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.

Everything You Need to Know About LED Light Therapy

One yellow light bulb standing out against 5 other pink light bulbs

Light-emitting diode therapy (or LED for short) is nothing new. Having long been used in professional treatments, the benefits of LED for acne-prone, rosacea-ridden, discoloured, dull and ageing skin come with regular use. While this might deliver great results, it has previously been a costly and time-consuming approach in the pursuit for healthy skin.

And thus, the emergence of at-home skincare devices, led by LED treatments in the form of targeted on-the-spot gadgets and full face masks, are becoming popular for consumers who want to maintain the results of in-clinic treatments and the efficacy of carefully curated skincare routines. According to global market researcher Mintel, 41% of beauty consumers use skincare devices to prolong the effects of professional treatments. With better access to information, technological advancements and more transparency from brands, high-performance products are no longer exclusively available in costly facials and specialist clinics. Plus, LED light treatments are the most pain-free facial you can have, with no tingling, side effects or downtime needed. What more could you want?

Here are all your questions about LED light therapy answered:

What are the benefits of LED for the skin?

“LED light emits therapeutic wavelengths of light energy to energise cells,” explains Laura Ferguson and Hannah Measures, co-founders of The Light Salon. In doing so, the light energy stimulates the production of collagen, elastin and antioxidants while improving blood and lymphatic circulation. It’s a treatment that is suitable for all skin types and is designed to be used after cleansing and exfoliating, followed by your serums and moisturiser.

How many different types of LED lights are there and what is the difference between them?

“Different light spectrum penetrates the skin in different depths and has different effects. Red and blue LED light therapy combat numerous issues, including but not limited to, dullness, fine lines and wrinkles, inflammation, redness and swelling. They replenish dermal and epidermal cells, stimulate the natural production of collagen and elastin and speed up the recovery process,” explains Dr Dennis Gross, dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon and founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Dermatology.

Near-infrared light is another option, suiting inflamed skin best as it stimulates the skin’s healing and regeneration process by delivering nutrients and oxygen to problem areas, leaving you with strengthened and brightened skin. If acne is a concern, Ferguson and Measures recommend red light as it has an antiseptic effect on blemishes and reduces inflammation and painful swelling within the spot to help speed up the healing of the area. Impressively, when used together near-infrared and red light are clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

What’s the difference between an LED treatment in a clinic and an at home device?

At-home devices don’t have the power of the professional machines used in LED light therapy treatments, but Ferguson and Measures explain that if you use an LED light mask three times a week over a four week period, it delivers the equivalent cumulative dose of light as one salon treatment, if you went once a week for the same period. “Results are instant and long-term and because LED light therapy works on a cellular level, so you leave with a glow, which becomes more pronounced with each treatment. Think of it in terms of a workout – going once is better than not going at all, but if you make an effort to stick to regular sessions, you’ll get great cumulative benefits.”