Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Treats not treatments!

After a cluster of curveballs at work left me with some niggly pain in my neck and shoulders, I decided it was time to treat myself, and made an appointment at the beauty therapist for a relaxing facial and massage. 

A young girl greeted me at the desk and ushered me through to a room with instructions to disrobe and lie on the bed under the big towels.  She was back a few minutes later, pulls a chair up to the table, produces a clipboard and pen and asks me:
With the right combination of products,
you too could be this content!

“So Claire, how do you feel about your skin?”

The question took me by surprise.  How DO I feel about my skin?  Of course, I am grateful for it.  I am glad I have it… what is she getting at here? 

“Umm…  Good?”

She looks at me intently – evidently, that was the WRONG ANSWER.  She tries again…

“What issues do you have with your skin?”

“None really, I think my skin is fine.”

 Why is she making this difficult?  Enough talky talky, more rubby rubby!!

“So what skin problems would you like me to address today?”

ARGH!  All I want to do is lie here and bliss out for a couple of hours while you rub several different kinds of goop and put warm towels on me.  That’s it.  Big words and problem solving are a couple of the things I had hoped to escape for a while by coming here,   so can we please just get started?

“ Well I booked in for a relaxing facial and massage......”

She must have thought I was one tough cookie…

“OK well let’s cleanse and then we’ll take a closer look…”

So it turns out I have a pimple and some un damage.  I don’t see these as problems that need to be rectified - I see them as part of enjoying life!  Sometimes I eat chocolate and sometimes I spend entire days in the sun and I if it gives me pimples and sun damage, I am fine with that!  In fact, life would be pretty shit without chocolate and sunshine, even if I did have flawless skin! 

The girl did a great job and I got to bliss out for a while and left the salon feeling wonderful. 

But the experience got me thinking – why are they trying to make problems out of our natural conditions?   I almost felt like I should have problems, or that the lack of a problem was a problem in itself!  And it’s not just about skincare or women -  Ads on the radio tell me that balding is now a medical issue, and in the States, there is a medication to "treat" shyness.  Wikipedia says “Therapy is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis. In the medical field, it is synonymous with the word "treatment".    
Pimples are not a health problem, shyness is not a health problem.. Cancer is a health problem!  In our effort to recognise optimal body-mind wellbeing, are we creating more problems than we are solving?   Shouldn’t we sort out the real problems first before we start making up new ones?


Heather W said...

Right on Claire!!

Jhovaan Reinds said...

"Less talky talky, more rubby rubby!!" You crack me up. Hey man, there's serious money to be made by making people feel less than 100% in any respect. All you need to do is look at the 'Natural Health' section of the supermarket - women's mutli, stress supplement, joint support, fish oil (snake oil, more like!!)...imagine what the body could do if no one ever told you there was something wrong with it....great post.