Thursday, 2 September 2010
*Ayurvedic Sexual Healing
Out shopping for a loaf of bread today, I thought I'd pop into my local Ayurvedic Beauty Salon.
UPDATE, 16 Sep: The ASA have been in touch to say the brochure contains many claims that seem to be in breach of the CAP Code. It has therefore been passed to their Compliance Team.
As I left - a brochure in each hand - I attracted a fascinated stare from one of the staff.
It's possible that she had a keen nose for a sceptic up to no good. But I prefer to believe that it was my rogueish good looks that so enchanted her.
To tell the truth, I've not had much luck with the ladies recently. I think my dry spell is over, though. According to the brochure, the salon offers an amazing "Kayasekam Oil Bath" which
"...increases body immunity and increases muscular, digestive and sexual power..."
Gosh! Also available are a plethora of treatments which "cleanse the body of toxins" (which toxins, exactly, the brochure isn't prepared to say).
For those visitors who don't share my own toned physique, the salon recommends a "Health Body Wrap - £36.00" which offers
"...instant inch loss - works by stimulating the lymphatic system with essential oils and forcing natural waste through the body using [a] unique wrapping technique..."
That sounds an awful lot like smearing faeces all over yourself. I think I'll stick with their "Vibrosaun" treatment, which is a
"...dry heat sauna and massage therapy unit to assist in relief of muscular aches and pains, stress and tension [which] at the same time detoxifies the body and reduces calorie counts (up to 300 calories per session!) This unit is designed to increase blood circulation, reduce high blood pressure and aid kidney function. It can also assist in reducing symptoms of insomnia and aid asthma sufferers..."
Dear reader, I'm still familiarising myself with the new advertising codes (which came into force yesterday) - but I reckon this brochure is in breach of a good number of them!
ASA complaint follows, and the relevant pages of the brochure are viewable here and here.
"I write to complain about a brochure promoting the "Karma" beauty salon in Luton.
The brochure was picked up from inside the salon itself and makes claims about various complementary therapies which I suspect cannot be substantiated.
1. The brochure contains the text (page 5):
"Thermal Auricular Therapy...clears sinuses, blockages and helps Hay Fever"
2. Under Sections 3.7 and 12.1 of the CAP Code (2010), I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate their claim that thermal auricular therapy (popularly known as "Hopi Ear Candling") can "[clear] sinuses, blockages and [help] hay fever".
3. The brochure continues (page 7):
"Ahava Deluxe Dead Sea Mud Envelopment...An application of dead sea [sic] mud follows providing you with an all over [sic] detoxification aiding blood circulation and lymphatic drainage...This treatment helps to relieve joint inflammation, muscle pain and psoriasis. It also detoxifies the skin, cleanses the body of impurities..."
4. Under Sections 3.7 and 12.1, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate any of the following claims:
(i) The treatment can provide an "all over [sic] detoxification aiding blood circulation and lymphatic drainage"
(ii) The treatment can relieve psoriasis
(iii) The treatment detoxifies the skin and cleanses the body of impurities
5. The brochure continues (page 7, repeated page 8):
"Health Body Wrap...For instant inch loss - works by stimulating the lymphatic system with essential oils and forcing natural waste through the body using unique wrapping technique [sic]...Course of 6 wraps recommended..."
6. (i) Under Section 13.1, I challenge whether the claim "instant inch loss" can be substantiated.
(ii) Under Section 13.4, I challenge whether the brochure has shown that "weight reduction is achieved by loss of body fat".
7. The brochure continues (page 8):
"Vibrosaun...at the same time detoxifies the body and reduces calorie counts (up to 300 calories per session!...The unit is designed to increase blood circulation, reduce high blood pressure and aid kidney function. It can also assist in reducing symptoms of insomnia and aid asthma sufferers..."
8. Under Sections 3.7, 12.1 and 13.1, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate any of the following claims:
(i) The Vibrosaun detoxifies the body and "reduces calorie counts (up to 300 calories per session!)"
(ii) The Vibrosaun reduces high blood pressure and aids kidney function
(iii) The Vibrosaun can aid asthma sufferers
9. The brochure lists (pages 12-14) a number of Ayurvedic treatments available at the salon. Under Sections 3.7 and 12.1, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate any of the following claims:
(i) The "PAADA ABHYANGA FULL LEG AND FEET MASSAGE...helps those suffering from arthritis"
(ii) The "AYURVEDIC BACK MASSAGE...assists with whiplash injuries"
(iii) The "PODI KIZHI BOLUS BAG MASSAGE WITH MEDICATED POWDER" can help "treat arthritis, paralysis..."
(iv) The "KAYASEKAM OIL BATH (ROYAL TREATMENT)...slows down the aging process, helps heal fractured bones, increases body immunity and increases muscular, digestive and sexual power" and "Removes all Vata and Kapha toxins"
(v) The "SHIROABHYANGA TRADITIONAL INDIAN HEAD MASSAGE...drains any accumulated toxins"
(vi) The "KADI VASTI POURING OF OIL" is "An effective treatment for low back pain, sciatica, slipped disc and neurological diseases of the lower limbs"
(vii) The "GREEVA VASTI" treatment "helps with...paralysis and any whiplash"
(viii) The "NETRA VASTI...protects and promotes good vision, help[s] with...cataract[s], night blindness, glaucoma, and decreases any pain or secretion of lachrymal fluid"
(ix) The "NASYA" treatment "Relieves headaches, migraines, sinusitis" and "helps with diseases of the eyes, ears[,] nose, mouth and throat, with swellings, gland enlargement and tonsilitis"
10. Under Section 12.23, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate their claims that the "SHIROABHYANGA MASSAGE" (page 13) "relieves...baldness" and "prevents hair fall [sic]".
11. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser."