What happens in The Bewei Lounge?
There’s not a lot I won’t try when it comes to new innovations in health and beauty. Fabulous cream that mimics the effect of laser treatment – I’m all over it. Vampire facial – where do I sign up? Treatment that removes collagen from your bum and squirts it under your eyes while playing Brahms, massaging your feet and cooking dinner – I’ll be first in the queue.
“You’re a marketing manager’s dream,” DH tells me sadly as I regale him about my amazing discoveries. PowerPlate, HypoxiTherapy, anti-aging acupuncture, infrared photo-rejuvenation – you name it, as long as it’s not too invasive, I’ve got the T-shirt (and the negative bank balance).
So it was with an open mind that I headed off today to Dubai’s newest craze: The Bewei Lounge. What is it? I had no idea. No idea whatsoever, except that I was to wear long trousers and take socks, and was going to have a 45-minute “treatment” plus “30 minutes of lymphatic drainage”.
To be honest, I didn’t even know what the point was – fitness? Slimming? Health? As I said: No idea. But the Bewei Lounge is in Motor City, which is quite close to home, and the trial session was only AED 249, so I thought: Why not?
First came a consultation with the owner of the company and, presumably, chief consultant, Christian. He talked a lot about it – he’s clearly a big fan himself, and was full of stories about customers who drive from RAK and Abu Dhabi for their weekly fix.
During the consultation, I deduced that the Bewei machine uses electro-magnetic waves that would make me sleep better, would give me more energy, would balance my body systems, detox me and, over quite some time, might even make me a bit slimmer, more toned and cellulite-free.
But all this comes with rules. Drink two to three litres of water a day. Don’t expect immediate results. Do some exercise. Don’t eat for two hours after the treatment. Don’t drink alcohol for 24 hours after [looks guiltily at the wine glass]. Eat healthily. Come every week. Blah blah…
Next, I had a date with the Body Composition Analyser machine, which measured everything from weight and body fat to BMI, muscle mass, fat distribution, body water and what I had for breakfast. This was very gratifying as I came up as in pretty good shape with a low-to-healthy BMI of 20, average body fat, excellent body water content and only low-fat yoghurt for breakfast(smug, me?).
Then I was allowed into the hallowed Bewei room. The Bewei machine is a rather unassuming looking reclining chair, not unlike a hotel sun-lounger. I sat down fully clothed (including socks) and electromagnetic pads were placed over my upper legs and belly, the chair started giving me a back massage and I was left to relax for 45 minutes. The electromagnet waves are supposed to make your fat cells jiggle about and rub against each other, releasing fatty acids into your body. I felt nothing – you’re not supposed to feel anything. Apparently most people fall asleep.
After that, I was moved to the lymphatic drainage room, where I was wrapped – again fully clothed – in compression “bandages” that wrapped around my body from my feet to my hips and chest. I lay there for 30 minutes while the bandages squeezed me rhythmically from my toes up to my chest, then deflated, then repeated. The purpose of this is to help the blood (and lymph?) move the released fatty acids to your liver and the released toxins to your kidneys. Hence the need to drink so much water.
The lymphatic bit wasn’t unpleasant; the chest compression was the worst bit and that was like having a sumo wrestler give you a very, very tight hug (alright, squeeze the life out of you) but it was literally only for a couple of seconds.
And that, my friends, is the Bewei experience.
So will I be signing up? Well, for one, I’m not sure when I could fit an hour and a quarter a week of lying about on my bum into the Olympic sport of juggling that is my life right now and, for another, it’s quite pricey – you’d have to be utterly convinced of its benefits in order to pay out AED 6,210 for 10 sessions (AED 565 per session as you get one free) or the more cost-effective, but horrifying, AED 20,250 for 50 sessions (AED 349 per session as you get eight free).
Already, I’m imagining the conversation with DH. “Darling, I went for this amazing electromagnetic therapy thing today. It’s going to tone me up, give me energy and make me sleep well…”
“At its most economical? AED 20,250…”
[splutters drink through his nose] “Go to the gym.”