Like any reasonable, sceptical magazine editor, I have long raised a cynical eyebrow at machines that claim to banish fat and obliterate cellulite in just a couple of hours. More often than not, they charge more than Dhs1,000 per 45-minute session for the privilege, with an eye-watering minimum of ten sessions recommended. I become even more wary about treatments that insist you should also exercise for 20 minutes a day, and put yourself on a diet, in order to see the full effects. All in aid of losing two inches round the waist. Let’s be honest, if most of us went on a diet and exercised for 20 minutes a day, we wouldn’t need to fork out for anything else.
But here’s where the brand new LipoGlaze treatment claims to be different. Aimed at people who want to shift small areas of stubborn fat, and not those who are heavily overweight or obese, the machine was launched this summer in London’s Harley Street. It will soon be available in Dubai, the first time the treatment has been offered outside the UK. The technology was developed by LoveLite clinic, which recommends just one session to focus on each of your problem areas – after that, you’ll apparently see as much as a 26 percent reduction in the amount of fat in the chosen area. It’s claimed the full results reveal themselves after a maximum of eight weeks.
Harley Street specialist Candice Watson, who runs Dubai’s Exclusive Beauty clinic, is the first to get her hands on the machine in the emirate thanks to her London connections; she’ll soon be teaming up with a handful of carefully chosen outlets in Dubai to offer the treatment. When she gets in touch with Time Out to ask if I’d like to try it first hand, I jump at the chance. I make my way to her home, where she has been testing it out on her own problem areas, as well as with a few existing clients.
LipoGlaze, like many other similar machines, features a vacuum mechanism at its heart. What follows, however, is slightly different. First, the area to be treated is warmed to 42°C. Once that temperature has been reached, the machine starts to work its way down the thermometer, until the area reaches an icy -5°C or -10°C – if you opt for the slightly warmer option, you can continue the treatment for up to an hour, while the maximum treatment time on the coldest temperature setting is 30 minutes. This is what Candice calls the ‘hardcore’ setting – and on this particular day she decides I can handle it. Once I’ve filled out a few forms stating that I’m free of any serious medical conditions, and taken some ‘before’ shots, I hop onto the table, and Candice places the vacuum over my chosen problem area – a stubborn bit just below my belly button. She explains that it’s not the most comfortable experience, but nor is it painful. So far, her experience tells her that different people find different parts of the treatment to be the most unpleasant.
As she turns on the machine, she hands me a small red button, with which I can stop the treatment immediately if I find it too unpleasant, although she assures me I won’t need it. At first the suction feeling is quite uncomfortable, but soon just becomes a bit of an odd sensation as the machine warms. It’s surprising how warm 42°C actually feels, but I quickly grow used to it. It’s the cooling feeling that’s the most unpleasant. As the temperature rolls down by only 10°C, the sensation is similar to the feeling of lowering cold limbs into hot bath water. When the temperature reaches -6°C, and then -10°C, the sensation is distinctly uncomfortable, and feels almost like muscle cramps in my stomach. After just two minutes, however, the feeling dies down and the area is all but numb.
With my 30 minutes up, it’s time to remove the vacuum. Here, I’m warned, is where another strange sensation awaits. As the vacuum comes off, I feel an enormous, hard lump drop down onto me. That lump, is me. I daren’t look – it feels weird and alien enough, and looking at it might scar me for life – but I’m acutely aware that the fat now looks like a rectangular, frozen mound of butter protruding from my abdomen. Fortunately, as Candice grabs some aloe vera lotion and begins massaging the area, it gradually disappears.
I’ll need to wait three to seven weeks before heading back to Candice to have my measurements taken again and capture some ‘after’ shots. Until then, I’ll keep my cynicism under leash, and reserve judgement.
Read Holly’s final verdict online soon at www.timeoutdubai.com. LipoGlaze sessions will be available from Dhs4,000 per session; email firstname.lastname@example.org for details of locations.
Cellulite: the lowdown
The term ‘cellulite’ refers to the dimpling effect on the surface of the skin, caused by fat cells just beneath it. Studies have shown that women are more disposed to developing it – some even claim that 80 percent of women will suffer from cellulite at some point in their adult life. Though genetics are largely at play, there are some things that are said to help reduce or even prevent the appearance of cellulite. Here are three to try…
1 Regular exercise.
This is the cornerstone of everyone’s physical wellbeing, and keeping your weight down is important in both prevention and reduction.
2 Avoid junk food.
Anything that your body can convert into fat and store (on your hips, abdomen, arms – anywhere) is a potential cellulite zone.
3 Body brushing.
It’s said to break down fatty deposits by stimulating the lymphatic system, which then moves toxins into the right channels for excretion.