Pressotherapy

Odd Bal Creature Humanoid on Planet Greyscale

I love treatments.  Not all treatments, but a selected few. Rarely do they have anything to do with VH or the work that I do, but on a recent research (promise I was working) trip to Hong Kong (before Coronavirus), I was a virtual resident in the fabulous spa at The Four Seasons.  Shabir is convinced that I spent most of my life-savings on those treatments, but the thing is that I rarely have time for treatments when I’m here, so I become a demented treatment spa-being when travelling.

It is well-known amongst my friends that I’d far rather have an early evening treatment and retire to my room with room service.  I’m done with restaurant hopping.  I don’t need to be ‘seen’, in fact I’d rather not be seen.  I spend most of my life hiding behind the newsletter and sunglasses.  I like it that way.

Anyway, back to treatments and I have been seduced so many times by words describing treatments, which just don’t live up to promise.  I’ve done most things, non-invasive I need to add.  I’ve rested my body on amethyst crystals, I’ve been gonged out of my brain and have rolled in mud.  I have walked over hot coals, steamed to oblivion and on.  I am super-critical and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve jumped off a treatment bed in the midst of a full-blown panic attack because the ‘energies’ are all wrong.

Of course there is a balance and for each disappointing, over-egged treatment, there are the fabulous ones.  A session with Anastasia Achilleos has such a deep far-reaching effect, I deliberately don’t drive when I see her because I’m too far ‘gone’ when I emerge.  When the amazing Ross Barr sticks a needle in my head and tells me it’s the ‘Heaven and Earth’ acupuncture point, I float and then send a series of emails begging for more.  Lest he should elevate me to the top of his impossible wait list. (This acknowledgement may further that cause – hello Ross – waving – blowing kisses – doing somersaults!).

It would be remiss of me not to write about Light Therapy because, as each of you know, I am such a strong believer.  It goes way past being just another beauty treatment; it is so much more, encompassing skin, health and wellbeing, which would explain the devotion I/we have to the Boost At-Home Treatment Mask, and now the stupendous Bib, the all-singing-all-dancing-at-home treatment that targets our necks and décolletage.

And then serendipity. I went to my hairdresser, Daniel at Hershesons. I couldn’t see out of my fringe.  Albeit that he has cut my hair since I was a teenager, I dance a dance of extraordinary happiness when I go to Berners Street, mostly because of all the treatments you can have there now.  This is where I had my first Light Salon treatment and the rest is history.

At this point, if I may, a call-out to Claire who does my colour, basically because she is amazing and madness descends upon us when we are together, but I diversify because I was talking about serendipity and as I walked into Hershesons, there they were.  Hannah Measures and Laura Ferguson, aka The Light Salon girls.  Serendipity indeed as it transpired.

I believe that everything in life is about journeys and relationships. If we take that back to the core, the whole ethos of The Light Salon is about the journey and in a sense we are only at the beginning.  The vision is such that having established themselves with their Facial Bar treatments, they are now establishing The Light Salon Skin, Health and Wellbeing rooms.  Such things sing to me.  As does Pressotherapy.

It went like this. Having discovered that Hannah and Laura both cite Pressotherapy as their favourite body treatment at the moment, the next thing I knew was that I had been scheduled for Pressotherapy that very afternoon, at which point I turned my phone off and went on the missing list.  Always a good thing.

So exactly what is Pressotherapy.  It is described as a treatment for the body and mind, allowing you to pause, repair and reset the body.  Keeping your clothes on, you are helped into the Pressotherapy trousers, which are yanked up over your stomach.  Creating waves of gentle (and not so gentle) compression, it helps ramp up the circulatory system, boosting blood circulation and helping to reduce fluid retention and puffiness.  That’s me.  Water retention and puffiness.

The Lymphatic System doesn’t have a pump, so it depends on muscle contraction and manual manipulation to move fluid, which is fine with me because my kind of exercise is letting somebody else do it for me.  That aside it also helps take down cortisol levels (the stress hormone).  Knowing that, I started to dream of the impossible – daily sessions.

Anyway, anyway, having wriggled into the Pressotherapy trousers, the switch was flicked on and pockets of compressed air tightly gripped my legs from the ankle and moved up and down my body.  The pressure is carefully measured and apparently it peaks at 80.  Does anybody get to 80, I asked.  Well yes, I was told by Sofia the therapist, one of my colleagues, but she’s the only one.  At this stage I was on 70.  Dial it up please (as my competitive gene kicked in), so she did, I managed three minutes at 73 and when I started hallucinating about morphing into the Michelin Man, we took it back down to 70.  The machine had defeated me and my gene.

So look, the thing is that the efficacy of the treatment doesn’t depend on higher pressure and there are apparently many settings for many different things.  ‘Fit In A Dress’ (aka fit in your jeans) is one of them.  Of course this isn’t going to happen after one treatment, but two treatments a week for three weeks should do it apparently.  And then there’s water retention, once a week would be good.

