In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Williamsburg’s Roebling Street is Treatment by Lanshin — a quiet oasis of self care. Founder Sandra Lanshin Chiu worked for years in the stressful world of finance before deciding to take the leap and follow her passion for natural health and beauty. Lanshin’s pioneering treatments adapt the wisdom of ancient healing technologies for the care of common modern ailments, with great results.
One of the signature treatments is called ortho-bionomy and is a way of adjusting the body into positions where it can keep self-correcting.
“It’s an elegant system of corrective bodywork that has its roots in osteopathy,” says Chiu. “It’s most used for facilitating pain relief in a gentle way that works with the natural tendencies of the body — different from the common ‘no pain no gain’ methodology of many forms of bodywork out there that rely on force to create change. “Ortho-bionomy utilizes the self-corrective capabilities of the human body by placing you in positions of ease and comfort, which actually unlocks pain and tension patterns. Tight muscles and tissue soften, and structural (skeletal) alignment is corrected as a result — and this equals relief.”
I’ve always been one of those people who firmly believe in the ‘no pain no gain’ philosophy, but experienced great results at Lanshin. They could tell right away that my posture was crooked (from constantly lugging around a big bag with a laptop), and made some adjustments that seem to really be working.
“Our clients are always pleasantly surprised at how something so relaxing and gentle can create so much change that lasts” Chiu says. “Most people these days overwork, and spend excessive hours stationary at desks hunched over computers, so we really need effective systems like ortho-bionomy — and acupuncture — to unlock us from bad postural habits that over time sculpt discomfort and pain into our bodies.”
These kinds of treatments can not only relieve pain but also help improve strength and flexibility, something Chiu experienced first-hand. “I first came to both acupuncture and ortho-bionomy to relieve my personal issues with pain, but nowadays I’m actually using them to improve my strength and flexibility. I noticed that my pilates workouts began to improve significantly when I had regular work done to relieve long standing, chronic tightness in my hips and lower back. Turns out, my core wasn’t as weak as I thought — my back was just too locked down in a way that regular stretching or foam rolling wasn’t able to fully shift.”
It is said that true beauty always comes from the inside, but this may be even more true than we think. Dry dehydrated skin, dull complexion, excess redness or premature wrinkling — issues that occur on the face itself — are made worse by chronic tension in the neck, shoulders and even the pelvis. Using acupuncture to relieve these seemingly topical issues is an oft-overlooked concept, Chiu says. “Relieving muscle and tissue tightness in these areas significantly opens pathways for better blood circulation, fluids and oxygen to reach the face and head. The result is brighter complexion, plump hydrated skin, and a reduction of tension patterns that create lines or sagging.”
Lanshin’s treatment facials are designed to be a combination of acupuncture, ortho-bionomy and a traditional facial to get at the deeper root issues of the face and skin. “The beauty of the face ultimately comes from the vitality of the body,” Chiu says.
“Beauty is an inside job. In its most seductive form, it is an outward expression of inner vitality. A lot people think of beauty as something that you have to be born with, so based on some arbitrary cultural standard you are either a natural beauty or you’re not. It’s also common to think that beauty fades with age, and that things like the right lipstick, clothes, botox or plastic surgery increase your beauty quotient.”
“We are all born with the same potential. How we cultivate, protect and nourish our vitality is up to us — but it is within our creative control,” Chiu says. “The better you take care of yourself, the more it stays alive — even as we age.”
In wellness circles you will often hear people talking about “glow,” that vital beauty that some people just seem to radiate. This seldom has to do with conventional beauty, but rather a sense that someone is confident, healthy and nourished — looking good because they feel good.
“Interestingly, in our modern culture this kind of person is rare” says Chiu. “It takes a lot of courage — a warrior mindset — to shift priorities and boldly take good care of yourself and your needs before all else. But, it’s the secret to a fulfilling, harmonious life filled with beauty and enjoyment.”
Sandra Lanshin Chiu’s five things we should all be doing to be beautiful, from the inside out:
1. Get good at sleeping and resting more. These days, most people suck at this. The secret is not in doing more, but in doing less. Be still more often (i.e. nap, meditate, stare out the window). Being productive is not what gives you your value and worth in life. Being the best you does. And that’s actually hard to do if you’re not well rested. Look what happens to kids who don’t get their naps!
2. Make sure your digestion works. Regular gas, bloating, frequent constipation/diarrhea, acid reflux are not normal. If you have these things get help. Your skin, energy, and immune system will thank you… and so will your friends and lovers. Natural methods like herbal therapy and acupuncture are very effective at resolving these issues without negative side effects.
I’m not into over-supplementation but I am a huge proponent of probiotics — which are one of the best things you can use to improve your digestion, even if you don’t have obvious issues.
3. Move. Your body is designed and built to move, not sit for hours at a desk. Being stationary for long periods does not a happy body make. Dance, swim, walk, stretch, whatever gives you pleasure and gets you moving. But be careful not to overdo and overstrain if you’re the ambitious type. Never move through pain — which is a sign something is off.
4. Take time for pleasure, it’s an important vitamin. It lifts the spirits, which elevates the vitality of the body. Define some things that would delight and please you and make sure you do more of those things in your days and weeks.
5. Know yourself and like yourself a little more each day. Not only is this an attractive quality to others, it’s foundational to a healthy body, mind and spirit – the whole package. As a practitioner I am a witness to how injuring judgement and criticism are to the healthy functioning of the body. I constantly hear people serving it up to themselves in hefty doses.
I catch myself doing it too, many of us are programmed this way. Usually you don’t even realize you’re doing it! But when you do, snap out of it! Being good to yourself is contagious, too. It will give others permission to do the same for themselves. So at the very least, consider it a public service.
Images courtesy of Treatment by Lanshin