Move over botox there's a new treatment in town, except it's not exactly new but an ancient Chinese acupuncture treatment that all the celebrities are raving about.
I’m not one of those women that religiously books in for facials or beauty treatments, which considering my profession might come as a surprise. It seems so hard to keep up with the latest ‘best’ beauty product that will apparently make us all look more youthful and usually come with a hefty price tag. The truth is I don’t want to look younger anymore, I’m 50 this year and I’m comfortable enough with my face to accept the changes that come with age. What I do like the idea of is anything that helps give me the look of a great night’s sleep which is currently lacking in my life.
When I first met Samantha McNamara at an Enterprise Collective networking meeting, I listened with great interest about her acupuncture practice The Acupuncture Place in Pocklingotn, I was intrigued to find out more. What appealed to me about it was the links with ancient natural practice, whilst I was a little anxious at the thought of having needles all over my face, I was keen to give it a try. Samantha has had an extensive career in the beauty industry, what impressed me most was her dedication and passion for Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal treatments which led her to gaining a BSC Hons degree in those subjects in her early forties. I think most us would associate acupuncture as an alternative treatment for pain and injuries but Samantha tailors her treatments to help with your general health and the less obvious beauty treatments.
As soon as I arrived the surroundings and Samantha made me feel relaxed. We started the session with Samantha taking my pulse with the conclusion that my body was tired. She was spot on! I’ve had a busy time since Christmas and have not really stopped and allowed myself any time to relax. Menopausal night sweats and disruptive sleep have left me feeling tired in a way I’ve not experienced since pregnancy. Those damn hormones! Whilst examining my tongue she told me my digestive system was struggling and I was dehydrated. Again, spot on, I have been regularly skipping lunch then snacking early evening or eating snacks on the run which has ultimately left me feeling bloated and gaining weight. I do drink a lot of water but maybe as my body travels through these changes I need to re-address how and when I hydrate. Samantha has suggested trying coconut water to help so although I’m not a huge fan of the taste I’m going to give it a go. All this before we’ve even got started!
Lying down on a warm bed with soothing music, Samantha started placing needles in various parts of my body; at first I didn’t even feel them. The needle by my right ankle initially throbbed, it wasn’t painful, more like a dull ache, but it quickly disappeared. The needles were placed in my ankles, knees and wrists before moving on to the face.
This was the part that I’d been nervous about as you imagine your face to be more sensitive to pain. The needles are varying in size and meant to help bring fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients to your skin which encourages collagen and elastin production. The only area that I felt a bit of sting was around the middle of my brows where my frown line is getting deeper, but it can’t really be described as pain just a quick sting. In total Samantha placed around 50 needles of varying sizes all over my face and I wouldn’t have known where they were.
Next came the Dermalux LED therapy mask for half an hour. This process is a non-evasive treatment that uses therapeutic light energy to help trigger the skins natural rejuvenation and repair process whilst you relax. Within the first few minutes of the goggles and mask being placed over me I had a sudden rush of anxiety which I felt rising up to my chest. What I quickly realised was my body was totally relaxed but my brain was still working overtime and there was a battle going on as my body forced me to switch off. A few minutes later this passed and I fell into a deep state of relaxation. During this 30 minutes Samantha worked on reflex points on my feet and due to my relaxed state, I was hardly aware of what was going on but felt very grounded.
When the needles are removed you don’t feel it and Samantha then followed with the cupping. I’ve heard of cupping as a body treatment, but I’ve never seen it seen it used on the face. It’s another way of boosting the circulation and removing any build-up of fluids. It’s a strange sensation, I could almost feel the tension being sucked away from my face.
This session felt like I was having a full MOT and I’ve come away really thinking that I need to take more care of my skin. For me it felt like a holistic treatment as well as a practical beauty session.
The ancient Chinese Gua Sha tool gently scrapes over your moisturised face with a gentle pressure and again improves lymphatic flow and circulation. Samantha used the Jade tool on me, which is the most traditional stone associated with rejuvenation, but other stones are available with differing properties. I’ve seen skin rollers in shops and wondered what their benefits are, so I’ll definitely buy one to add to my skin care routine. Not only does the roller aid absorption but it has a cooling effect on the skin which is perfect for helping the menopausal over heating symptoms.
I had to force myself to come back around once we’d finished. A couple of things surprised me, A) there were no signs of where the needles had been all over my face and B) my skin was glowing.
I am really interested to find out more about alternative treatments to help with my general health and well-being, so this has been a positive start. I would definitely recommend and I can see how having regular acupuncture facials could make a real difference. It's 3 days since the treatment and although no one else would notice a difference my skin feels a bit tighter and looks more refreshed. To gain the full benefit of this treatment it's recommended to have a couple a week over a 6 week period.
I can recommend popping over to Samanthas Instagram page as she has some very informative IGTV videos explain all her techniques and some helpful home tips too
To find out more about Samantha McNamara and The Acupuncture Place
Keep being fabulous