The bottom line here is that I really did feel different after the treatment.  I felt lighter and my puffy computer eyes had been banished somewhere in the process.  This treatment is clinically proven, but it gets even better because Pressotherapy is accompanied by a double dose of LED, body and face ending with a head, neck and shoulder massage.  Super brilliant when you’ve just had your hair done, but I didn’t care.  This is what I call wellbeing and I want more.

Weirdly, or otherwise, I told Shabir a few days before this happening that I wanted to write more and that I would write random articles outside of the newsletter and the addicts bulletin.  And now this, with love and gratitude to Hannah and Laura for allowing me to play with their treatments and, unknowingly, giving me fodder for the random.

In full transparency, the girls didn’t ask me to write this, I decided I wanted to write about it and so I have.  It follows my strong ethos of sharing fabulous things just because I can and there are no pound (or dollar) signs attached.  London-centric, yes for the moment, but there are plans for a UK nationwide roll-out in time.

The VH platform is for dancing on.  And so we dance.
With sunglasses on.

London’s most influential people 2019

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The Progress 1000: London’s most influential people 2019 – Health & Education: Health & Wellness

 

Gill Sinclair Co-founder of online wellness retailer Victoria Health 

A global beauty magpie for her innate ability to discover the best in wellness and beauty from across the globe, Sinclair was one of the first to get online with her wellness and beauty e-tailer Victoria Health. Co-founded in 1999 with pharmacist Shabir Daya, Victoria Health has a huge online community with a monthly newsletter reaching over 350k fans and this autumn sees the unveiling of a new section, VH Living.

VH Eats – Cooking

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‘A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness’ – Elsa Schiaparelli

A couple of years ago, I released a section on our site called VH Eats, and as we are entering an ‘entertaining season’, I am re-publishing some of the recipes that we shared at that time. Some of them came from you and some of them are my personal favourites.

Below is an abridged version of what I wrote at the time and today the fascination still holds. I recently made dinner for 50 people, with a friend, and we had the best fun; it was a throwback to my pre-VH days and there is nothing greater than sharing, as I so often write in the newsletter. For sure, I could still entertain 50 people and buy it all in, but it isn’t the same. Read More…

Swimwear Through The Ages

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Early bathing costumes had more to do with modesty than with looks or function and although Victorian women wore bathing costumes at the beach, a woman could not certainly swim in one comfortably. The swimsuit as a fashionable garment that provides enough freedom of movement to be worn in the water is a 20th century conception.

Ten thousand year old Neolithic pictographs depict humans in poses as if they are swimming. Ancient Babylonian and Assyrian wall art suggests swimming, as does an ancient Egyptian clay tablet. Written references to swimming in ancient times occur in Gilgamesh, the Iliad and the Odyssey and The Bible mentions swimming several times. Ancient Rome offered public bath houses for hygienic purposes, but the practice died out after the fall of Rome.

The Middle Ages saw a time when the Church set stringent dress codes that demanded modesty and Europeans shied away from water, however by the late 1600’s, health enthusiasts came to believe that immersion into mineral baths and natural springs was therapeutic. Read More…

Gill meets Soapsmith

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When was Soapsmith founded and what was your first ever product?

Soapsmith was founded in 2010 but did not start selling until 2012 when we launched in Harrods. We wanted to get the products and the scents absolutely right before launching. Our first product was (not surprisingly) handmade cold process soap made with Shea butter, Cocoa butter, other natural oils such as Olive and Coconut oil. It is soap made the way it was made hundreds of years ago – I love the old artisan way of doing things. The problem is this traditional cold process method produces heat as part of its natural chemical reaction, so it took us ages to come up with scents which stayed strong and true and were not burnt off in the process. With us, the quality and lastability of the scent is something we will never compromise.

What is your background?

Corporate events and Chocolate Fountains. I’ve done events for the likes of Clarins, FCUK, the BBC. Read More…

Gill meets Julie Elliott

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When was In Fiore founded and what was your first ever product?

In Fiore was founded in 1999. Our first ever product was the body balm. I started blending oils and perfecting our trademark formulation in the mid 90’s. When I finally felt I had arrived at that “this is it” moment I decided it was time to launch my creations. There was nothing like our balms on the market at that time and they quickly developed a cult following.

What is your background?

I delved into oils and blending at a young age. My mother worked for a company in Los Angeles that imported French cosmetics so our cabinets were always brimming with perfumes, tonics, creams, and potions. I was enamored with scent and naturally curious so I started playing with all the textures and applications, re-blending, and making an all-out mess of things. This set the tone, and for the better part of 30 years I’ve been studying various healing modalities including aromatherapy, doctrine of signatures, Ayurveda, homeopathy, flower essences, anthroposophical science, plant alchemy, and energy medicine. Read More…