Spa manager Mira Culic is showing me through a slideshow of headless, near naked before-and-after pictures. ‘See this,’ she says, pointing to a fold of fat on the figure before me. ‘You can see her fold is smaller.’ She explains ProSlimelt is a low-frequency ultrasound. When exposed to trouble areas, the fat ‘metabolises’.
When it’s my turn to try the machine (after being photographed for my ‘before’ picture), Culic warns me: ‘You will hear a ringing in your ears.’ As the node is rubbed over my belly, the inside of my head sounds like a high frequency rave. Soon, my stomach becomes hot and, after an hour, incredibly irritated.
‘It’s completely safe,’ Culic assures me. Afterwards, she takes another snap. Pointing to a fatty fold underneath my arm, she pronounces, ‘See! Your fold is smaller.’ Well, yes, marginally. Granted, Culic recommends several sessions for optimum results, but it still seems to be a pricey fix.
Elche Beauty Salon (04 349 3995), Dhs2,000 per session. Five sessions cost Dhs7,000.
The Vacunaut suit resembles something between a wetsuit and a science experiment, complete with tubes connecting it to a suction machine. It takes two technicians to help me get into this suit. Afterwards, I am to walk lightly (so that my heart rate remains in the fat-burn zone) for 40 minutes. While walking, the suit vibrates and sucks around my belly, supposedly getting blood to go to the area. The idea is that all of my calorie burning will be focused around my stomach. I’m told that many participants lose 15 centimetres around their stomach after 12 sessions.
I figure, doing four sessions, I should be able to lose 5cm. And I do, though I didn’t anticipate the staff adding the number of centimetres lost from my upper, middle and lower stomach to get this number. Though I wonder if the extra exercise in my schedule was more responsible for the results than the suit, I’m enlivened by my new thinness, and vow to exercise that much more each week.
Aviation Club (04 282 4122), 12 sessions cost Dhs2,400 for non-members, Dhs1,800 for members.
Lumicell Wave 6
‘You have stage-one cellulite,’ says Alex, my cellulite therapist, as she squeezes the back of my thighs. I’m feeling a little anxious about the science-ficion-esque machine she’s fiddling with while explaining that ‘stage one is good as it means you only see the orange peel when the skin is pinched’. Oh yay, I think.
The treatment takes place over three stages. The first is a vacuum massage, which is supposed to release lymphatic blockages, stimulate blood flow and warm up the tissue to encourage fat release. It’s not painful, though you do feel a bit like someone’s working you over with a rolling pin. The following two stages are an ultrasound that works on the deeper fatty layers, and a radio frequency session to increase collagen production.
The results aren’t immediately obvious. But, with a little more scrutiny, I noticed the double bulges of fibrous tissue that had collected at the top of my thighs had also decreased.
Eternal Medspa (04 344 0008, www.eternalmedspa.com). Dhs800 per session.
Cellulite buster package
My session starts with 20 minutes on the Power Plate, a vibrating device designed to accelerate muscle building and strength training to give me a complete body workout in less time. After squatting, bending and flexing, my muscles ache and I do feel like I’ve worked hard.
With my muscles warmed, I next head into the spa for the drainage treatment. It starts off nicely as the therapist encases my thighs and tummy in a detoxifying self-heating mud mask followed by cling wrap. But once I’m unwrapped, my sweet therapist morphs into a fierce anti-cellulite harridan. She goes to town, beating my thighs with cupped hands – banishing my cellulite to the ether.
I soon begin to perversely enjoy the casting out of the evil lumps of fat. At the end my skin is tight and smooth, but the stubborn orange peel remains. Perhaps I need a few more sessions of pummelling – if I could just summon the courage.
Hilton Jumierah (04 318 2406). Dhs415 per session. Ten sessions cost Dhs3,900.
Green Coffee Wrap
It seems rubbing green coffee into your skin can stimulate the breakdown of fat and destroy problem dimples. The technicians at Natural Elements Spa tell me it’s all to do with chlorogenic acid. I was excited at my impending green coffee wrap, but doubtful. My therapist applied an exfoliating salt to combat dry skin before smothering troublesome areas with a cellulite-busting cream.
Next, a green coffee mud-like mixture was slathered on me from top to toe. Next, I was wrapped in foil to cook for 15 minutes, all the while receiving a soothing head massage to take my mind off the mounting heat inside this silver cocoon. At this point, I wondered if the loss of fluids from sweating would be what accounted for a lessening in cellulite.
This isn’t a treatment for the claustrophobic – if it weren’t for the attentions of my lovely therapist, it would have been easy to panic at sweating copiously under thick layers of foil. But in the end it was a largely relaxing session, and my skin felt silky smooth as a result. And, believe it or not, I now have less dimple-age. Who would have thought?
Natural Elements Spa at Le Méridien, Airport Road (04 702 2550) Dhs440.