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Goop is now on Netflix as Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle and wellness brand makes the jump to TV with a new self-help series. The Goop Lab sees the Oscar-winning actress and Goop Chief Content Officer Elise Loehnen explore various wellness topics.
Each 30-minute episode features researchers, alternative health practitioners and other experts of mental, physical, spiritual and sexual health sitting down with Paltrow and Loehnen as they learn more about psychedelic psychotherapy, cold therapy, female pleasure, anti-aging, energy healing and psychics. (Although the series lets audiences learn more about new or unfamiliar techniques, Netflix makes clear that The Goop Lab “is designed to entertain and inform -- not provide medical advice. You should always consult your doctor when it comes to your personal health, or before you start any treatment.”)
“The fun part of the show [is that it’s] not that dissimilar from actually working at Goop, where people come in and teach classes or give talks all the time,” Loehnen tells ET’s Nischelle Turner about how the show is really a snapshot of what their company does day to day. “It doesn't matter if you're in accounting or a digital product person, you kind of get Gooped.”
And while some of these wellness techniques featured on the series may be more aspirational than approachable, Loehnen says that “one of the foundational beliefs of the brand is that we're not -- we're probably not for everyone -- but that everyone should be able to come to their own thing and in the same way that we try to come from a place of open-mindedness and curiosity and non-judgement.” So no matter what’s gleaned from the Lab, Goop is all about exploring and opening oneself to new ideas.
A prime example of that is Paltrow, who gets candid -- in the only way she knows how -- about her own health journey and personal experiences in front of the camera. “She loves opening the hood on herself and like, ‘Why did I have that reaction?’ Or, ‘Why am I having this emotional response?’” Loehnen says, adding, “I think viewers will be surprised she’s so open.”
Episode 1: “The Healing Trip”
Wellness technique: psychedelic psychotherapy
Loehnen and several Goop staffers -- or goopers, as they’re referred to -- travel to Jamaica, where they try magic mushrooms as part of a therapeutic experience. Each of them are dealing with internal issues, from overcoming a bad breakup to dealing with the grief for a dead parent. They laugh, they cry, they see the clouds in ways they’ve never seen before.
Gwyneth Paltrow Revelation (GPR): While the actress did not try the mushrooms, she shares that she took MDMA once while in Mexico with her “then boyfriend who is now my husband,” Brad Falchuk. “It was a very, very emotional experience,” she says, adding later that “being the person that people perceive me to be is inherently traumatic.”
Episode 2: “Cold Comfort”
Wellness technique: cold therapy
After Paltrow and Loehnen meet “Iceman” Wim Hof, the two send him off with a group of goopers to Lake Tahoe, where they practice his breathing techniques, do “snowga” (yoga in the snow), and jump into the freezing lake with the hopes of tricking the body to taking care of itself and learning how to overcome personal anxieties and stress.
GPR: “I love taking cold showers sometimes,” Paltrow says after revealing that her son, Moses, also practices Hof’s breathing techniques. “My son can sit in one of your ice baths for two minutes. He started when he was 11 years old. Now he's 13 and he can -- yeah, he does it a lot.”
Episode 3: “The Pleasure Is Ours”
Wellness technique: female pleasure
Goop’s female staff discover what they may or may not know about their own anatomy -- particularly the difference between the vagina and vulva -- and how to achieve sexual pleasure. While Paltrow and Loehnen stay fully clothed during their conversation with sex educator Betty Dodson, one gooper takes her exploration to the next level and travels to New York to try her one of her workshops.
GPR: “The vagina is only the birth canal?” the actress asks Dodson seconds into their conversation about female pleasure. “Oh. See, I’m getting an anatomy lesson…” Later, Paltrow, who is still getting used to the correct terminology, says that “we don’t have many examples of what a real vagina -- vulva. Excuse me. Pardon me. Vulva, vulva, vulva -- what it looks like.”
Episode 4: “The Health-Span Plan”
Wellness technique: anti-aging
Paltrow, Loehnen and another gooper test their biological ages before and after trying different dietary plans. For Paltrow, that means following a 5-day fast-mimicking regimen, while the others follow a vegan and pescatarian plans. While the actress is 46 (her chronological age at the time of filming), she learns that her biological age is actually 44.2, and after the fasting, she drops another 1.7 years.
GPR 1: “I’ve never been vegan, either. People think I’ve been vegan. People still think I’m vegan,” Paltrow shares before revealing that her kids are going to “bum out” over her fast-mimicking regimen. “My kids are going to bum out. Every time I do a cleanse, they’re like, ‘Oh, no. You get all grumpy.’”
All three also experiment with different types of facials, with Loehnen getting 100 needles put into her face while Paltrow tries a “Vampire Facial,” which draws the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from a patient’s own blood and needles it into their face.
GPR 2: While getting the facial, Paltrow refers to her PRP as her “golden broth.” Later, she reveals that “My baby daddy [Chris Martin] was like, ‘You look five years younger.’”
Episode 5: “The Energy Experience”
Wellness technique: energy healing
Loehnen, a few goopers and Julianne Hough have a group session with go-to energy worker John Amaral, who uses energy fields to help heal the mind and body and sometimes causes his clients to spasm uncontrollably and/or look like they’re undergoing an exorcism. Paltrow, who is an Amaral regular, later has a one-on-one with him.
GPR: “The first time John worked on me, I really just cried pretty much the whole time,” the actress shares. “For me, it is a very energetic experience.” She also opens up about the healing powers of her sessions, revealing that “my nervous system will sort of spasm, especially places where I’ve had injury. Like, I had an emergency cesarean with my daughter, after being in labor for three days.” She continues by saying, “the cesarean scar is really still -- I wouldn’t say it’s more emotionally painful to me. It doesn’t feel like physical pain, but I feel it as, like, this wound, still.”
Episode 6: “Are You Intuit?”
Wellness technique: psychics
Everyone has psychic capabilities says medium Lauren Lynne Jackson, who teaches a team of goopers how to channel their inner seers and open up their energy to signs and information around them. Some are more successful at opening themselves up than others. While Paltrow does not get a reading from Jackson, she and Loehnen sit down with her to discuss the differences between psychics and mediums as well as the science and legitimacy behind their work.
GPR: “I get really scared of my intuition sometimes,” Paltrow says of her own experiences. “Before I had children, I was much more comfortable with it and then my mother psychosis feels sometimes like a premonition and it’s so terrifying to me. I’ve been like, ‘Oh my god, this is a premonition. Something bad is going to happen.’”
The Goop Lab is now streaming on Netflix.
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