A Quest for Anti-Aging, Naturally by Jenny Ringland
How facial acupuncture completely changed the way I view anti-ageing treatments
Until recently I’d never worried about the fine lines that go hand-in-hand with ageing, mainly because I didn’t have that many! However, three small children, and countless hours of lost sleep later and I’ve arrived at destination approaching 40 not quite wrinkle-free. So under the guise of story research I began canvassing natural anti-ageing techniques and before I knew it I was booking myself in for facial acupuncture. Although it involves tiny needles being inserted into your face – which BTW is not something I ever imagined volunteering for – what appealed to me was also the promise of improving my overall health and wellbeing, with (fingers crossed) the added benefit of reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
I arrive at Sage Beauty in North Bondi feeling slightly anxious – because, needles – however, after meeting my practitioner, Yvette Forbes, I start to feel more at ease. Once I’ve settled into the treatment room her first comment is how cold my feet are – she tells me it’s linked to liver function – so she hurries out to fetch two heat packs and carefully arranges them around my feet.
“Facial acupuncture isn’t just about treating the face,’’ Yvette explains.“It’s an holistic treatment where I look at everything from hormonal imbalances, to the digestive system, blood flow and stress.’’
She quizzes me on my diet, sleep, exercise, what my period’s like and how my three births were. To be honest, it’s a bit like a counselling session with a BFF rather than an anti-ageing treatment.
“I see clients who initially want me to remove their wrinkles, which I definitely help with, but once they see me and get the full holistic treatment, that’s what they come back for, the anti-ageing stuff is a bonus,’’ Yvette tells me.
Having concluded I have issues with liver function (which explains the cold feet) endometriosis and can be prone to anxiety (yes, yes and yes) Yvette begins her work. Before the needles Yvette goes over my face with a Jade paddle – or Gua Sha – which is surprisingly pleasant. She tells me she’s causing microtrauma to the skin, drawing blood and oxygen to the area. It sounds like a form of torture but in fact it promotes the creation of collagen and elastin and I’m now beginning to understand why Elle Macpherson and Gwyneth Paltrow are long-time fans of the treatment.
Next comes a tiny suction cup which Yvette stamps around my eyes and after reassuring me I haven’t bruised, it’s time for the main event. Even though I am there for a facial treatment, the needles are placed all over my body feet first, finishing with my face.
They are mostly tiny pin pricks, some I hardly notice going in, and overall I feel pretty relaxed.
According to Yvette the needles in my face, like the Gua Sha, are creating microtrauma and in addition to helping stimulate collagen production it’s said to also improve the skin’s elasticity.
“The needles create blood flow to the face which helps rid of impurities, improves circulation and can help with dark circles, puffiness and red spots,’’ Yvette confidently explains.
“They also help your muscles relax, which help smooth fine lines, it’s not like botox where you are freezing the muscles, it’s a gentler effect.’’
She leaves me to relax while the needles work their magic and returns 20 blissful minutes later to remove them. She finishes with a mini facial and warns me there might be some redness. However when she hands me a mirror all I can see is glowing skin. My eyes are noticeably less puffy, and there are fewer fine lines around my eyes. But what I love most is how I calm I feel. I may have come on an anti-ageing reconnaissance but what I discovered is an holistic treatment more relaxing than any massage or facial I’ve ever tried. With the added bonus of less wrinkles!