Can a massage make you slim?

Caroline Garnar attempts to banish her wobble the lazy way – with a cellulite-busting massage machine

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I’ve been on a lazy girl’s quest to get in shape for as long as I can remember. You know the concept: minimal effort, maximum results. I even bought a cross trainer with the idea of using it while watching TV, hoping I’d be so engrossed in my favourite show I’d hardly even notice the stitch in my side and the sweat pouring from my forehead. I was wrong – and now it’s gathering dust. So when I discover I can slim down, tone up and banish my cellulite without going near a single piece of exercise equipment, I jump at the chance. In exchange I’ll have to wear an all-in-one body stocking, but, hey, it’s a small price to pay.

Lipomassage (LPG) is not a new concept, but it has recently been revamped and now claims to be 50 per cent more effective, meaning instead of needing 12 sessions before you see a difference, you now only need six. It involves a vacuum-like machine with a two-roller head and various ‘sucky and shaky’ movements, which apparently encourage your body to release fat, as well as stimulating collagen and elastin production. It means that those dreaded fat pockets you just can’t shift are drained (or, rather, transformed into fatty acids, which we use for energy) and your skin is smoothed and tightened, creating a more refined, streamlined figure. Sounds miraculous: I’m doubtful.

As I arrive for my first session, I’m a little intimidated by the scary-looking machine sat next to the massage bed. Looking more like something you’d see at the dentist, I begin to wonder if the downside of this miracle treatment is that it inflicts excruciating pain. I needn’t have worried. With each session the strength of the aforementioned ‘sucky and shaky’ movements is cranked up, yet it never becomes more than a little uncomfortable. In fact, after a few sessions I start to find it pretty relaxing – I even nod off a couple of times. It certainly doesn’t compare to the pain I’d have suffered had I spent those 45 minutes pounding the treadmill in the gym. And this is the true beauty of LPG: I’m lying on a bed, being given the equivalent of a deep-tissue massage (albeit a practical rather than pampering one), and it supposedly has the same effect as sweating it out at the gym or an exercise class. I know where I’d rather be.

In truth, as with most ‘miracle treatments’, LPG comes with its own small print: to get optimum results, you must also exercise and eat a balanced diet (although if I was doing that in the first place, surely I wouldn’t need to have my thighs sucked by a machine). In fairness, I’ve never really believed that a glorified vacuum cleaner can transform me into Gisele. But does it work at all?

Surprisingly, yes. I haven’t lost any inches and I’m still no Gisele (sob), but after six sessions I definitely feel tighter and my cellulite is much less noticeable. My other half, who didn’t know I was having the treatment, has even commented that I’m looking in good shape. He asked if I’ve been exercising or have changed my diet (and I thought he knew me!), so that’s a solid thumbs-up.

Of course, these things come at a price: you’ll have to invest in several sessions to see any noticeable difference. I also admit (grudgingly) that you can’t beat exercise for getting in shape – it keeps you fit and healthy, which lying on a bed obviously does not. However, if you have stubborn fatty areas that just won’t shift, or the dreaded orange-peel skin that can afflict even the skinniest girls, LPG is a viable option. I’ve now been given a good head start, and I’m feeling more confident and inspired to maintain the firmness of my newly firm bits. Maybe I’ll dust off that cross trainer… well, maybe tomorrow.
Lipomassage costs Dhs350 per session, with a minimum of six sessions (two to three a week) recommended. Find your nearest salon offering LPG treatments by calling 04 445 6862.

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