The Tweakment Tart: A Turbo-Charged Lymph Massage Billed As ‘France’s Best-Kept Beauty Secret’

'It feels not painful, but definitely weird: a bit like a mechanical clawless cat is kneading my cleavage'

Endermologie cellulite massage

by Polly Vernon |
Updated on

It’s not every day you find yourself lying on your back on a treatment table in an office suite adjacent to the River Thames, have your boobs massaged by a Romanian woman called Alex, using a machine she fondly refers to as her ‘baby’, a high tech massage device which operates via a suction principle which sounds a bit like Ivor the Engine (pisch-ti-kah! Pish-ti-kah!)… But, for me at least, today is that day.

My journey to this mysterious end-point started when I opened an email entitled: ‘Endermologie, France’s best-kept beauty secret’. Because I am a sucker for literally anything that promises to make me a little more French (the Channel, yellow vests, Gaulloises…) of course I investigated… only to learn Endermologie is a technique designed to reduce cellulite, which left me in a quandary. I don’t believe in cellulite, ergo: how can I believe in or desire its possible reduction? Sure, I understand that ones thighs and arse can tend toward a lumpy bumpy appearance… But I also understand this isn’t wrong, a failing, even an indication of aging. It’s the way the fat cells on your thighs and arse form. End of. Babies get it; who cares? Plus I work out like fury (sue me,) so have pretty good muscle tone beneath the dimples, and am ultimately happy with my whole rump situation. At the same time: THIS IS A FRENCH BEAUTY SECRET! A FRENCH ONE!

Will it do anything for my sun raddled cleavage, I enquired of my hot Endermologie contact, because I am bothered about that. She promised it would, and so it is that I find myself having my boobs Ivor the Engine’d.

Endermologie works on a lymph-node-massage principle. Lymph is a yellowish fluid which, when it collects in pockets beneath the skin, causes all manner of issues from toxin build-up to eye-puff to double chins to complexion dullness. Massaging it is meant to alleviate a lot of these symptoms, and, in my not inconsiderable experience, it does. I’ve had different kinds of hands-on lymph massage on my face in the past, and have noticed, every time, that my flesh settles more sharply over my bones in the aftermath, and that my face gets a glow-on, for a good 24 hours. But I’ve never had it with a machine before. Nor have I had it on my boobs.

It feels weird. Not painful, but definitely weird: a bit like a mechanical clawless cat is kneading my cleavage. Alex tells me people get used to it, some of her clients even fall asleep during treatment. Also, I’m perfectly safe: she trained on the machine in Romania, which doesn’t surprise me. I’ve learned during recent forays into the tweakment universe that Eastern Europe is rather advanced in these kinds of cosmetic technologies; all the best cosmetic laser devices also come from thereabouts. It’s just how the fall-out from Communism settled.

Alex finishes my boobs in around 20 minutes, then turns her attentions/ machine-baby to my neck and face, and pummels away some more. “You should come back for body treatments,” she says, and because I’m really beginning to like her – she’s got a good sense of humour and an unusual world-view – I agree.

I book in again for a week’s time; this time, she makes me strip off and change into a white-netting body stocking. I lie on the treatment bed, encased in the stocking, and wonder what I’d do if there were a fire alarm.

Alex changes the machine head from the delicate cat-paw-kneader of before, to something bigger and a lot more sucky, and gets going on the back of my thighs and my bum. This is an intense massage, strong and borderline painful, a notch down from an intense deep tissue massage, but definitely in that ballpark. Alex promises it’ll get easier over time (she’s insisted I come back for a course of six treatments, and I’ve agreed). She turns me over and onto one side, and then the other, so that she can see to my inner thighs, then does their fronts; then switches machine heads and returns to my neck and face. I come back the next week, and the week after that, and the week after that and - after four of the six treatments - GODDAMMIT, my thighs are smoother. The cellulite in which I officially don’t believe, appears substantially reduced. So I go back for more. Also? I’m growing fonder of Alex every time. She worries I’m never wearing enough clothes, and might catch a chill. It makes me feel very cared for.

What of my face? Any decent lymph drainage massage can be relied upon to sharpen your jaw line and your cheeks, and tighten your neck, at least for a day or two, and this is definitely a decent lymph drainage massage. If I were the kind of person who could organise her life to get one in advance of an Event, I definitely would. But I’m not.

My only really remaining query is: what the hell has any of this got to do with France?

Dermasthetics body treatment costs from £120 for a treatment, and £600 for a course of six. A one-off face glow treatment costs £44.

Would I pay for it myself?

Before I had it, I truly believed cellulite didn’t matter or even count, and that even if it did - nothing much can be done about it, so screw it! But the fact of the matter is, two thirds of the way through my treatment course, I have much smoother thighs than I used to. It’s hard not to like that a bit; it’s like I whacked an Instagram filter on ‘em, but in real life. So: I might pay for it myself. I just might.

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