Cool way to get rid of pinchable fat
THOSE looking to lose that last inch of stubborn fat have their pick of non-invasive treatments these days.
These range from the latest ultrasound technology - a beauty fix called Liposonix - to Mary Chia treatments where excess fat is kneaded away with rollers.
People going for these treatments aren't necessarily fat.
Dr K. K. Chew, medical director and founder of NU.U Aesthetics and Wellness Clinic, said: "I am definitely seeing more ladies who are relatively skinny but may have some stubborn fat in the abdomen or thigh areas."
He offers the Liposonix treatment at his clinic in Orchard Road, saying that it's suitable for anyone who has "one inch of pinchable fat".
At Mary Chia, more "skinny-fat" people are seeking treatment. They have money to spare, and enhancing their appearance is seen as a worthy way to spend those extra dollars, said a spokesman.
I can see why. I may not have major weight issues, but I have always felt a little shy about my back-arm fat. When a chance to try out body contouring came up, I gladly volunteered and turned up at Calvin Chan Aesthetic and Laser Clinic at Wheelock Place, to test a treatment called CoolSculpting.
It claims to help you lose stubborn fat, with no surgery or downtime, by targeting and eliminating fat cells. It uses a targeted cooling process that kills the fat cells under the skin, literally freezing them to the point of elimination.
Problem areas of fat - such as on arms and thighs - are what the treatment is for. It's suitable for those with a body mass index (BMI) of between 20 and 25.
I ran a quick check: Less-than-ideal arms and a BMI of about 20. Yes, I'm a good fit.
After a quick consultation with the doctor, I was off to the treatment room.
The targeted spots on my arms were drawn into a suction machine which made the fat cells undergo apoptosis, or controlled cell death. I felt a slight discomfort for the first 10 minutes or so.
Thereafter, the discomfort came from lying still for two hours - treatment for each arm lasted an hour.
When the machine was moved away, there was a tingling and aching feeling in my arms.
If you are thinking of going for treatment on the eve of an important event, don't. The suction leaves bruise marks on the targeted areas, and mine took about a week to disappear.
The CoolSculpting treatment works so that the body begins to eliminate fat cells naturally over a period of time.
I was told that it would take two to four months to see results, but I found that I had smaller bulges on my arms in just three weeks.
However, while the treatment was effective, it came with a hefty price tag of about $1,000 for each targeted spot.
Hmm. Maybe a gym membership would be cheaper in the long run. But CoolSculpting certainly impressed.