Non-invasive, non-surgical body sculpting treatments are fast becoming popular. Some purveyors of these cosmetic treatments claim to give you a svelte figure without having to sweat it out in the gym or undergoing risky procedures like liposuction. Can this all be true, or is it merely clever marketing? We discuss these novel treatments, their benefits, and whether you should consider them.
What Is Body Sculpting?
Also called body contouring, these non-surgical treatments use a variety of advanced technologies to destroy fat cells in some regions of the body. The destruction of these fat cells is done in a manner that doesn’t allow them to grow back; destroying the fat cells is a permanent effect.
Keep in mind that body sculpting cannot remove large amounts of fat, nor is it an alternative to putting in the effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Body sculpting is more beneficial to people who are close to but have difficulty attaining their ideal weight and need to remove fat in areas that may not be addressed by exercise or diet alone.
The Types of Body Sculpting Treatments
Also known as fat freeze treatment, it is a non-invasive fat reduction method that utilizes cold temperatures to target and destroy fat cells. This treatment can target specific areas of the body that has unwanted fat and leave the surrounding tissue unharmed. Once the freezing temperatures have killed off the fat cells, these are slowly flushed out of your body via the lymphatic system. Areas that cryolipolysis can treat are the abdomen, thighs, arms, flanks, bra area, back, the area underneath the buttocks, and the “double chin.”
If cryolipolysis is the body sculpting treatment that uses cold, its opposite is one that uses heat—laser lipolysis. This type of treatment is similarly non-surgical and non-invasive but uses a heat-generating laser to burn and kill fat cells. As with cryolipolysis, the body’s lymphatic system takes over to flush out the burned away fat cells. This type of treatment is limited to problem areas in the abdomen, thighs, and flanks of patients since the laser is mounted on a flat applicator and does not cover body areas with curves very well.
Radio Frequency Lipolysis
This body sculpting treatment harnesses sound technology to remove stubborn pockets of fat in the body. The energy generated by radio-frequency devices targets the water in the fat cells, causing it to heat up and destroy the fat cells. You could say that the process involved is a tad similar to the way a microwave cooks food. As radio frequency lipolysis is dependent on water in fat cells, this treatment is more effective if the patient is adequately hydrated. The procedure is safe, with most patients only feeling a slight warming sensation in the abdominal and thigh areas—their most common targets. Multiple treatments of this type are required to get visible results and take only an hour on average per treatment.
Also known as mesotherapy, injection lipolysis involves injecting chemicals, such as a synthetic version of deoxycholic acid. Deoxycholic acid is a substance produced by the body, and its role is to aid in fat absorption. After going through this treatment and “killing” the fat cells, the body will naturally metabolize the dead fat cells a few weeks later. The main area that this type of treatment targets is the submental area, commonly known as the “double chin.” Multiple treatments are needed for visible results, and these can take at most half an hour to complete.
Why You Should Use These Treatments
You should consider these treatments to remove fat from stubborn areas that prevent you from attaining or maintaining your ideal weight. These treatments are recommended as they are non-invasive, so there’s no downtime after having them. The traditional alternative procedure is liposuction, which involves pain, bruising, and scarring. Body sculpting treatments only have minimal discomfort as side effects, and once the fat cells are destroyed, there’s a little chance of fat recurring in the treated areas. Finally, use body sculpting treatments to complement an established healthy lifestyle, proper diet, and exercise regimen.
While helpful in maintaining or finally reaching the desired body shape, body sculpting treatments cannot be used as a shortcut for losing a lot of excess body weight. These are complements, not replacements to weight loss or maintenance via a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and regular exercise.