Christa D'Souza visits facialist Geraldine in London where instead of dozing off and thinking of radiance, she has a rather more spiritual experience...

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Facials. I’ve had a few. Some good, some bad, some absolutely amazing. I still believe that if you have enough of them (enough great ones, anyway) that incorporate massage, you can avoid having to go under the knife. Have I any empirical proof to back me up? Not really, but if you lined up all my friends in the playground I could immediately pick out those who had them regularly and those who didn’t.

Someone who looks very much like she belongs in the former camp is my friend Chantal. The other day we had supper and it was ridiculous having to sit across the table from her. Her skin glowed so much it almost looked like she’d swallowed a lightbulb. “I’ve got just one word for you,” she told me solemnly, after I pressed (just like that man giving career advice to Dustin Hoffman in the beginning of The Graduate). “Geraldine”.

Off I trot, then, to see Geraldine who practises out of a nice glossy salon that I have never heard of called Michael Van Clarke, just off Marylebone High Street.

Geraldine is a pretty Irish redhead with the soft, gentle manner of a nun, which I like because the best psychotherapist I ever had was a former nun.

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As she carefully analyses my skin underneath one of those spotlights she tells me a little bit about her background. As well as being a beautician of 20 odd years, she is also a trained psychic and healer. Yeah, whatever, just lop off a few years please.

The treatment she prescribes for me, using Repechage products (From the US and only available through salons) is the Four Layer facial. Good for older, sun-damaged skin (helllloooo) it involves layer upon layer of seaweed followed by facial massage and a thermal mask. No surprises there, then, so I lay back, expecting as I usually do to doze off, and to wake up apologising for my snoring.

But here’s the thing. While the mask is on my face she asks if I mind her doing a little bit of healing on my body. I murmur, sure, why not, I’m not really aware of any bit of me that needs it, but go ahead. And here, readers, is where it gets a bit spooky. As she places her hands on my knees I feel this absolute SURGE of heat rising through them into my body and up towards my head. It is the most extraordinary sensation. Like warm liquid running through one’s veins. A NICE electrical shock, if you will. How on earth did she do that? DO certain people have these special powers?

One and a half hours later and I’m back in the room. She is not surprised to hear my reaction. She too felt a tingle going from her hands into my body. She said she also felt that I was holding onto something; she didn’t know what, but that whatever it was, if I could finally let go of it I’d be very liberated.

Does my skin look or feel different? Well yes it does, there is a certain “wattage” to my complexion which I cannot rightly explain although apparently I will not see the full effects for another 48 hours. Verdict? I’ve already made the next appointment. Thank you Chantal, for sharing. I won’t tell a soul.