HEAD OVER HEALS

The ‘ther­apy’ in beauty ther­apy has taken on a whole new mean­ing — and we’ve fallen hard

Fashion Quarterly - - Beauty -

It’s no se­cret that we’re all a lit­tle stressed out. What with the bouts of burnout, rush­ing woman syn­drome and now ur­ban woman syn­drome, we need all the help we can get. Hap­pily, the beauty in­dus­try has re­sponded, of­fer­ing prod­ucts and treat­ments that are not just good for your body, but also your soul.

Al­though most of us visit spas and sa­lons to im­prove our ap­pear­ance or sim­ply relax, the new breed of treat­ments prom­ise more, from fa­cials that dou­ble as in­tu­itive heal­ing, to crys­tal ther­apy that clears your skin while re­bal­anc­ing your mind. But do they re­ally work?

Rosen­thal Skin­care fa­cial­ist Michelle Cook, who takes a holis­tic ap­proach to skin­care and well­be­ing, thinks so. “Modern women have busy life­styles, and with that comes a level of stress that we of­ten hold as ten­sion in our bod­ies,” she says. “One ef­fect of hold­ing this ten­sion in our face is that it ages us. Gen­tle re­lease of this ten­sion re­laxes the mind and body and re­ju­ve­nates our en­ergy and our skin.”

In her fa­cials, Auck­land-based Michelle fo­cuses on gen­tly ac­ti­vat­ing the merid­ian path­ways of the face and head, which are linked to en­ergy path­ways that flow through­out the body — all with­out us­ing a drop of prod­uct. “Prod­uct can be in­cluded on re­quest, but the essence of the fa­cial lies in the bal­anc­ing of en­ergy and the re­lease of ten­sion, which al­lows the body to heal and re­ju­ve­nate at a cel­lu­lar level. This in­cludes the in­creased pro­duc­tion of col­la­gen in the face. It’s work­ing with the body’s nat­u­ral abil­ity to heal it­self, rather than depend­ing on an ex­ter­nal prod­uct.”

The re­sult? “With the re­lease of ten­sion, clients no­tice that their face ap­pears lifted, with en­hanced def­i­ni­tion across the jaw and cheek­bones. Lines are smoothed and their skin is toned and glows.” Michelle’s clients have also re­ported a deep sense of re­lax­ation and im­proved sleep.

Peo­ple have been har­ness­ing the en­ergy of crys­tals for cen­turies — ru­mour has it even Vic­to­ria Beck­ham car­ries black ob­sid­ian (said to pro­mote pos­i­tive think­ing) in her hand­bag — and now beauty ther­apy is get­ting in on the act. Holis­tic fa­cial­ist Romy Burgess of Auck­land’s

The Beauty Elixir spe­cialises in crys­tal and chakra fa­cials. In her sig­na­ture Med­i­ta­tion fa­cial, she uses crys­tals to bal­ance the body’s en­er­gies, along with guided med­i­ta­tion that works on phys­i­cal, men­tal, emo­tion and spir­i­tual lev­els.

“Each crys­tal has its own vi­bra­tion and en­er­getic qual­i­ties, which your body can tune into,” she says. “This tun­ing in can bring bal­ance, calm and stress re­lief. Depend­ing on the crys­tal, they can en­er­gise you, up­lift you, or pro­mote self-love or love for oth­ers.”

Romy uses a va­ri­ety of crys­tals, but for phys­i­cal im­prove­ments to the skin she says onyx and clear quartz are great to help calm in­flamed acne and red­ness. When it comes to well­be­ing, her favourites are amethyst

(to soothe the ner­vous sys­tem), green cal­cite (to bring bal­ance) and rose quartz (to pro­mote self-love.)

For an in­dus­try that’s of­ten la­belled su­per­fi­cial and friv­o­lous, these new treat­ments and prod­ucts are proof of just how pow­er­ful beauty ther­apy can be. And in to­day’s world, where we’re al­ways hur­ry­ing from one thing to the next, it makes sense to com­bine our en­deav­ours to look good with try­ing to feel good too.

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