Royal wedding: Ross Barr, acupuncturist to the stars
May 27 2018, 12:01 am, The Sunday Times
Ross Barr charges up to £120 for a 45-minute session of acupuncture that he says can treat hair loss and other problems
They are considered the most modern of royal couples. But when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted to look and feel their best on their wedding day, they turned to the most ancient of traditions.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had regular appointments with an acupuncturist in the lead-up to their wedding.
They were treated by Ross Barr, acupuncturist to the stars, who has been described as “divertingly handsome” by many of his enthusiastic fans and whose treatments have been lauded as “better than Botox”. Beauty experts say his appointments “go faster than Glastonbury tickets”.
Barr, whose treatments deal with anything from infertility to hair loss and relationship problems, is understood to have been regularly treating the couple since Meghan moved to London last year.
The treatments are said to have been so successful that Barr and his wife, the actress Eva Birthistle, were invited to the wedding alongside celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, who had acupuncture live on her television show.
Acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old form of alternative Chinese medicine that involves inserting fine needles into the face and body just under the skin.
The treatment, which was first documented in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, a famous text on health, is said to help alleviate mental or physical pain and distress.
Harry, 33, has spoken of his struggles with anxiety and depression after the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.
In an interview with The Sunday Times in 2016 he also admitted “my body . . . has basically been ruined over the last 10 years of army service”.
His father, the Prince of Wales, is renowned for championing alternative and complementary therapies such as homeopathy and acupuncture.
Barr specialises in “five-element” acupuncture, which identifies people as either earth, wood, fire, metal or water, with each element relating to one of the five seasons in Chinese medicine. His 45-minute sessions cost between £90 and £120.
It is thought Harry was keen to try acupuncture as part of a recent health drive to prepare for his wedding. He is reported to have reduced his alcohol consumption and is now regularly seen exercising at the exclusive KX gym in Chelsea, west London.
Meghan, 36, is likely to be a fan of Barr’s “anti-wrinkle acupressure facial”, which aims to smooth fine lines and may have contributed to the American former actress’s radiant complexion on her wedding day.
A beauty expert writing about the facial in The Sunday Times reported an “instant smoothing effect”. Others have described it as “like a facelift”.
One male patient of Barr’s said his treatment was “miraculous in staving off illness, boosting my energy levels and restoring my equilibrium”.
Barr trained in London, Germany and Japan and has practised acupuncture for more than 10 years. He is based in London and sees clients at rooms in Wimpole Street, where many private doctors are based, and Notting Hill, which is close to the newlyweds’ Kensington Palace home, Nottingham Cottage.
Barr is understood to treat the couple privately at their home. He has said that some of his clients treat his sessions like “an MoT” or “maintenance for modern life”.
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