THE HUMAN CONDITION
CUCKOO BODY CLOCK: The Swiss are about to banish all time-honoured notions of their being a complacent, sedentary lot, as they unleash a series of "dynamic fitness drinks" on the rest of corpulent Europe. Inovit Health Drinks will be sold in sachet form through fitness centres, and contain supplements ranging from calcium (to help counter allergies) and magnesium (for muscle and nerve relief) to a new "miracle" ingredient called Creatine, a naturally-occurring com- pound in skeletal muscle, which promises to increase stamina, improve elasticity, and speed up recovery time and muscle regeneration after a heavy workout, sport session, or over-indulgence of gruyere. For more information, contact Inovit at 5 Queen's Road, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 2EQ.

FLAKE TREATMENT OF THE WEEK: FLOWER VISION

If your experience of dandelions has hitherto been limited to feeding them to your tortoise, think again - wild flowers can heal, according to the zealots of Flower Vision, a therapy technique that involves preparing "essences" from the likes of buttercups and violets, and placing them in spring water which absorbs their "healing energies". This liquid is then drunk to cleanse the body, placed on the tongue (handy for drawing out emotional problems, apparently), or rubbed on to the skin to "soak into the aura". Hay fever sufferers should probably give this particular treatment a wide berth. For your nearest Flower Vision practitioner, contact the Personal Development Centre on 0181 947 8043.

SQUEEZE ME PLEASE ME: Does the thought of pelvic floor exercising give you a warm feeling all over? It should, according to Martica Heaner, who's rehabilitated the routines from their usual, defiantly unsexy context (they're normally used by women who've just given birth or suffer from incontinence), and devised a new, gorgeous, pouting programme called The 7 Minute Sex Secret, designed to develop "sex-specific strength, endurance, co-ordination and agility in the vaginal muscles". Women who practise her "sex squeezes" for at least seven minutes a day can look forward to a golden age of "more powerful orgasms, and possibly multiple orgasms," gasps Martica. All is revealed - in glorious colour - in her book The 7 Minute Sex Secret, published by Hodder & Stoughton at pounds 4.99.

INTER-ACTIVE: The future of fitness videos is squat-thrusting its way to these shores. Launching next spring is Kathy Smith Personal Trainer, the first-ever interactive exercise programme. Played through a Philips CD-i system that hooks up to the TV, the programme offers thousands of exercises that can be customised to suit you - you begin by answering questions to establish your fitness goals, and then build your routine, or let the programme choose one for you. Just one teensy snag: the CD- i machine to play the thing costs around pounds 300.

CONTRAPTION OF THE WEEK: Switch on the Vibro-Massage Hair Brush and there's something sinister about that buzz, buzz, buzz. It sounds too much like the dentist's drill to be soothing. The Vibro-Massage runs at two speeds (dentist drilling fast or dentist drilling sadistically slowly) - it wiggles and wriggles disconcertingly. It's "especially suitable for anyone with thinning hair"; in fact, anyone with non-thinning hair will find it doesn't get through to the scalp. It also claims to untangle wet hair and add body while styling: but use it on wet hair and it yanks so much out that you're in danger of joining the thinning-hair brigade. As a hair styling aid it's about as much use as an electric toothbrush. But apply the back of the brush to the soles of the feet and it's really rather soothing. Non-ticklish pets might also appreciate a good going over.

8 Vibro-Massaging Hair Brush, pounds 9.95, mail order from Direct Choice, 01793 480000

Comments