"If you have good posture, it will lead to a beautiful face," said Jessica, my masseuse-slash-aesthetician in her lilting Korean-accented English as she manipulates the stiff portions of my neck and back with the pressure of a sumo wrestler despite her deceptively slim frame. This comes after the initial cleansing and assessment of my complexion. A massage is offered — pick from your legs, back or stomach as you lay on a toasty heated bed within a therapy room of Yakson's first Singapore locale.
Sounds a tad homoeopathic? You would be right, because Yakson — literally meaning mother's hand — hails from the land of kimchi and utilises the culture's time-honoured principle of bone tonification (otherwise known as golki) to literally reshape your face and body into its ideal symmetry, served with a side of wellbeing. Home to 120 outlets and a celebrity clientele in Korea, this technique isn't as newfangled as one might think, but is certainly a novelty compared to the barrage of plastic surgery inundating the industry. A technique to achieve that coveted slim 'v-line' jaw without invasive procedures and no downtime? I was all for it, so I booked in for a session to experience the K-buzz that is golki therapy.
With a comprehensive range of programmes for both face and body, I went for the Small Face Care, Yakson's signature treatment that massages the contours of your facial structure into slimmer proportions to get the MFBB (my face but better) look. Launching into the golki therapy proper once my back massage wrapped up, Jessica evaluates the bones of my face with a trained eye — she's been with Yakson for a handful of years in Korea before making the move to our shores — and gives her professional diagnosis, recommending that I concentrate on my cheekbones to get a more attractive, uniform appearance. With her pair of expert hands, my face was kneaded from chin to forehead using intense, lifting strokes which, and I make no bones about (pun intended), felt like my skull was being compressed something fierce. But in the name of beauty where pain is gain, I soldiered on and halfway through, I could actually see a difference in the slopes of my cheekbone and jaw on the right side of my face that has been 're-shaped'.
Administering the same process to the left half, I was encouraged to explore around the entirety of my newly aligned face to feel the change before a cooling charcoal mask was applied in a thick layer as the final soothing step. At this point, I fell asleep (likely knackered out after all that pressurised facial moulding) during the 20 minutes the mask was working its magic. With one last sweep of toner, then moisturiser and sunscreen, I was good to go with an improved and enhanced face. Among comments such as 'your skin is glowing' and 'you look like you've been to war, but wow' from the team, I'd say the results speak for themselves even after a single session. Definitely a treatment to give a whirl in my book whether you're a K-beauty fan or otherwise, but friendly word of advice: You have to grit and bear it. And also, whoever coined the phrase 'beauty is skin deep' will need to revise that statement.
Yakson Singapore is located at Wheelock Place, #05-12A, Tel: 6734 8777. The Small Face Care golki therapy programme is priced at $3,840 for 20 sessions and $258 for a single session, with a 2-hour duration per session. To find out more, click here.