Does body con­tour­ing just suck?

Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS -

You put in the hours on the Ver­saclimber and prep your Tup­per­ware with ruth­less dis­ci­pline, yet some­how there are still parts of your body (bum and thighs, if you’re any­thing like me) that your train­ing-hard/eat­ing-well regime just doesn’t reach. Those bits that wob­ble where they shouldn’t, or sit sad and dim­pled – they’re not ex­actly tes­ta­ment to all your hard work. So what do you do if you want a lit­tle help? Let me point you in the di­rec­tion of the Ve­lashape III*. Looks like a gi­ant su­per­mar­ket scan­ner; ac­tu­ally cut­tingedge aes­thetic tech­nol­ogy. It com­bines in­frared bipo­lar ra­dio fre­quency and vac­uum suc­tion to ef­fec­tively suck up your skin and heat the tis­sue be­neath, stim­u­lat­ing col­la­gen and elastin growth. ‘Pro­mot­ing col­la­gen on your bot­tom tight­ens the skin to im­prove its struc­ture and tex­ture, and re­duces vol­ume,’ ex­plains Dr Ariel Haus, der­ma­tol­o­gist and cos­metic prac­ti­tioner. Clin­i­cal tri­als have shown a 100% re­sponse rate, with at least 1.5cm cir­cum­fer­ence re­duc­tion in the area af­ter just one ses­sion. Scep­ti­cal yet in­trigued, I de­cided to give it a go. Just a lit­tle bit of suc­tion. Can’t hurt, can it? Imag­ine walk­ing into a sauna and perch­ing your naked flesh on a sear­ing hot bench, only to have a small bit of your skin nipped be­tween the wooden planks. Put mildly: this pro­ce­dure was un­pleas­ant. Pass­ing the 42°C head over the del­i­cate in­side and back of your thighs is enough to make you squeal, plus the suc­tion felt like a sports mas­sage the day af­ter a marathon. Ten­der doesn’t even be­gin to cover it. My skin was red, swollen and start­ing to go blue (disclaimer: I do bruise like a peach). But in spite of the dis­com­fort and im­me­di­ate pain, pulling my back­less hos­pi­tal gown to the side af­ter­wards re­vealed a smoother, slightly more taut pos­te­rior than the one I’d walked in with. But was this im­me­di­ate re­sult just a mix of swelling and wish­ful think­ing? ‘Cel­lulite is just fat cells – ex­er­cise and diet (or li­po­suc­tion) are the best ways to re­duce it,’ says Luke Wor­thing­ton, per­sonal trainer at Third Space, London. With ar­nica gel in hand and ad­vice to drink plenty of wa­ter to flush out tox­ins ring­ing in my ears, I headed home, bat­tered and bruised. And while the bruis­ing over the next few days was a work of art, the can­vas was smoother and more toned than it had been. So what ex­actly is the truth about tar­get­ing your fatty bits? ‘While there are a num­ber of clin­i­cal pa­pers and stud­ies show­ing that the treat­ment can have a pos­i­tive ef­fect, the stud­ies use rel­a­tively small num­bers,’ ex­plains Dr An­jali Mahto, a con­sul­tant der­ma­tol­o­gist and spokesper­son for The Bri­tish Skin Foun­da­tion. ‘The ma­chine is li­censed for tem­po­rary re­duc­tion in the ap­pear­ance of cel­lulite. Mul­ti­ple treat­ments may be needed to achieve and main­tain clin­i­cal re­sponse and, anec­do­tally, re­sults from pa­tients are mixed.’ Cut to me, keep­ing up the gym and eat­ing well. Oh, and book­ing in for a few fol­low-up treat­ments. You know, just in case. If it can make me look even bet­ter in my Lu­l­ule­mon leg­gings, I’m sold.

Amelia Jean Jones, WH’S Health & Beauty Edi­tor

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