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Having dabbled in every wellness trend going – from sound baths to reiki and tarot cards – I’m no cynic when it comes to alternative therapies. But a facial that claims to give Botox-worthy results without any contact? Now I’m skeptical. The treatment in question is ‘psychic Botox’ (stay with me), carried out by Toby Aspin, one of the few UK practitioners of the pranic facelift, to use the official term. Pranic healing, from the Sanskrit word ‘prana’, for energy, is an alternative medicine system that promotes healing by increasing and moving your life force, or ‘vital energy’. Aspin believes the stresses of daily life take their toll on our energy and face: “When people come in you can see tension and pain etched in their face but when that’s been released, they look instantly younger”.
In short, the treatment is a tune-up for your soul that’ll also smooth wrinkles and refine your skin. A bevy of beauty editors and industry names are already raving about Aspin’s healing powers and maybe they’re onto something – London super-facialists Anastasia Achilleos and Vaishaly Patel have been using craniosacral therapy in their legendary facials for years.
What happens during a session?
Unlike reiki treatments I’ve had in the past (the only thing I can really compare this to – both are based on energy healing), Aspin’s treatment room could be mistaken for a GP surgery. It’s sterile, in a good way; there’s no incense, no candles and no gong music. I feel instantly relaxed and in good hands. Aspin’s manner is warm but not overly friendly; there’s no consultation and he’s keen to get straight to work, “to see what’s going on”.
I keep my eyes firmly shut throughout the treatment, although I can tell where his hands are working at any given moment – I’m instantly blown away by the strength of what feels like static electricity coming in waves; he later tells me these surges are emotional and mental blocks in my energy field. To my surprise, I start seeing colours (green and purple specifically – I later find out these are colours commonly associated with energy healing) as well as feelings of warmth and cold as Aspin works his magic.
And the results?
Immediately after the treatment, I felt heavy and physically tied to the bed, another common “post-healing sensation,” Aspin tells me. And as for my face? With no mirrors in the room I had to wait until I was home to properly examine my pranically-lifted cheekbones, but it was worth the suspense – believe me when I say my skin felt tighter, my face more sculpted and the heaviness under my eyes had disappeared. “Your skin looks nice,” my boyfriend muttered that evening (I hadn’t told him what I’d been up to), and he was right – I looked like I’d had a good eight hours. Plus, when I took my make-up off my persistently red cheeks were less angry and genuinely glowing.
However, the results didn’t last – most likely dulled by several glasses of bank holiday rosé. Nonetheless, my body and mind still feel clear five days on; somewhat lighter, as if I’ve been taking an endless supply of Holy Basil (if you know, you know).
Who’s it for?
Like any wellness-driven trend, pranic healing is for anyone and everyone. It can help with stress, anxiety, depression and even undiagnosed problems. And when it comes to the complexion, rest assured this treatment isn’t just another fad. Aside from my personal experience, others have reported sun spots disappearing within a few sessions, 70-year-old skin feeling tauter and many a model claiming it’s their secret to that ever-elusive inner glow.
Still not convinced? Aspin has many male and female clients who are far from being crystal-huggers. He used to have a practice inside the Lloyd’s building in the City, where he says he worked mainly on stress-related problems, fertility issues and the side effects of medicines.
How many sessions do you need to see results?
It depends what you’re looking to achieve – as someone who’s had Botox regularly for the last 18 months, one treatment was enough, although I’d definitely contemplate a top-up in a couple of months’ time or before a big event. However, consider booking in once every couple of weeks if you’re looking for a deeper treatment – Aspin told me his whole-body treatment is particularly effective with those suffering from anxiety and depression, as well as grief.
The bottom line?
Pranic healing may sound out-there, but as alternative therapies continue to garner mainstream appeal, now might just be the time to open your mind to the potential wellness and beauty benefits on offer from energy healing.
A pranic face treatment with Toby Aspin costs £100 for a 35-minute session; a 30-minute body treatment is also available, priced at £100. Both treatments can fit in one hour with one consultation; appointments are available at The Hale Clinic on Harley Street and Notting Hill’s Lucerne Clinic. For more information visit HealerHealer.org.uk