Women’s collective quest to banish cellulite and lose weight has spawned an endless assortment of faddy therapies, treatments and diets. So, can Lipomassage succeed where others have failed? Claire Carruthers finds out
What do you think of when you hear the words cottage cheese? What about if we throw some orange peel into the mix? Are you picturing some kind of strange cottage cheese and orange peel salad, or are you thinking about the tops of your thighs, a friend’s thighs or perhaps the thighs of an unfortunate celebrity?
If you are a woman over 30, there’s a ninety per cent chance you’ve been afflicted at one time or another by cellulite. Women spend millions of dinar a year on slimming creams, and there’s an array of miracle-promising products to tempt us.
As far as anti-cellulite treatments go, we’re spoiled for choice. You can get zapped by electric currents; you can have injections of homeopathic substances in your bottom; you can be pummelled by rollers, suction pads and all manner of unexpected implements; you can sit in a space-age pod; you can be wrapped in seaweed and clingfilm; you can drink green tea; you can stick caffeine-loaded anti-cellulite patches on your skin, and you can even wear tights with capsules in them which promise to ‘stimulate the breakdown of fatty tissue’. That’s a pretty impressive array of treatments for something many scientists claim doesn’t exist. But seeing is believing, as they say, and for many women, the worrying presence of cellulite is very real indeed.
Endermologie or Lipomassage (LPG) was developed in France in 1986 by Louis-Paul Guitay and was hailed as the first non-invasive alternative to liposuction. The idea is simple: mechanical rollers and a simultaneous suction device ‘stimulates and reactivates the elimination of fat.’ Quick (each session takes just 35 minutes), diet-free and with lasting results, it sounded too good to be true.
Before my first treatment, I have to admit, I was a little sceptical. I’m not really one for a quick-fix solution you see; I prefer to slog it out in the gym, judging success on quivering muscles and post-workout pain. So the idea of lying face-down on a bed for half an hour while what looks (and feels) like a vacuum tool is pulled over my thighs, back and bottom seemed just, well, too easy.
I also have a slight problem with the concept. Liposuction I get: slices are made in the skin, fat is sucked out and you’re stitched up again. But Lipomassage begs the question: where does the fat go? The theory is this. As we know, the human body contains fat cells. Every fat cell has something called a beta receptor. The job of the beta receptor is to convert the fat in the fat cell into fatty acid (which we use for energy), so the more fat that is converted into fatty acid the better. The beta receptors need to be stimulated for them to work – something which is usually achieved through exercise – but in certain parts of our bodies (inner thighs, ‘muffin tops’, bottoms) it is more difficult to stimulate the beta receptors. Hence the use of motorised rollers in LPG, which manipulate the skin tissue, targeting the underlying cells and beta receptors.
Dressed in what can only be described as a full-body sock-suit, the LPG suction rollers are pulled over my skin in various directions. The sensation is actually incredibly relaxing – similar to a (very soft) deep tissue massage. After six sessions (six to eight treatments are recommended to achieve optimum results), I have noticed a marked diminishing in the dreaded dimpling around my thighs and bottom, but there doesn’t seem to be any actual inch-loss.
Yes, therapies, treatments and creams work to an extent (and more so when combined with a healthy lifestyle), but when it comes to the crunch, there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned exercise… and unfortunately, there is no quick-fix solution for that. For more information about the Lipomassage treatments, contact the Bahrain Specialist Hospital’s Cosmetic Surgery Clinic: 17 812 009 or visit www.bsh.com.bh
Fight the flab
Top five cellulite-busting cures
1. Stay hydrated – drinking lots of water will make collagen in the skin stay supple, reducing the orange peel effect.
2. Sit up – perch on the edge of your seat for better circulation and to help prevent a build-up of toxins.
3. Start brushing – invest in a body brush to improve your lymphatic drainage system.
4. Wobble it away – target wobbly thighs with weekly Power Plate classes.
5. Fake it – if all else fails, slap on the fake tan, which will mask unsightly cellulite.