Seizing the Opportunity of Healthy Living

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Health is a major component, if not the main one, in our lives. That’s why hospitals of international standard have sprung up in Jakarta and other major cities across the country.

Besides hospitals, specialist clinics have also been set up for the affluent. Not only can you get standard health care at these places, you can also get other services such as slimming programs, skin, hair and dental treatment and even ozone therapy.

Interestingly, while slimming programs used to be specifically for women, today they are also marketed for men. Following the emergence of the metrosexual generation, namely a generation of men who take good care of their bodies and appearance, clinics providing body and appearance treatments are available for both men and women.

Don’t be surprised, therefore, to see an advertisement aimed at male executives that reads like this: “Not only is a potbelly not nice to look at but it can lead to many kinds of diseases.”

It is not difficult to find clinics specializing in body shaping in Jakarta, usually in affluent areas. They offer training programs and therapy. Meanwhile, other clinics offer total solutions, from facials, acne treatments and injections to weight loss programs. Fees vary, depending on the financial capability of clients. Injections to lose weight, for example, cost about Rp 6 million at Klinik Salome.

Besides addressing weight problems, these clinics also offer other treatments, for example detoxification, a process intended not only to get rid of a potbelly but also to remove excess fat. Lymphatic drainage, ultrasounds and other programs are highly effective to help solve a man’s health problems. A facial makes facial skin clean, smooth and bright. A facelift removes wrinkles, under eye pouches, dewlaps and folds near the chin.

“Just an ordinary facial is not enough. Once every three months I have laser treatment to remove the black spots on my face,” said a TV actor who is often written about in the media and referred to as a metrosexual man.

Interestingly, while in the past people would have plastic surgery on the quiet, today they are quite open about it. Several celebrities, such as singers Titi DJ and Ruth Sahanaya and presenter Becky Tumewu, have admitted to having had plastic surgery. There are quite a lot of plastic surgery clinics around, with some being affiliated with hospitals, for example with Mitra Keluarga, Bina Estetika, MMC, Pondok Indah, Pluit, Pantai Indah Kapuk hospitals, while others are independent.

It is not only celebrities who are subconscious about their appearance, but professionals are too. In the past five years, improving one’s appearance has become trendy. This is evident in the fact that clinics providing instant beauty have sprung up. Their clients are not only entertainers and models, who want to appear amazingly beautiful, but also businesspeople and housewives.

As Micky Tanod, public relations director of Puan Jakarta Boutique Clinic, puts it: body treatment is now part of a businessperson’s daily life. He says his clinic in Pondok Indah is not simply a center where you can take care of your body, but it is a medical clinic with a woman’s perspective where specialists practice.

“We are concerned about women, who play dual roles as housewives and career women. A woman aged above 35 should have a routine examination, such as a pap smear (for early detection of cervical cancer) and a mammography (for early detection of breast cancer). Both types of cancer are major killers of women,” he noted.

As a one-stop female clinic, Puan Jakarta Boutique Clinic, which was set up in December 2002, has 38 specialists, all women practicing in 12 disciplines, including skin, gynecology and obstetrics, fitness, acupuncture, psychiatry, psychology, neurology, urology and dentistry. Its urologist is the first woman urologist in Southeast Asia.

Besides providing medical treatment, this clinic also offers health therapy based on a healthy lifestyle. The market for this program is quite big. In short, as Nur Asia Uno, the owner of Zen Living, puts it, the middle to upper class in major cities are really aware of the need to take care of their bodies holistically, covering both the physical and mental aspects, to balance their routine activities. They need not just a spa but a place that can give them instant refreshment.

Established four years ago, Zen Living, said Nur, is the pioneer of aromatherapy reflexology in Indonesia for the premium class. Its services range from reflexology to oxygen therapy. Similar treatments, particularly oxygen therapy, are available not only at spas but also in health clinics such as Stanford. Located at Jl. Hang Lekir Raya 9, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta, this clinic specializes in ozone therapy, which reportedly optimizes organ function to keep a person young.

Ozone therapy is done through the process of allowing pure oxygen to flow through an electric generator. Ozone is a highly reactive and unstable gas with a very short life span (20 to 30 minutes) before it becomes oxygen again. When injected into the blood, it improves blood circulation and oxygenates body tissue and is reportedly beneficial to diabetics, gangrene patients, those with sclerosis of the blood vessels, patients suffering from paralysis, vertigo and heart attack and those who have pins and needles in their hands or feet.

Obviously, any treatment can be given by men or women. The technology is there: lasers and surgery instruments. The Jakarta Skin Center, for example, uses laser technology. This clinic, set up by the daughter of the late vice president Sudharmono in 1993, offers about 15 types of medical services for the skin, such as dermatology, laser surgery, skin surgery, collagen injections, botox injections, plastic surgery and liposuction.

Meanwhile, Impressions, formerly known as just a slimming clinic, has a special service for males, called men’s health center. Its main clinic in Jakarta has a IPL (Intense Pulse Light) machine made by Lumenis/Spectron Cosmetic Ltd. England and LHE (Light Heat Energy) Skin Station by Radiance Inc., U.S. Treatments offered include dermabrasion, skin rejuvenation and removal of acne as well as removal of tattoos, spots and skin flaws.

These clinics are flourishing thanks to increased awareness of the significance of health and appearance as well as to higher living standards. Tapping the opportunity created by people wanting appear perfect like a celebrity, these clinic owners spare no effort in promoting their services to lure customers. (Burhan Abe)

The Jakarta Post – July 04, 2006

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