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IMAGE Hibernation treatment for facial lines with botox from Charismetics
IMAGE Hibernation treatment using botox for frown lines

The Hibernation Treatment

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Facial lines are caused by the repeated use of the facial muscles in a particular manner. Just as a freshly ironed shirt will become severely creased at, for example, the elbow, as a result of the bending arm, likewise, so will our facial lines form wherever we frown, squint or smile. Some people have a distinctive facial habit ‑ grimacing, raising eyebrows, using one side of the face more than the other ‑ and they will in time see a set of facial lines appear which reflect this individual habit. Lines can be softened, or in some cases erased, by means of 'filler injections' or medical peeling treatments. These processes vary in how effective they are and how long they last; however, they all have one common characteristic ‑ the EFFECT is being treated, rather than the CAUSE. The damage has already been done, and continues to be done. The Hibernation Treatment is different in that it is a PREVENTATIVE treatment. Injections are given, usually to the forehead frown area, which temporarily put the frown muscles to sleep for a period of 3‑4 months. This freezing‑of the muscle is always temporary and can never be permanent, this is why the treatment is called 'The Hibernation Treatment' the muscle temporarily 'hibernates'. The aim is to break the habit of frowning, and educate the patient in his or her facial movement so that one 'forgets' how to frown. Usually patients have several of these injections over a year or two until the frowning habit is broken.

Apart from the 'habit breaking' aim other positive benefits are that:

•  While the muscle is temporarily immobilised, the forehead is 'at peace', and the frown line is not being created or reinforced.

•  Most patients notice that their existing frown lines do soften out because the forehead is completely relaxed.

•  Many would agree that frowning is an unpleasant habit which tends to spoil the serenity and beauty of the face. After the treatment, although all the many other facial muscles can still be used normally, the forehead is still and calm and thus the face appears more serene. Patients have even commented that they feel the calmness within themselves.

•  Some people have a markedly lopsided face due to an overactive muscle on one side. This treatment can be used to weaken an overactive muscle thereby restoring balance to the face.

The injection takes around 5 - 10 minutes. The practitioner will ask you to frown hard. This is so that he can see the exact pattern of forehead and frown movement in the individual patient. The injections are slightly uncomfortable but brief. Treatment is less uncomfortable than filler injections. Afterwards you will have some tiny red marks for approximately one hour, where the needle was inserted.

The injection starts to take effect after 3 or 4 days. You may notice that it is becoming more difficult to frown. After 1 or 2 weeks the muscle will be completely asleep.

Very occasionally you may require more than the usual injection amount; if the muscle does not go to sleep you may have to pop back for a top up injection. Also some patients who have well exercised and developed frown muscles (more common in men) may need a second injection. We prefer to inject a conservative amount of the substance and add more if required in your follow-up appointment.

It must be emphasised that the injection is intended to make it difficult to frown. We all frown subconsciously; this treatment prevents inadvertent frowning. Some patients will 'test' the injection by standing in front of their mirror at home and trying very hard to frown! In some cases the patient may indeed be able to use some of the frowning muscles a little if they force the muscles very hard. This does not of course mean that the injection has not worked.

The substance that is injected is botulinum toxin. It has been used for many years as an accepted form of treatment for squints and nervous ticks. The substance cannot cause any permanent damage or travel within the body because it attaches itself to the muscle and cannot migrate from there. The injection technique that is used ensures that the substance cannot pass into the bloodstream. The action on the muscle is never permanent, that is why the treatment is called ' The Hibernation Treatment' as the patients' frown is frozen into 'hibernation' for a few months.

I heard about the clinic from a friend of mine who suddenly came to work looking younger. When I quizzed her she told me about the treatment and said that even though she had been scared of needles before the treatment, she hardly felt a thing and wishes she’d had the nerve to do it years ago. She said the practitioner was very patient with her and calmed her fears, so I figured “If Claire can do then so can I”.

I’m always frowning and I hate appearing cross but just couldn’t get the nerve together to do anything about it. Claire's referral meant that Charismetics was a clinic that I could trust. The botox has been brilliant. My frown lines are lines are gone but more importantly it’s preventing them from getting worse. I’m a true Botox convert and will continue to visit the clinic for as long as I need a helping hand with what mother nature has dealt me.

Debra, Burton-On-Trent, Staffordshire

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