How do glamour goddesses treat their wellbeing differently to us mere mortals? Behnaz Sanjana digs into what takes their fancy and unearths some shock and awe.
Since we’re taking a look at all things luxury this month, it’s only fitting that we bring you celeb-status wellness options too. Highlighted below are a few treatments that could leave you feeling nothing short of A-list. Beware though, these are far from commonplace – with good reason!
The Diva that does it – Jennifer Aniston
When everybody’s favourite girl next door, Jen Aniston, steps out into the world, she’s a perfect 10. She has, however, sported unsightly circular blotches on her back while under the media’s cruel glare, which she revealed were the aftermath of cupping, an ancient Chinese therapy in which suction is created on the skin.
If you want to emulate the ways of Ms Aniston, head to Joz Salon and Spa. “The skin is gently drawn upwards by creating a vacuum in a cup using heat or suction over the target area of the skin. The cup stays in place for five to 15 minutes. It is believed to help treat pain, deep scar tissues in the muscles and connective tissue, muscle knots and swelling,” says a cupping expert from Joz.
She goes on to say that there are two types of cupping – dry and wet – with wet cupping being more common. “Wet cupping provides a more curative-treatment approach to patient management, whereas dry cupping appeals more to a therapeutic and relaxation approach.” A bright red ring appears on the skin when the cups are removed, which explains Aniston’s marks. The discolouration left by the cups is normally from bruising, especially if the cups, while suctioned, are moved to break down muscle fibre. Treatments are not usually painful. Cupping claims to treat anaemia, arthritic joint and muscular conditions, fertility and gynaecological disorders and skin problems. It’s also said to promote general physical and psychological wellbeing.
The Diva that does it – Demi Moore
Can you imagine what it might be like to laze about with bloodsucking leeches latched onto your skin? No? Ask Demi Moore; she’s been there, done that! But there must be good reason for the former bombshell to try her hand at this seemingly morbid health therapy. We know she crossed the Pacific to get to the leeches, and further research led us to the fact that Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal science, also has a similar branch of healing. So, we checked in with alternative health practitioner, Ravi Kumar Kavungal of the Kottakkal Ayurvedic Centre, for more blood… err, juice, on the matter. “One of the ways bloodletting (or raktamoksha),is carried out in Ayurveda is ‘Jaloukavacharanam’; jalouka meaning leech and vacharanam referring to the process in Sanskrit.
Localised impurities and toxins, collected in certain areas of the body, can obstruct circulatory, repair and regenerative functions and may be obliterated with the help of some friendly leeches. Not just any leeches are used for the therapy, though. Ayurvedic sages source them from freshwater, and know how to differentiate between poisonous and non-poisonous ones.
The leeches have the ability to suck out only impure blood, putting their host on the fast track to healing and freedom from toxins, body pain and lethargy. Once fully fed, they fall off by themselves. Greedier ones can be made to detach with the application of turmeric or rock salt.
The Diva that does it – Gwyneth Paltrow
Compulsive wellness guinea pig Gwyneth Paltrow often makes news for her far-fetched health and beauty mantras, one of which is Apitherapy. It involves getting stung by bees (yes, you read that right), as bee venom helps with arthritis, multiple sclerosis and cervical cancer and is a natural alternative to antibiotics.
Paltrow says the procedure is painful (surprise, surprise), but she also claims some pretty amazing results. According to The American Apitherapy Society Inc. therapies involving the honeybee have existed for thousands of years and some may be as old as human medicine itself. History shows their use in ancient Egypt, Greece and China. The father of medicine, Hippocrates from Greece, extolled the healing virtues of bee venom for treating arthritis and other joint problems.
Apitherapy also involves the use of a combination of all the hive products mixed with other ingredients, specifically different essential oils, dependent on the condition being treated. Bee venom is fast becoming a beauty fix for the rich and famous. The venom tricks the skin into thinking it has been lightly stung, causing blood to rush into the area, thereby stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. The result? Skin that is fresher, younger and tighter immediately. Apparently, the venom can be harvested without harm to the bees.
The Geisha – Victoria Beckham has her face smeared with nightingale droppings for their anti-ageing qualities.
The Vampire – Kim K. gets her face punctured with a ‘dermapen’ and then injected with her own blood’s plasma to fill fine lines and wrinkles.
Placenta Mask – Jennifer Lopez swears by this secret weapon to look how she does at 47.
Snail Slime – This thick fluid, obtained by stimulating live snails, keeps Katie Holmes looking gorgeous.
The 24-Carat – Model Bar Refaeli covers up in liquid gold to brighten and tighten up.