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Fri, Jan 08, 2010
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Full body detox for the new year
by MaryAnn Soh

I developed a couple of unhealthy habits in 2009 that I am far from being proud of. When I started having breakouts on my back, I knew the unspeakable amount of late nights, unhealthy eating habits and a progressive lack of exercise had taken a toll on my body.

Since it is the start of the year and I haven’t yet waned from my New Year’s resolution of leading a healthier lifestyle, I thought it's my best excuse to go for a full body detoxification to flush out all the accumulated toxins that have been wrecking havoc in me.

Health spa outlet, Leonard Drake, had introduced the Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) treatment to Singapore. I had always been curious what the treatment would do for me after finding out about the new treatment since its launch last quarter.

It claims to be the first treatment in Singapore to prevent oxidative damage to cells. What that means is, the ORP treatment neutralises free radicals, with the help of a combination of negative ions, hyperthermia (controlled use of heat), far infra red and electrolytes, thereby eliminating toxins from the body.

When I arrived at the Leonard Drake outlet at West Coast Plaza, I had to spend five to ten minutes filling up a detailed survey form which serves to map out whether I was suitable for the treatment based on health and beauty related questions.

After I was given the all-clear, I was led into one of the private rooms to get showered and changed out of my clothes. But the treatment is not just for people without any major ailments, I was delighted to discover that the ORP treatment is also suitable for those with health issues such mild diabetes, gastric, obesity and even water retention.

After a day of work, you can image being able to wind down with a hot shower was such a treat. I was given a comfortable robe to put on and a locker to store my belongings before I was shown to the ORP Energy Chamber.

The treatment involves sitting in a large porcelain chamber which was lined with high temperature volcanic stones. As I entered the room, I was given careful instructions by my therapist on how to climb into the chamber. I had to be very careful not to allow my bare skin touch the heated walls of the chamber as I sat down.

As I got comfortable, my therapist turned up the temperature of chamber and placed two small towels over the opening of the tub to retain the heat within. She did, however, give me the option to lift the towels every now and them to let heat out should it get to unbearably hot in there. Or I could just reach out for a nearby lever to cut all power to the chamber to kill the heat. My therapist then left me to enjoy my experience, assuring me that she would check on me every 10-15 minutes.

I closed my eyes and eased up to allow the heat to burn off the waste matter from my body. Apparently, up to 600 calories get burnt per treatment.

In just minutes, my skin grew slippery, with perspiration seemingly oozing out from every pore. Thankfully, the heat was cut at intervals whenever the thermostat hit 42 degrees Celsius, so it was still manageable and relatively comfortable for me.

You might wonder, how is this different from the sauna? Being in an enclosed chamber, the negative ions generated for reducing free radical formation is much more concentrated. I was told that the chamber provides up to 20,000 negative ions per treatment. Well not to mention, you don't get the burnt smell in this case; everything is clean and hygienic. Also, another thing that I liked about it was that I had my personal space and did not have to share the experience with strangers.

The treatment took 30 minutes and by then, you bet I was soaked through. Inner sweating definitely took place, but whether or not, the treatment did the job of detoxifying my body, there is really no way to tangibly tell or measure how effective it is, if you ask me.

But don't go thinking that more is better. I definitely did not want to be sitting in that chamber, knees tucked, for even a minute longer. Frankly, the 30-minute session was more than enough for me. For a lazy-spined person like me, it was strenuous having to keep my back upright most of the time. Remember, the inner walls of the chamber were volcanic hot? There was no way I could lean my back on anything.

Even though I came out with sore knees (I have a history of knee injuries from my younger, sportier days) and a tired back, I think the treatment did more for my soul and mind. I do remember leaving the salon with a little bounce to my feet, and feeling a little more refreshed, light-hearted. Perhaps, if you suffer from chronic tiredness, joints and muscular pains, this treatment might be suitable for you.

The ORP Treatment is available exclusively at the Leonard Drake Skincare & Health Spa, West Coast Plaza, #02-14 (T: 6777-9618). ORP Chamber Immersion is priced at $120 per session.


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