Go ahead, treat your vulva

A new spa offers "pelvic fitness" regimens.

Published July 2, 2008 7:00PM (EDT)

You've done the mani-pedi, the eyebrow tweezing and the full-body wax. You've had your cellulite wrapped in cellophane. You've indulged in massages, endured chemical peels, blasted every sun spot with microdermabrasion and shot yourself full of Botox. You've exhausted everything your spa has to offer, but, um, aren't you forgetting about something? Perhaps a more intimate area? Well, fear not, because there is now officially a spa for everything. Dr. Lauri Romanzi, a New York gynecologist, is set to open a "pelvic fitness" spa later this month.

"Phit," which stands for pelvic health integrated techniques, focuses on strengthening and rejuvenating the pelvic muscles. Romanzi preaches the gospel of Kegel exercises -- which she refers to as "the dental floss of feminine fitness" -- and offers services such as the "Lazy Susan," which uses electrical stimulation to mimic the effects of Kegels and "Baby Boot Camp," which is billed as "postpartum rehabilitation." As the Times notes, Phit "takes body fixation to a new level, furthering the idea that there is no female body part that cannot be tightened, plumped, trimmed or pruned." And it's certainly worth mentioning that two prominent gynecologists quoted in the piece see no medical evidence backing Romanzi's concept of "pelvic fitness."

But what's really disturbing is something called "The 'Other' Facelift." The procedure, aimed at post-menopausal women, employs a device that integrates laser and radio frequency to "restore labial and vulvar contour to a plump firmness." In addition to exploiting older women's insecurities, the treatments may actually be unsafe. The device Phit uses is meant for the face and hasn't been studied for safety on vulvar skin.

Not to worry, though -- according to Romanzi, the device "does not penetrate deeply enough to affect internal organs like ovaries." In that case, feel free to aim that untested laser directly at my lady parts!

By Judy Berman

Judy Berman is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet.

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