Like almost every other human on the planet, I suffer from stress and despite the usual coping strategies; yoga, CBD, screaming into the abyss – I can’t seem to shake it off. To make matters worse, the tension decided to manifest itself physically in the form of lockjaw. I did my best to ignore it – until one day I realised that I couldn’t bite into an apple, so I bit the bullet (metaphorically speaking) and Googled it.
Google offered up a range of solutions; from Gua Shua Facial Massage (tried it), to acupuncture (tried it), to a pureed food diet (no, thank you). Finally, I stumbled upon an article about Botox injections; an off-label procedure where Botox is injected into the masseter muscle causing it to relax, releasing tension and alleviating the key symptoms (headaches, bruxism and moaning about it).
So I made an appointment with Dr Richard Drewry at his clinic, Grove Park Aesthetics in Chiswick. The clinic offers a range of minimally invasive cosmetic and non-cosmetic procedures to improve appearance, confidence and wellbeing. The treatments are performed exclusively by Dr Drewry who is an experienced GP with a special interest in minor surgery and cosmetics.
I was quite nervous because I’d never had botox before, I was worried that I’d get carried away and come out looking like Joan Rivers. But the clinic is set within a medical environment and Richard is a trusted professional – so he instantly put me at ease.
We talked through my predicament and he examined my jaw. He assured me that it’s a fairly common procedure and that it tends to yield good results. He tells me that the use of Botox in medicine is nothing new, it has previously been used to treat chronic pain, neck and bladder issues.
Next, we talk through the possible risks. Informed decisions are key for Richard. He’s a doctor, so the last thing he wants to do is jeopardise a patient’s wellbeing. All worries of being coerced, upsold or looking like a ninety-year-old with a twenty-five-year-old husband are instantly banished. And whilst the treatment is supposed to last for six months, he does recommend taking a break every year or so to prevent mandible thinning.
First, Richard measures the muscle and then marks out the injection points in order to achieve an even result. It’s almost painless.
Though not widely reported, I feel a sense of instant relief. We joke that this is perhaps the result of an ‘acupuncture effect,’ in the same way that sticking a fork into a steaming turkey breast might release a plume of steam.
By day 5, there’s a definite weakening of the muscle. Chewing cabbage feels slightly arduous and by day 21, I have gained a full range of motion. And there’s a visible difference too, my jaw looks slimmer and the shape of my face evens out.
Dr Drewry was by my side from start to finish, from initial consultation to procedure and subsequent aftercare. I would definitely visit Grove Park Aesthetics again and would recommend them without hesitation, for any type of cosmetic treatment.
Face slimming and TMJ dysfunction/ bruxism (masseter) £295