Feb 26, 2022
MOST PEOPLE DON’T GO TO the spa to get shook. But maybe we should. During my first hour at Clinique La Prairie Aesthetics and Medical Spa, which opened last year in The St Regis Bangkok as the first outpost of the storied beauty and wellness brand outside of Switzerland, I learned so much about my body from a simple palm scan that I am going to cool it on any new health experts for a while until I can digest and implement all the intel the last one just told me.
Clinique La Prairie shares a floor with the St. Regis pool and gym and fittingly has aspirations of being treated as part of the luxury health club, with members who return not just for the gorgeous duplex changing rooms with aquatherapy pools but also for their ongoing personalized wellness programs. That might include a consultation or check-in with the staff nutritionist, Rachel Bullen, or a re-up appointment for your laser regimen or injectables from botox to plasma. Among its unique medical spa offerings, Clinique La Prairie Bangkok harnesses fun tech including electromagnetic pulses, cryolipolisis (extreme cold), radio frequency, ultrasound and thread lifting in its quest to shape and tone, obliterate fat, build collagen, spark metabolism, and sundry other benefits the straddle the beauty/health line. You can also get vaginal rejuvenation.
On my first visit, however, I did not.
Dr. Athip Nilkaeo, the consulting physician at Clinique La Prairie, conducted an oligoscan by holding a spectrophotometer for four points on my hand. The device sent my data to Switzerland and returned the results to my email within minutes.
There is a slew of indicators based on your body’s mineral content cross-referenced with height, weight and blood type. My indicators said I’m generally healthy… except for two major components. First of all, it seems I’m zinc deficient, and need to start taking supplements to strengthen my hair, nails and skin; boost immunity; protect against free radicals and block absorption of heavy metals.
Relatedly, four of six of the heavy metals whose toxicities are most harmful to the body – aluminum, arsenic, cadmium and lead (the other two are mercury and nickel) – registered in mine at concerning levels. According to Dr. Nilkaeo, these metals can have a negative effect on hormones, memory, mood, skin, sleep and rest, among other terrifying things.
Key takeaways for Jeninne:
Decrease sodium intake
Switch to organic and/or hydroponic fruits and veg
Don’t use aluminum foil
Do not drink “white rabbit” stomach elixir
Check the ingredients in deodorant
Audit the kitchen for metal content in utensils, ceramicware and all pots and pans including Teflon
Don’t keep receipts and try not to even touch them
Still processing all I’ve been doing wrong in my life, I followed the nurse to the room where I was scheduled for a laser photorejuvenation session on my face. Just in the nick of time – I mean, clearly I was at that moment in need of brow unfurrowing. Meant to create an even complexion, and reduce sunspots and unruly pigmentation, the laser treatment is performed by the doctor in a sunny room overlooking the verdant Royal Bangkok Sports Club.
It didn’t exactly hurt, more like tingled, but any sense of discomfort is offset by knowing you’re helping stop the clock a bit. (A few more sessions are recommended to see the full effects.)
Medical part done for the day, it was time to move to the spa, and ooo is Clinique La Prairie one of the coziest in Bangkok. After a chat with my therapist, we settled on a Cellular Perfect Purifying Protection treatment, described by the spa menu as “an antioxidant facial that purifies the pores while accelerating tissue oxygenation” that, after the conversation I’d just had with Dr. Nilkaeo, seemed purpose-built for me, since it’s tailored for skin exposed to free-radicals.
Ninety minutes swaddled in a heated bed, under a fluffy blanket, my face being cleansed and cradled and stroked and swathed in Clinique La Prairie’s signature Swiss Perfection products was enough to (temporarily) drive the heavy metal music from my head, and I emerged relaxed and glowing.
My slip of a mother, meanwhile, opted for a Cellular Firming Body Treatment. It’s a body wrap made with an algae compound to tighten and nourish the skin and boost collagen, chlorophyll and iodine are antioxidants to combat free-radical damage, and menthol cools and increases circulation. While she lay there soaking it all in, the therapist gave her a head, neck and shoulder massage. The goal is to renew and tone the silhouette, but anything that chills my mom out enough to slow the patter of her usual chatter is a wellness win in my book.
All photos courtesy of The St. Regis Bangkok.