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March 28, 2007

Red Algae, Blue Cream, White Heat

Laura visited the spa for the third time. This time, she underwent a treatment called the Ionithermie Cellulite Reduction Program, even though she has only microscopic quantities of cellulite which hardly require anything as drastic as Ionothermie, whatever it may be.

Here's how it went down. Laura identified the parts of her body parts designated for improvement and the therapist took a course brush and massaged these "cellulite areas" to "get the lymphatic system working." She followed this by applying a blue cream to Laura's back and front, then mixed some water into a bowl of powdered clay and added a secret ingredient: red algae. The algae-infused clay was spread over a mat, and a layer of electrodes was laid on top, like M&Ms on a birthday cake. Laura was instructed to recline on the clay-algae-electrode mat, and then another layer of electrodes  and algae-clay were applied to her front, so that she was, effectively, mummified in the stuff.

Here's the thinking on cellulite, at least the thinking promulgated by cruise ship spas: Cellulite is fat encased in toxins. No matter how much you diet and work out, you just can't get rid of the stuff thanks to these toxins. But if you blast them with electricity and subject them to high doses of clay, blue cream and red algae, the toxins "break up," liberating the trapped fat and allowing it to be reabsorbed by the body.

Laura's waist and thighs were measured before the treatment, and they were measured again afterwards. According to the spa therapist, she lost a total of four inches. One inch on each thigh, and an inch each on her upper hip and her lower hip. Unfortunately, Laura neglected to look at the tape herself while the measurements were being taken. For this reason, she will not be pursuing a career as an investigative reporter.

(My question is, where did the fat go, not that she had any to begin with. If it's reabsorbed, then she would have had to have gained four inches somewhere. On her fingers? Her nose? The law of the conservation of matter applies even in spas, I fear.)

The red algae treatment, supposedly, is patented. But before everyone runs out to their local mangrove swamp and starts harvesting the stuff, a word of warning: You will recall the sad tale of my tropical marine aquarium I shared several posts ago. Well, before that butterfly fish came down with ick, the aquarium had, for several weeks, been slowly overrun with...red algae. For this reason, I've never seen red algae as anything other than an agent of death. Come to think of it, though, none of my pet fish ever had much in the way of excess cellulite. They may have died, but at least they died skinny.

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