As far as needle phobias go, my friend Sophie’s got it pretty bad. She once told me about the time she went to hospital to have a minor mole removed. During the consultation, the doctor kindly decided to walk her through the process and, when he mentioned the needle involved, she promptly conked out, hit her head on his marble desk and spent the rest of the day under watch in case she had concussion.
Me, I’m not anywhere near Sophie’s level of trypanophobia (yes, there is a name for each and every phobia imaginable if you google hard enough), but I’m no fan and have in my thirty years on the planet therefore avoided broaching needles for any purposes other than strictly medical.
But then I started to hear good things about facial acupuncture and, more particularly, about John Tsagaris. John is something of an industry legend, you see, and the softly-spoken and eminently calm Greek has treated about every beauty editor worth their salt; those were needle-wielding hands I really wanted on my face.
After procuring an appointment, I bumbled to his clinic in Chelsea to see what all the fuss was about. While a little excited, I was in all honesty mostly terrified at the idea of my face being stuffed with needles. Thankfully, John takes a holistic approach and spent a good half hour discussing my lifestyle, dietary habits and niggling anxieties before the treatment, during which I started to relax a little. By the time I was on the bed with my eyes squeezed shut, I felt utterly assured in his hands and confident that I was not about to do a Sophie.
The treatment involves the usual acupuncture drill - a little checking of the pulse to glean information, and then the needle bit. In my case, I needed them aplenty on both my face and body - the former for cosmetic purposes, the latter because John reckons just focussing on the cosmetic without treating the entire human is a bit bonkers and therefore usually does both in his sessions.
Much to my satisfaction, the sensation of needles penetrating is barely noticeable, but the effect extraordinary: the punctures mimic micro traumas too small to be seen, but enough to send the skin into collagen/elastin production mode, resulting in plump, re-energised skin. On my body, John inserted needles into my ankles and hands to calm my overwrought adrenals and ease my digestive system.
While removing the needles, John cautioned that I may feel a little tired that evening. I took this with a pinch of salt until I embarked on my walk home - I stumbled out in a relaxed haze, slurring so much on the phone to my husband that he accused me of having stopped for a drink on the way home from work.
The next morning I woke to find my skin looked bloody awesome, like Miranda Kerr’s, or a normal non-Victoria's Secret model person's might after a month of hiking in the Alps - the words peachy, pillowy and glowing sprung to mind when I inspected my reflection. I was so impressed that I'm going back for another session AND have splashed out on a bunch of John's SkinPointEight products. Oh, and I'm trying to convince Sophie to visit. Wish me luck...
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