A unique beauty treatment…
There are some unusual beauty treatments out there. You can have your hair conditioned with bull's semen; there are sheep placenta facials and skin-improving beer baths. Now, there's a pelvic floor-tightening facial, too.
We all know we should do Kegel exercises to strengthen our pelvic floor muscles. Sex and the City's Samantha Jones taught us that life lesson, right? The official guideline is that the exercises should be done three times a week. But who has the time?
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It's more important than you might think, though. If these muscles become weak - pregnancy, birth, menopause and high impact exercise (we knew we didn't like running for a reason) are all causes of this - women can experience incontinence. Not good.
If the prospect of adult diapers isn't enough to get you clenching and toning, you should also know that the stronger these muscles are the better sex is likely to be. Orgasms are said to be much more intense. Sold.
The facial-pelvic floor treatment is called Innovotherapy. And the idea is simple. You strap a sort of cycle short-like garment around each leg. It has sticky pads inside which will stick to your bum and upper thighs. You connect this to the handheld control and you're away.
The Innovotherapy sends targeted impulses to activate your pelvic floor muscles - so your muscles contract. All while you lie back and have a 30 minute facial.
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What does it feel like?
The intensity of the pulses are on a scale from 1 to 120, which you can control with the handheld device. By the end of the half hour I managed to get up to 60 and it was intense. I could mostly feel it in my bum muscles (I was assured this is normal) and as the power of the pulses increased my whole lower body contracted and tensed. Weird.
Around the area of my pelvic floor was a dull ache. Like very mild period pains. I could feel tingling on my thighs. Not at all an unpleasant experience. Like I said, just a bit weird.
The facial itself was lovely, though it was a little hard to fully relax with all that was going on down below.
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Chelsea Day Spa, Hollywood Road, London. Throughout September.
Innovotherapy, plus Sensorial Revival facial (30mins), £55.
Just buying the machine on its own costs £249.
The Innovo device is the only one of its kind in existence. It's medically proven to work and is available on the French equivalent of the NHS (Couverture Maladie Universelle, or CMU). So it's definitely effective.
To get the best results, it's recommended people use the machine five times per week for 12 weeks. Each session lasts 30 minutes. I've only had the one session so far, and as I don't have a pre-existing problem, it's hard to quantify if the treatment has worked. But, I will say this, my bum and legs ached for two days afterwards, as if I'd done a major workout. If it's done that to my outsides, things are looking promising for my insides.