A real shock to the system

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I wasn’t entirely sure what was in store for me when I arranged to take a cruise designed to improve by fitness and well-being, to put right years of unhealthy eating and to kick-start an exercise regime which has been ignored for far too long.
But the last thing I expected was to find Charlize Theron’s younger sister attaching me to electrodes, plugging me into the mains, and sending muscle-twingeing spasms through my body. Sounds like the plot from a Hollywood blockbuster (apart from my participation, that is).
The shock treatment goes under the name of Ionithermie, and is one of the battery (sorry!) of treatments offered in the Steiner-operated AquaSpa on Celebrity Silhouette.
It claims to firm and tone the body, and to help release the trapped fluids that result in cellulite – obviously not a problem for me. My aim is to reduce the paunch (all right, beer belly) that threatens to make it impossible for me to squeeze into even the largest-waisted trousers available from a well-known High Street retailer.
You know the place – these are not just any trousers, they’re Collezione trousers. And if I can’t buy them any more, where can I turn to do my shopping?
So here I am, in a treatment room with two of the biggest picture windows ever, just about squeezed into another pair of those paper pants, but with all modesty abandoned. Good job we’re at sea, you never know who might be watching.
I stand in front of a mirror while Yselle takes a series of measurements around five different parts of my waist. It’s not a pretty sight; even I have to avert my gaze. And even I never thought it would be possible to measure my waist in five places!
Numbers noted (and kept strictly between us) she applies various oils and extracts to my skin and sets about mixing a bowl of warm blue goo, which she then spreads across what looks like a baby-changing mat on the treatment table, as if she were icing a cake. (Stop thinking about cakes!)
Two electrodes are stuck in place, and then I clamber aboard while she spreads more goo on a cloth over my stomach – there is just about enough to obtain adequate coverage – and applies three more electrodes.
Then Yselle turns on the power and gradually starts to crank it up. A firm tingling sensation grips my back and stomach; it’s not painful and it’s not altogether unpleasant, and if it’s going to do me good, I’m prepared to endure it for half an hour or so.
There’s no chance to lie back, grit my teeth and contemplate the changes being wrought to my midriff. Yselle is ready with a lecture about the unhealthy fats and unnecessary water stored in my body, and how Ionithermie would help restore a healthy balance. I think that’s what she was talking about, anyway. It was difficult to concentrate.
Lecture over and electricity switched off, I swing my legs off the table and stand in front of the mirror again for a second set of measurements to be taken.
Result? A total of four inches lost from the five parameters measured. Disappointingly, the one described as “natural waist” was reduced by only half an inch – it shows just how much work I’ll have to do.
Never mind, I’ll be back for a second session in a couple of days, and my work-outs in the gym will give added impetus to the inch-loss.
My dreams about Yselle being Charlize’s sister are shattered, though. She may share the same surname, and her reaction to the inevitable and oft-repeated question “Are you, by any chance . . .?” might well be to claim that she’s the pretty one in the family, but she confesses they are not related.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:48+00:00 11 June 2012|Cruise fitness, Cruise fun|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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