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Feelgood file: Straight to the point

Victoria Hirst-Dean experiences a treatment fit for an Empress

Published in Living North: The Essential Guide to Health & Beauty
www.livingnorth.com

Acupuncture at Swissphysio

I am lying on a bed at the Swissphysio Centre having my ‘chi’ balanced, trying my hardest to block out thoughts that this is a total waste of my time and reminding myself to remain open minded. ’Chi’ also known as ‘life energy’, according to Chinese medicine, is an active energy force that runs through all of us. Acupuncture treats a variety of ailments but primarily it comes down to balancing ‘Chi’. Basically, the traditional Chinese medicine approach balances the organ system and aims to treat the root cause of a problem.

The initial session starts with a lengthy consultation, I am asked questions in relation to my diet, sleeping patterns, menstrual cycle, and even my personality. I feel reassured by therapist Victoria Johnson’s clear passion for her work and find the whole thing genuinely intriguing.

I have my pulse checked and my tongue inspected, collectively this leads to the diagnosis that I am a ‘fire’ type person. My chocolate addiction, pointed tongue and personality traits are all apparently related to the ‘fire’ element. The organ that corresponds to the fire element is the heart, and in Chinese medicine the heart governs the blood. I am still not sure what to make of this but the description of a fire type person does match my personal characteristics very well. What I am sure of is that Western products and doctor’s trips have not improved my skin and that Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years; who am I to argue with that? As early as the Sung Dynasty (960AD-120AD) acupuncture rejuvenation practices were employed for the Empress and the Emperor’s concubines. It is also reportedly favoured by Madonna and Angelina Jolie. Sold.

My skin is uneven and regularly breaks out in spots. This has resulted in light scarring – obviously not the worst complexion to have but I don’t like it, which is why I am here. Victoria inserts hair thin needles into areas on my feet, lower legs, hands and wrists. These are the areas that she deems the most suitable for me, however where the needles are placed varies depending on the individual.

I am then left alone with anaesthetic cream on my face and needles in my body to relax. ‘Yeah, right’ says my negative little mind.

Twenty minutes later when Victoria returns I am in such a deep state of relaxation I am almost asleep. For relaxation alone I would book another session.

The needles are taken out and Victoria begins to give me a ‘Gua Sha’ treatment. Pressured strokes in a set technique are made across my forehead with a smooth round-edged piece of jade. This is to help ease the fine lines. I then have 16 needles painlessly inserted into my jawline and cheeks (my problem areas) and I am again left to relax. I quickly slip back into deep relaxation for another twenty minutes.

After one session my complexion has a post facial glow. After two more sessions people begin to comment that I look ‘really well’ and my skin appears smoother and clearer in a way that no facial or product has ever achieved. Clearly having the recommended 12 sessions would hugely improve my skin. Regardless of what your beliefs are with regards to ‘chi’, as a cosmetic procedure it really works. It promises to rejuvenate a variety of skin complaints from ageing and fine lines to oily complexions, dry complexions, cellulite and diagnosed dermalogical conditions. There is firm evidence that it works through causing ‘trauma’ to the skin the body is triggered in to producing more collagen and elastin, in a similar yet less gory way to derma roller.

It is a natural, safe and painless way to enhance your complexion and unlike other anti ageing treatments/skin procedures it has thousands of years worth of research. Contradicting all the reservations I had against acupuncture before I visited Swissphysio, I actually found it both painless and relaxing, more importantly me and my ‘chi’ are thrilled with the results.

Published in Living North: The Essential Guide to Health & Beauty
www.livingnorth.com