any noticeable difference in my waistline since the treatment, but that’s not to say it hasn’t made me a little bit more conscious about how much work and food is on my plate. I would also recommend laser genesis for those seeking a non-surgical, non-invasive wrinkle reduction and skin-firming treatment and for those who have acne blemishes or scars. The icing on the cake, both Elana and Danna are informative and attentive without being overwhelming. You can tell they are related, because they both have a soothing, calming affect when practicing which definitely rubbed off on me both during and after my appointment and I cannot wait to go back. For more information on Noy Boutique Spa, visit www.noyspanyc.com and follow them on Facebook. Also, be sure to check out their blog, in which Danna regularly post awesome skincare tips and tricks!