The Tweakment Tart: Can Money Buy Arms as Good As Michelle Obama’s?

Polly Vernon tries Yogi Arms, a treatment that promises perfect biceps.

Michelle Obama Tweakment

by Polly Vernon |
Updated on

‘I’m not being weird or anything,’ my pilates teacher Alex once said to me, ‘but I think you have quite a lot of testosterone. You hold muscle tone unusually well and for an unusually long time.’ I was not remotely offended by this. At the time, I was gazing at my own upper arms, of which I am inordinately proud. They ain’t Michelle Obama’s or anything, but they definitely are pretty good, for a girl. Toned and strong-looking: boxing training, innit. I get them out any time I need to make an impression; I’ve got this manoeuvre I pull on male interview subjects, where I pretend to get a little hot mid-sesh, apologise, and remove my blazer or jumper or so on or so forth, to reveal my arms. It usually flusters them up, at least a little.

When I receive a press release for a new tweakment called Yogi Arms, I am intrigued. It promises to even out skin tone and irregular pigmentation, address crepe-y and loose skin and zap bingo wings, and while I am, as I say, generally charmed by my own arms, it does make me wonder if they could be even better. Michelle O-level better. If the muscle tone is good, the skin on top of my biceps can sometimes catch the light in such a way as to look gently puckered, like silk with a pulled thread. Plus I’ve got ‘em out with such attention-seeking regularity over the years, repeated exposure to UV light has rendered them a little sun-mottled, so: I’ll try it! I decide.

The clinic – Eudelo in Vauxhall, London; tried and tested and one of my faves – books me in for four goddamn hours, which is when I get a little nervous, because tweakment maths dictate that the longer the appointment, the more likely the pain. (NB I’m told the treatment can be split into two, more manageable, halves, but these need to happen within a week of each other, and my schedule won’t allow for that, so I have to do the whole thing at once.)

It definitely works, once the swelling reduces and the PRP and carboxtherapy kick in, my arms look, say, 20% prettier.

My clinical aesthetician Zsofia and I start gently, with the ‘Smooth’ portion of what will, apparently, be a three-step process. This involves a facial for my upper arms – so an arm-ial, I guess. They are cleansed and exfoliated, subject to microdermabrasian and a vacuum-pressured primp, massaged with hydrating serums, masked and peeled with glyclic and salicylics (me either) and oooooh! They feel very soft afterwards!

Step two: Tone. Carboxtherapy sounds lovely, like it might involve a gentle blasting of the relevant area with oxygen jets or similar… But: ‘Have you had this before?’ Zsofia asks.

I have not, I say.

‘Ah. Well. Patients tell me it can be a little sensitive,’ she says, and I immediately know what she actually means is ‘good luck with this one lady, it. Will. Hurt’ because I’ve learned to speak fluent clinical aesthetician over the last two or three years of tweakings.

Carboxtherapy involves the injecting of medical grade carbon dioxide into specific areas of skin. It works by tricking your skin into thinking it is oxygen deficient, to which it responds by boosting blood flow, regenerating tiny blood vessels which optimise the delivery of oxygen and nutrient supplies. Over time, skin is regenerated, tissue is remodelled, skin quality become more elastic; it is effective in reducing stretch marks and scars, but in the case of my arms, it’s designed to encourage fat loss and skin tone. And oh! Expletive, expletive, all the MOTHERFUCKING swear words… It hurts more than I can remember any single tweakment hurting! It hurts more than botox. It hurts more than filler. It hurts more than microneedling. It. Hurts. The needle goes in – fine, whatevs – but the pressure of the carbon dioxide feels like the needle has quadrupled in size and is now being driven in further and deeper into my flesh again. The gas throbs into my arm, up into my shoulder (despite me clasping my armpit, as directed, to better contain it) and even down into my wrist and hand.

‘Perfectly normal,’ Zsofia explains.

‘Perfectly painful,’ I spit.

‘Yup!’ she says. ‘I know.’

Following five or six injections (of decreasing pain) into each arm, my arms settle pretty quickly into pain-free normality again, stop feeling like they’re about to drop off or implode etc, and so Zsofia applies numbing cream to them, in preparation for the final stage of treatment: Tighten. This is achieved through PRP, platelet rich plasma, a tweakment I’ve had a few times on my face already, and really like. They take a little of your blood, spin it in a centrifuge to separate plasma from red blood cells, then reinsert that plasma into the treated area – prepped to receive the goodies with some microneedling – where it plumps and fills flagging flesh with your very own DNA. It’s like filler, only natural.

Compared to the carboxtherapy, and thanks in no small part to the work of the numbing cream, this bit doesn’t hurt at all. The worst part is when Zsofia takes my blood, although that’s no real bigee, partly because (according to Zsofia) I’m unusually well-hydrated, which means my blood flows from my arm super-speedily and produces a lot of plasma – and also that I grow terribly smug, because honestly? That’s how easy it is to flatter me.

After four hours of tweaking, my arms are done (and Zsofia and I have grown close). How do they look? Good! A little swollen and red, but promising. It’ll take a few weeks for the full impact to kick in, Zsofia tells me, incorporating two to three days off cardio exercise, steam rooms, swimming pools and so on, and regular rub downs with a post-procedural calming and disinfecting lotion, but then? My yogi arms will be ready to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world/ interview subject.

How much does it cost?

Yogi Arms at Eudelo costs from £1400

Would I pay for it myself?

No. It definitely works, once the swelling reduces and the PRP and carboxtherapy kick in, my arms look, say, 20% prettier, and that loss of skin tone across the tops of my biceps is perhaps all but completely eliminated… But it turns out I really did like my arms enough before. If I were a Hollywood actress, prepping for a major award ceremony, or an incredibly wealthy bride prepping for my incredibly expensive wedding, then yes. If I were less happy with my arms originally, then yes! But as it stands, nope. I’m not nearly that rich, nor that dissatisfied with my bod.

I would also say that nothing – no treatment, or tweakment, or cream, or whatever – will make you feel as good about any single part of your body as exercising does, so for heaven’s sake, try that first, or as well, ok?

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