What’s trendy in the Hong Kong beauty industry nowadays? It’s not botox, nor is it La Mer’s $20k moisturiser — nope, what’s popular right now is growing the size of your boobs sans surgery. With roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine, lymphatic massage therapy focused on the chest area promises to improve the size, shape and overall health of your breasts. Sounds crazy? I thought so too, until I tried it for myself. Here’s how it went.
When I was a pre-teen, my mum would harp at me to eat more papayas so my boobs would grow bigger, “like my aunt’s”. At the tender age of 11, the last thing I wanted was to develop early and become a target for bullying, so I never followed through with her advice.
Funnily enough, I must take after my aunt more than we thought. Because even without the papayas, my boobs took on a life of their own during puberty and now I actually have C cups — quite a feat considering I’m 153cm tall and weigh 40kg. (Humble brag. I’m sorry.)
All this to say, I don’t really need bigger boobs nor do I want bigger boobs. Any bigger and I’ll look grossly disproportionate.
But then I was offered an opportunity to try Mecret’s breast enhancement treatment. And trust me, I wasn’t interested at first. I turned down the offer not once, not twice, but three times. And then curiosity got the better of me. A nonsurgical boob job? Maybe I’ll take one for the team and try it out.
Cup size aside, I had a lot of concerns when it came to my boobs. These were addressed when I sat down for my consultation and filled in a checklist about what I wanted to change.
I thought it would be nice to correct the position of my breasts (I feel they sit low and sort of like, splay aside), their evenness (I swear my left boob is bigger than my right one), their plumpness (could be fuller) and their colour (kinda unnecessary I know, but they could be lighter). Which is basically every box on the checklist, save for size.
My consultation lasted an hour, give or take. Diamond, my consultant, made sure I knew what I was signing up for and explained the nitty-gritty of the human breast to me, including its biological composition.
Long story short, if you don’t take care of your chest area, wear the wrong type of bra or drink too much cold water (Diamond’s exact words), then your boobs will suffer as a result of poor general health. This has mostly to do with your lymphatic system, which becomes clogged thanks to bad lifestyle choices, leading to unshapely breasts, dark-coloured nipples and the materialisation of that stubborn chunk of fat around your armpits.
Here’s where Mecret’s breast enhancement treatment comes in. The treatment is, in essence, a TCM massage to release the tension in the lymphatic system. This type of manual drainage massage can be applied anywhere on the body, but Mecret focuses on the chest area, from your neck all the way to your wrists.
“During the massage, the therapist gently manipulates specific areas around your chest to relieve the build-up of lymph fluid,” explains Diamond. “In addition to manual techniques, we also use a Korean-patented machine to enhance the treatment effects.”
Now, for the massage itself. I’d heard from other girls that the treatment was painful, but I didn’t expect it to be this painful. To be fair, my pain tolerance is like nil, and I’m definitely more of a crybaby than the average person, but still… just imagine someone going ham on the most sensitive areas of your upper body — your breasts and your pits — with no mercy. Yeah… not the most comfortable experience.
Despite everything, my therapist, a 60-something-year-old TCM practitioner named Sukin, was great. She kept things professional, was sympathetic to my pathetic cries and tried to soothe me with baby talk along the way. Me, though, I entered a trance. I had my eyes squeezed shut throughout the 60-minute (!) session and found myself making deals with God, even though I hadn’t been to church since I was 14.
For the next hour, my mantra became “no pain, no gain”. Sukin and I chanted it over and over again as she ran Mecret’s Korean-patented machine along my arms (they jerked involuntarily, which was funny but painful at the same time) and rubbed the fat along my sides with skilled hands. We had a few breaks so I could catch my breath, but aside from that, it was all business.
I’m not sure if I’m allowed to attach any photos here, but mamma mia. The difference was day and night. Okay, so I didn’t go up a cup in size — though both Diamond and Sukin did say it’s possible with additional sessions in my case — but right off the bat everything was fuller and more balanced. The stubborn chunk of fat around my armpits, which always made me wary of wearing tank tops, had also become visibly smaller. And this was only one session’s work! Needless to say, I was way impressed.
Sukin explained that it was especially painful for me not only because it was my first time, but also as I’d been committing every breast crime in the book, including wearing a less-than-supportive bra and drinking cold drinks every day. So, my lymphatic system was clogged as hell. I was told to get fitted properly and to stop putting my drinks in the fridge, and results would come even quicker in conjunction with more massages.
I would say the fruits of my labour (or, Sukin’s labour) lasted at least a week, but at the same time I was pretty bruised up, so it wasn’t like I could go around and flaunt my girlies. Over the next few days, I watched as the green contusions around my chest, neck and arms slowly subsided, leaving me with fuller and healthier breasts. By the time one week had passed, I had basically forgotten about the pain I endured and was itching to go back for a second session. Hey, no pain, no gain, right?
(This isn’t sponsored but please quote my name “Charmaine Ng” for a discount at Mecret if you want to experience Sukin’s magical hands for yourself. You get a special price of HK$498 for 60 minutes as opposed to the original price of HK$598 for the same amount of time. And I will love you forever.)