"What is the opposite of a pen?.. Not a Pen!"
My first day of Marie Claire beauty rituals seemed to pass without note. Foot soak, cuticle cream, hand cream with SPF, heavy moisturiser etc. All completely within the parameters of what I can cope with. I ate my 5 small meals all before 7, chasing down Spirulina with 2 litres of water. I can't swallow the tablets well though; my tonsils have a quick fight with them before I get them down my neck. I haven't really noticed any difference since taking them yet, but I have noticed that I really like the shade of green they are, so if nothing else will take them to B& Q and get some paint mixed up for my bedroom.
After work I went for my "food intolerance" test. My session was free with a Kinesiologist, A kind of holistic jack-of-all-trades. Now I'm not the most holistic of people, I prefer proper doctors with proper degrees in proper science. I'm not saying I completely don't believe in holistic therapy, I just don't understand the theory behind it unlike modern medicine. My Session started off with a half hour chat, where I told him I had IBS, it was brought on by stress and wheat sometimes gives me stomachache. After the chat, I had to sit on the edge of a bed and extend out each arm. This is when it all started to get a bit weird.
Pushing slightly downward on my wrist, he would tell me if my muscle was locked or "soggy" after asking me certain questions. He the gave me some stress exercises to do for when I was at work. These consisted of one hand on my stomach and with the other massaging some pressure points on my breastbone. "Is that sore" he asked - "um - yeah" I replied mainly because I was repeatedly jamming my breastbone with my fingers. This apparently reconnects the left and right side of my brain. I'm not sure if my brain reconnected, but this was the point of the session I began to think that my Kinesiologist was slightly insane. This was then followed by an exercise to reconnect the front and the back of my brain (Holding my tummy and rubbing my back... OBVIOUSLY!) and then a rather strange exercise to reconnect the top and bottom of my brain, which involved holding my tummy with one hand and rubbing the top and bottom of my lips through my index and third finger. Kind of like the sort of mime you would do in charades if you wanted to convey, "I've got a sore tummy but would really like some cunnilingus".
Once this was over, we got on to the food testing. This is when the real hocus-pocus began. I was asked to hold a small glass vile against my cheek, containing a clear liquid. I then had to hold out my arm while he applied some downward pressure to my wrist. I then encountered one of the bizarrest conversations I've had in a very long time.
"hmm yeah, definitely unlocking don't you agree"
"I think I need to explain to you the difference of your muscle being locked an unlocked"
"Ok - because it feels like you are just pressing harder on my wrist"
"Ok - umm, what is the best way to describe this" (Holds up a pen) "What is this?
"It's a pen"
"Correct, what is the opposite of a pen?"
"Well you might say a pencil"
"infact - the opposite of a Pen is... NOT A PEN!"
At this point the giggles started to rise up through my chest and I thought I wasn't going to be able to stifle them.
"Ok - do you mind if I write all this down" (Pull out my pad and pen)
"Sure, go ahead"
Once he was satisfied I had been enlightened that the opposite of a pen is in fact NOT A PEN, he continued to ask me to hold these vials of liquid against my cheek while he pressed on my extended wrist and mumbled "uh huh, uh huh, locked, not locked" ect.
"So er, how is my body detecting these foods through solid glass?" I asked. I mean stupid me, fancy actually believing my science lessons about the difference between solids, liquids and gasses. As far as I was aware, osmosis through glass would have seen the end of, you know, the bloody WINDOW for example.
Are you ready for the "science" bit?
Did you know, lovely people - that according quantum physics and my Kinesiologist - Mass and energy are one of the same? OK, sounds believable. And if you put a load of pianos in a room and play middle C on one, all the other pianos would vibrate middle C. - Perfectly feasible. And if you "vibrate love, all those around you will vibrate love".. and there we have it, the spiral into the depths of complete hippie waffle. So according to the Kinesiologist, these negative vibrations, through the solid of the glass are being detected by my brain and unlocking the muscle in my arm which he just happens to be applying a tad extra pressure too. But how could I be so sceptical when he's given me such watertight evidence such as the opposite of a bloody pen being not a pen?!
He asked me to hold up the vials of liquid that he had decided were "Unlocking" my muscles against my cheek again, then started to throw plastic bottles of pills onto my lap.
"Um, uha, yeah interesting" he mumbled frequently as he pressed down on my wrist again. Now and again swapping the bottles of pills until he was satisfied I was "Locking"
"So err, how is throwing these pills in my lap, changing the locking and unlocking"
"The vibrations are cancelling each other out"
Of course, silly, stupid,. scientific, idiot me. The Vibrations are cancelling each other out! My IBS is sure to be cured in no time.
We were now an hour and a quarter into the session and I wasn't sure how much more pretending I could do. I was trying hard to seem like I was buying into this holistic fantasy. Plus, I was wearing a very short skirt and my legs had started to super glue themselves to the vinyl bed.
I tentatively told him I had to leave soon and he began to conclude the session. The below conclusion, took 1 and 1/2 hours to get to and quite frankly, It left me much more worried about this man's health than mine. Are you ready?... deep breath... read on.
Processed wheat = BAD (Ok, I spent the first half hour of my session telling him wheat hurt my stomach)
Organic Wholemeal Flour = GOOD!
Yeast = BAD (Funnily enough found in many wheat based products)
Salmon = GOOD!
Sardines in Brine (Which I have never eaten) = BAD
Chicken = BAD.. But only in the small intestine. Well blow me; I wasn't aware that I could completely bypass my small intestine to digest chicken. Does this involve chewing it, then using it as some sort of meat based suppository? Give the guy a medal; he's reinvented the digestion process (holistically of course).
Funnily enough a variety of expensive pill like potions, that could only be bough through him were on the GOOD list. 6 bottles in fact, all around £10 in price. Well who would have thought it?
This was the point where I decided I needed to make a run for it, I'd already given a monk my last 50p in the street on the way to the session just so he'd fuck off. I wasn't about to part with any more cash just so this guy would do the same. He wrote them all down on an order form and gave me his "practitioners" ID that I needed to quote when I called the supplier to buy them. Before I left, he insisted on taking my phone number and email address, enough contact material to stalk me until I buy something!
So after one day, my life according to Marie Claire has me avoiding unknown numbers on my phone, but I have gained 2 very important lessons from this experience. Number one, only every try this sort of thing if it's free and number 2, most importantly.. The opposite of pen is.... NOT a pen.