Elaine Huntzinger Is Paris’s Best-Kept Self Care Secret

Parisians, it seems, were slow on the wellbeing front. Massages, facials and natural remedies were reserved for gift-buying. Fast-forward a couple of years though, and boutique spaces, studios and gyms offering all kinds of remedies to jumpstart organs and flagging mojos back to life have popped up all over the city, proving that the French have turned a corner when it comes to pushing the pause button and taking care of themselves from the inside out.

A handful of experts before the wellbeing wave hit Paris, like Elaine Huntzinger, worked from their Parisian apartments, welcoming the public into their homes to help reboot tired minds and bodies, and restore squandered energy levels with practices and treatments hailing from far and wide. But Elaine isn’t like everyone else.

A US transplant born to Hongkongers, this extremely likeable mystic med has spent her life exploring and developing natural medicine and treatments on travels that took her from China to Thailand and Paris where she met her husband and settled down.

An adept at Chinese medicine to acupuncture (Master Tung) and Gua sha to dermatology and nutrition, Elaine is also a certified gemologist with deep knowledge of crystals and their various healing properties and holds a Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine. And she certainly looks the part in her white coat (because she likes pockets) worn over a flamboyant fuchsia blouse she’s teamed with a pearl necklace on the day I meet her at her studio in the back of her Marais apartment.

Elaine’s work combines ancient wisdom with a deep understanding of the demands – and damaging effects of our modern world, and how best to remedy them. A session begins with her taking your pulse and gaging your needs, from fertility to energy work or a deep tissue facial. Elaine combines her various practices to work on the yin, followed by the yang as you lie down on the table in her studio set up by a large table laid out with semi-precious stones of all shapes and sizes.

Treading carefully, she talks about your woes with you while cleansing the skin with a solution she makes herself that in a single breath magically transports you to a Japanese garden. Eye patches go on, stones are moved to chakras, and needles applied along meridians, by which point I nodded off, leaving behind Elaine’s background piano music for what could have been minutes or hours.

That’s for the yin. For the yang, Elaine carries out a deep facial tissue massage loosening muscles I never knew I had, finishing off with a massage with cool rose quartz spoons to tone the skin before stimulating the skin cells with a Gua sha jade roller. Last, on goes a thick, unctuous cream she makes herself that my skin drinks in right away — if someone had ever succeeded in capturing the aromas of an enchanted forest, then Elaine’s cream would be it. The scent lingered until bedtime, and the effects for days if not weeks. I looked and felt more rested than I had done in months, my complexion was smoother and my eyes brighter, but I also felt more alert, focused and energized, confirming that everyone needs an Elaine Huntzinger in their lives. elainehuntzinger.com

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