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Michelle Smith likes to live simply. “I’m not complicated. I believe in simplicity, and I hope to give that to my clients,” says Smith, owner of Image Acupuncture & Skin Care, which is housed in Serenity On St. Paul Day Spa in Denver. In an industry inundated with products promising the fountain of youth, she strives to give her clients easy, individualized solutions. By using her unique blend of cosmetic acupuncture and herbal therapy, Smith has taken the focus of external therapy and made it internal. “My goal is to listen to my clients. It’s important that we develop a relationship where there’s mutual respect and trust,” she says.
During her teenage years, Smith struggled with problematic skin, which affected her confidence. When conventional Western remedies failed her, she knew there had to be a better way. Smith says she was troubled by the “factory health care” she received from physicians who were intent on shuffling her in and out of medical visits within a matter of minutes. Her drive to find alternative solutions grew only stronger with time.
Smith enrolled in the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2001. In her quest to understand more about treating skin, she decided to acquire her esthetic license at the facility. It was there that Smith developed her integrated approach to treating the whole person naturally. “There is a magnificence to aging, and we should approach it in the most natural way possible,” she asserts.
It is that attitude that continues to fuel Smith’s business, which opened its doors in July 2004. She offers a full spectrum of acupuncture and herbal therapies for ailments ranging from allergies and sports injuries to infertility. According to Smith, her specialties lie in cosmetic acupuncture, skin disorders and facial-renewal procedures, but she does not believe that acupuncture alone will provide the results that her clients desire. She has a strong belief in combination therapy for the skin, drawing on ancient Chinese remedies to treat today’s faces.
When clients come to her seeking solutions, Smith’s affinity for holistic truths often trumps modern quick fixes. “In today’s society, the outer appearance is becoming more and more important,” she says. “We’re in a craze of injections, which do a great job immediately, but we don’t know the long-term effects. I don’t think looking beautiful necessitates expensive, painful procedures.”