Run down Weekender staff try out alternative health remedies

Infinity Nutrition

ECOQUEST INTERNATIONAL is a maker of fine quality patented air purifiers, top of the line nutritional supplements and skin care products used by many professional athletes, major sports teams and thousands of health professionals in the U.S. and other countries. It has recently chosen to launch itself into the Japanese market. Local fitness guru Jeff Libengood, trainer to many professional athletes and celebrities in Japan, has already put his stamp of approval on the products.

The nutrition line offered is quite unique in that it targets health at the cellular level. The products are holistic, obeying the laws of nature, and are the only supplements with a patented “cellular delivery system” that allows the body to absorb as much nutrition as it needs.

The skin care line is created from high-quality natural products created with extraordinary botanicals and essential nutrients that gently nourish the skin and create visible differences in the appearance and health of the skin. Its revolutionary patent-pending system Platoderm™, ensures optimum delivery of vital skin renewing nutrients and powerful anti-aging benefits directly to the skin cells resulting in truly vibrant, healthy looking and beautiful skin.

The patented air purifiers eliminate many odors, purify the air and assist with the debilitating hay fever problem in Japan. With air purifiers from the “Fresh Air” line such as “Fresh Air To Go™” and the “Fresh Air Buddy™”, users can now feel a lot better being in their homes or outside.

Korean Alternatives, Hanjyumaku and other Muck Treatments

OUR NEIGHBORS across the Sea of Japan are specialists on alternative health, although for them it’s more a way of life. Koreans are known for their beauty, and you can’t turn on the TV these days without seeing a gorgeous Korean celebrity flashing a million dollar smile and some perfect glowing skin. Despite being run down with a cold, I recently took a trip to Seoul to get in on some of the action.

A typical Korean-style spa includes a 90-minute course for approximately ¥8,000. This gets you time in the Hanjyunmaku style traditional sauna, where you get cooked literally from the inside out, really clearing out those clogged pores. Hanjyumaku is followed by the famous Korean Akasuri, which can be loosely translated to skin-grime cleaning. Akasuri involves a little old lady scrubbing your body down with all her strength, using a course sponge. Grime literally came off me in chunks.

After soaking in the Yomogi (sagebrush) bath, I was led to the massage area, where I received my final treatment: cupping, in which heated glass suction cups were attached to my back, sucking up all the bad blood to the surface. My aforementioned cold meant that I had a lot of bad blood, and I have to admit that this treatment was a little painful, but in a good, this-is-helping-me kind of way. Afterwards I had about 20 circular bruises on my back, but I have to admit that I did feel better. In fact, my cold was cured, Korean-style.

The good news is you don’t have to fly all the way to Seoul for a Korean spa treatment. The Ruby Palace in Shin Okubo (better known as Korea Town, call 03-5272-0080) and the Acura Acupuncture Clinic in Shibuya both offer Korean-style treatments.


Lomi Lomi Massage

ON AN early morning in March, when all of Tokyo was gorgeously covered with snow, I visited Ms. Yoko Iyogi’s Beagle House, only five minutes from Yukigaya-Otsuka station on the Ikegami line, for my first trial session of Lomi Lomi massage.

Being a certified massage therapist Ms. Iyogi practices a very beautiful and spiritual temple style of Lomi Lomi Nui Hawaiian massage that works like a dream and incorporates ancient healing techniques to cleanse and purify the inner and outer body on a spiritual level. The goal of the massage is not only to loosen up taut muscles, stretch the body and ease joint pain, but also to release tension and heal from stress, anger, anxiety, depression and related aches of the shoulders, neck and back. It is believed to give the recipient spiritual fulfillment and help patients achieve their hopes and dreams.

The session starts with the Piko Piko breathing method, and moves onto a holistic body treatment with oil massaged into both the back and front of the body, and closes with blessings of love, freedom, peace, inner strength and harmony.

Yoko also practices Hopi Ear Candles and lymphatic drainage massage that can be beneficial for throat, nose and ear complaints, as well as for the immune system. A wide variety of aromatherapy products and healing stone amulets can also be purchased at her house. She also has a large variety of Scottish honey & herb tea available.

I left my session feeling much warmer, relaxed and in tune with myself. Call 03-3728-1027 to make an appointment.


Neal’s Yard Remedies

NEAL’S YARD REMEDIES, originally based in the UK, runs a line of homeopathic, herbal and aromatherapy products in several shops around Japan, with its main shop in Omotesando. Neal’s Yard Remedies is a company focused on the sustainability of the environment in combination with the health and harmony of people and nature.

Its Omotesando shop, called the Green Building, was designed by Neal’s Yard with the environment in mind. It is made of recycled materials and regenerates some of its own electrical power from reserving water supplies from the rain. The Green Building houses Neal’s Yards full range of products and its Natural Therapy Centre, where a variety of massage and facial treatments are offered. Several classes are also held throughout the year on natural healing and nutrition. In the same building behind the shop is the Brown Rice Café, a delicious natural and whole foods café. Tel. 03-5778-3418, fax: 03-5778-3489.


Zen Massage Center

CONVENIENTLY located on a small street near the Grand Hyatt hotel in Roppongi Hills, this small shop is a restful haven in the middle of the city. Massage therapies such as the Lymphatic Drainage Massage, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage and Aromatic Healing Therapy services are available. In addition, other beauty services such as nail care and facials can be added to your massage treatment. Tel. 03-3401-7611 (reservations required)