Tweak of the Week is Citizen Femme’s tried-and-tested beauty treatment review series, covering the CF team’s favourite recommendations for facials, massages, aesthetics, and everything in between.
For this week’s review, beauty editor Becki Murray visited Remedi London, an aesthetics clinic in London’s Nine Elms, which aims to care as much for your mind as it does for your skin.
The treatment that really caught our attention was Rebalance Impulse – a completely hands-free, light and sound-based therapy that uses cognitive ‘brain training’ to help reduce chronic stress, lift your mood, and boost your immune system in just 45 minutes. Those are some big claims so, as the colder weather approaches and the ‘winter blues’ threaten to arrive, we wanted to see whether the intriguing concept could message up. Read on for the full lowdown.
What is Remedi London?
While many aesthetics clinics focus solely on treating your skin, Remedi London – founded by the aesthetic doctor Dr. Nima Mahmoodi and the integrated medicine practitioner Yasmin Shirazi – aims to go deeper into your psyche. So, when an individual arrives in the tranquil lobby, a consultation involves not only identifying your skin or body concerns, but also the mental and spiritual needs that are often intertwined with them.
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If that sounds a little ‘alternative’ for you – believe us, there’s a whole lot of science to unpick too. In fact, the clinic – which has some of London’s discerning tastemasters on its top-secret client list – is a driving force behind a leading beauty industry trend: biohacking. With therapies and aesthetic treatments working together to ‘turn back the clock’ on ageing, both where you can see it (your face and body), and on a cellular level, Remedi offers a whole range of personalised programmes to help you look and feel more energised. That includes infrared sauna treatments, mindfulness classes, yoga, sound therapy, vitamin infusions and aesthetic procedures, such as ‘Botox’ and skin rejuvenating lasers.
Why is Rebalance Impulse at Remedi London exciting?
There’s no denying that we – and women especially – are facing a mental health crisis on a global scale right now, with burnout, anxiety and chronic stress at all time highs. At the severe end of the spectrum, the focus has to be on providing better access to medical treatment, medication and support, but the wellbeing sector is making strides forward too. Specifically, it’s focusing on ‘prevention’ – aka the techniques and treatments that help us manage our stress before it overwhelms. That can be easier said then done though, especially when we all live busy lives, and traditional techniques such as yoga and silent meditation can feel like extra work, rather than a solution.
That’s where Rebalance Impulse is designed to come in as a helping hand. The therapy involves lying down on a padded lounger wearing headphones, with a light display installation above your head. Then, instead of relying on one technique, the 30-45 minute experience combines breathing exercises, sound therapy, full body chromotherapy (light therapy), guided meditation and cardiac coherence techniques. The aim is to retrain your brain and physically get your body to control your breathing, slow your heart rate, decrease your cortisol levels, and steady your mind.
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The result is relaxing, but it can also improved sleep, eliminate brain fog, and decrease stress-based inflammation, leading to improvements in your overall health and skin too – especially after multiple sessions. Another big benefit is that it is designed to be added onto the beginning or end of other aesthetic treatments – such as a skin-boosting facial – so you can maximise your time as well as your results. In fact, Dr. Nima likes to pop his patients into the pod while their numbing cream gets to work pre-laser, as it’s really effective at keeping inflammation at bay.
Tried and tested: what is having the treatment like?
I’m one of those stereotypical people who tends to struggle to relax, and with a busy, and often fast-changing, schedule, I don’t always get enough sleep, so a certain degree of stress kicks in. Walking into Remedi London is an antidote for that. The super-friendly staff put you immediately at ease and the surroundings are testament to the scientific-edge the clinic is bringing to wellness.
You’ll find Rebalance Impulse nestled into its own small (but not cramped) treatment room, and the device itself is comprised of a large, padded lounger (complete with comfy pillow), which is specifically designed to support your body in a state akin to weightlessness. Attached to it is a curved light installation in a starlike-shape, which hangs over your head once you lie down. The sides are open though, so you don’t feel shut-in. After running you through how the device works, your therapist will ask you which of the protocols you’d like to experience. It’s based on mood, so you can choose between sessions focusing on stress, insomnia, burnout, and general wellbeing. Once you are comfortable, you’ll be handed some padded headphones and then the session begins.
Soothing yet not totally soporific sounds will fill your ears, as the lights of the machine change through the colours of the rainbow above you, in ever-changing patterns. At times they also act as a visual cue to match the breathing techniques and visualisation scenarios you are guided through by the American voice through your headphones. By keeping your eyes open – which allows you to get the most out of the light therapy – there’s an almost hypnotic effect within minutes, but we also wouldn’t blame you if the experience lulled you into a half-sleep. Luckily, the device is designed to help guide you if you lose your way too, for example if you lose your breathing rhythm, taking some of the stress away from ‘getting it right’ first time.
To be honest, I was worried I might get a bit bored or frustrated as I tend to be ‘bad’ at breathing exercises, but my 30 minute experience sped by, and my breathing felt calmer and more regular by the end. (That’s even with some ‘mistakes’ along the way). A lot of treatments claim to have you ‘floating like a cloud’ afterwards, but that’s an accurate way of describing the effect of this one. It certainly didn’t make me forget all of my stresses, but it was the perfect opportunity to recharge my mental batteries.
What is the aftercare advice?
There really isn’t any – just avoid rushing back to a busy schedule straight afterwards, so that you can feel the maximum benefit of the mind-soothing treatment for as long as possible. In fact, we’d recommend that you book in at the end of the day, so you can go home and relax, rather than heading back to the office or any social plans. You can also use the breathing techniques that you have tried in the days and weeks that follow your treatment. For example, to avoid the red mist descending when on public transport.
Who is Rebalance Impulse suitable for?
As the treatment is predominantly light-based, it isn’t suitable for anyone with light sensitive epilepsy or other sensory disorders. You’ll also need to be able to manoeuvre yourself onto the lounger, which is elevated off the floor, but you can stay in the clothing you are wearing and it isn’t enclosed so it shouldn’t trigger feelings of claustrophobia.
How many treatments do you need?
It really depends on the reason you want to try it. One treatment acts like a mental reset – the perfect tonic for a particularly stressful week of work, or before a much-deserved holiday. But, if you are struggling with more chronic concerns, such as poor sleep and brain fog, you might want to book in for a few sessions (perhaps at the same time as a relaxing facial) to really see the benefits.
Why is Rebalance Impulse at Remedi London ‘Tweak of the Week’ worthy?
Combining the science of light and sound therapy, meditation and breathwork, while also giving you the perfect excuse to simply lie back and relax, Rebalance Impulse adds a high-tech edge to your traditional wellness experience. On its own, it’s perfect for anyone who needs a helping hand to unwind, but it really comes into its own when paired with any treatment you traditionally like to have when you start to feel a little burnt out or overwhelmed. In fact, give it a try before your next aromatherapy massage or facial, especially if you tend to spend the first half of any treatment struggling to switch your brain off. You’ll be surprised how much it might change your experience.
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