I Tried A Buccal Facial For My Jaw Pain & Let Me Tell Ya, My Mouth Being Fingered Was Worth It


Allowing a woman to shove two fingers inside my mouth while I laid down limp as a rag doll was not the way I expected my year to end. At the very least, you’d think a scenario like that would be in a context that is decidedly more sexy. But jaw pain is no sexy thing, and the words “buccal facial” elicited a shiver of excitement in me, being a hyper-online Gen Z. What is a buccal facial? Will it make me look like Anya Taylor Joy? Or Handsome Squidward/Liam Payne? Or, forgetting vanity, will it finally heal that awful crack my jaw feels every time I yawn?

It was a yearning for answers to these questions that, upon an invitation to try a “buccal fusion facial” at the expert hands of integrated facialist April Brodie (with a RRP of $600+) for an article, I decided: “You know what? Stick your fingers in me, for journalism!

The buccal fusion facial Brodie offers is meant to give you a bit of a botox effect because of the way its contouring method releases cheek and jaw tension from the inside out. It’s also meant to be helpful at easing jaw tension and headaches. Which is how I ended up in the little bathroom of April’s studio, pulling out the facial piercings I’ve had for almost nine years, and prepping my face for the massage of a lifetime.

Once I was undressed, swathed in a soft spa gown, and gently laid onto the massage table (which later doubled as a therapists’ chaise, given my emotional release), the facial began with an assessment of my shoulder, neck and back tension.

As April slid a soft hand up my shoulder towards my neck, she emitted a soft, tutting noise and said sympathetically “oh, you must have really bad lower back pain”. I was shocked. How did she know?

As she surveyed my neck with light touches, she cooed various iterations of “oh dear” and “my goodness” that were both validating and also mildly concerning (am I that broken? honestly, yes) before making astoundingly accurate comments about my body, with no indication as to how she deduced them — “knee pain on your right?”, “you must get really terrible headaches”, “does your mother have really good skin?”. When I told her yes, she did, and yes, I do — the various body aches were related to my scoliosi — she nodded knowingly.

I told her I was amazed that she had read me like an open book with barely a glance, but she told me her skills were “science, not magic” — the result of years of surveying muscles and the ways “our bodies hang off our bones”.

She said that with me though, she didn’t notice anything at first, because of my cheery disposition (yay!) but when she touched me and felt the tension in my body, and she knew I was a “giver” who overworks and “carries the world on their shoulders” (oh no!).

The whole experience was not just something that released the tension in my jaw, but the tension in my being.

When April was making long strokes from my shoulders, up my neck and into to my scalp, she had to gently remind me that I could leave my head down, that when she slid her hand under it she would catch me. It turns out that I was, unwittingly, holding back — refusing to give into the trust fall by keeping any weight leaned onto her controlled — and if that isn’t a metaphor for my life, I don’t know what is.

By the time April really got into it, I had decided that I would trust this lovely woman with my life. And that if we were in the 1300s, the church would probably imprison her for witchcraft.

The buccal facial consisted of the initial touching I just mentioned, and then a suction cup around my face that to drain my lymph nodes, as is very vogue these days.

With consistent checking in to see how I was, and other comments about what a strong, resilient, hard-working person I must be to live with this kind of tension (a warning for the girlies with parental issues: you are not ready for this kind of tenderness lol), the facial then got to the point of it all, AKA the buccal massage.

I thought it would feel weird, saucy even, to have April’s gloved fingers planted firmly in my mouth, but it was all very clinical. It actually didn’t feel out of place at all, despite the odd sensations, and honestly, so satisfying. Like finally scratching a spot on your back you’ve never been able to reach.

By the time the buccal massage was done (so, lots of skin care, serums, and masks later), I was a new woman. I nearly fell asleep in the aftercare, and was gently encouraged by April to hop off the table, take my time getting dressed, and go forth with my new, tension free jaw.

Shout out to the lovely lass who tried to help me get my nose ring back in. We failed but I appreciated the effort. Image: Supplied.

I almost immediately yawned, because I was so sleepy and zen, and what do ya know: no click. No jaw snapping shut. Is this what normal people yawn like??

So enamoured was I with the lack of clench, that I almost forgot how snatched the buccal facial was meant to leave me — you know, aesthetically.

Like, this is a cosmetic procedure after all. And clearly so, because look at these results:

Once I’d returned to the PEDESTRIAN office, no less than six (6) people told me I was positively glowing. That I looked great. Someone even used the word snatched!!! I have made it, folks.

The effects of the buccal massage lasted about two weeks for me — then, sadly, my jaw click returned and so did the usual tension and soreness I feel on a daily basis. RIP. Though, I suspect this is more of a me problem — it’s a stressful time of year and I cope with my stress my clenching my jaw and repressing those feelings. Onwards and upwards!

If you’re interested in getting a buccal fusion facial, you can check out April Brodie’s website.