A Real Cellulite Buster

I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman who didn’t admit she had some degree of cellulite. I was lucky; I didn’t have any until I hit my forties, and although it’s not much, it’s certainly enough for me to want it gone.

What exactly is cellulite? According to one source, that infamous cottage cheese appearance is “caused by fat deposits that push and distort the connective tissues beneath the skin.” While it is considered a fairly normal condition, it is still generally regarded as undesirable. It affects mostly women, but other factors contributing to cellulite development include heredity, skin thickness and amount of overall body fat.

I’ve tried creams to reduce evidence of this “condition,” but nothing ever really produced substantial, long lasting results. So when I heard about VelaShape, I was skeptical: Have they finally come up with a truly successful treatment to eliminate cellulite?

VelaShape combines radio frequency, infrared light energy, and vacuum and mechanical massage to target and direct heat, which increases the metabolism of stored energy and drainage of lymphatic fluid, as well as reducing fat cells and chambers. This results in a general smoothing of skin and reduction of cellulite.

Since it is my duty to test these things out for you, dear readers, I was able to schedule some treatments at Spatique Medical Spa in Smithtown. I arrived for my first appointment with high hopes and not a little bit of anxiety. I already knew that some heat and suction would be involved. Would this hurt? Is this going to be a huge waste of time?

Karina, a physician assistant at Spatique, examined me and said that she could get visible results from four sessions. Sounded good to me! After she took photographs of my thighs for later comparison, she led me to the treatment room and marked up the places we would focus on.

The VelaShape machine has two heads: One large for smoothing and a one smaller for contouring specific target areas. Karina explained that her approach was a little unorthodox. She uses a combination of the two heads in the same area, explaining that she has gotten much better results this way.

“I have learned from experience that using this machine is part skill and part intuition,” she said. “I customize my approach for each client’s needs.”

Both heads work much the same way. A special gel is first applied to the skin for conductivity and to allow the heads to roll more evenly across the target area. Skin is suctioned between two rollers with the radio frequency and infrared heating up that skin, which must be brought up to a temperature of about 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

There were moments when the heat got a little uncomfortable, but Karina was very attentive to my reactions and readjusted the heat as necessary. She had her trusty thermometer gun to monitor the temperature of my skin, and once it reached optimal level, she switched to the larger smoothing head and began again.

Karina explained that the usual recommended schedule is about four to six initial treatments, with a follow-up schedule of maintenance treatments once every month or two months, depending on the individual. Results will last longest when maintenance treatments are combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Another VelaShape practicioner, Margaret, owner and sole operator of Northport Skin Fitness, said she has seen excellent results in her clients in the more than four years she has been using the machine.

“Other treatment devices make claims, however they do not match up to the efficacy of VelaShape. VelaShape will smooth the texture of the skin while reducing the circumference of the area being treated.”

Is VelaShape for anyone? Margaret said not necessarily.

“VelaShape treatments are for those who are within their goal weight and plan to keep a lifestyle of proper diet and exercise. The people who benefit most are those who are willing to follow the recommendations I make and who are ready to make changes. New moms are great candidates for VelaShape on the abdomen as well as other areas, since it will tighten up the laxity of the ‘baby belly’!”

Margaret further added that the VelaShape machine is the first and only FDA approved device that safely contours, shapes and slims the body by reducing cellulite, and it offers additional benefits of improved blood circulation and relief of minor muscle aches and spasms.

Margaret said she believes she has a very different approach to treating clients. Her focus is on each client’s “satisfaction, individual uniqueness and wholistic health.”

After only one treatment at Spatique, my skin felt smoother, and after three treatments, I could clearly see a definite, if not huge, difference. My skin was absolutely smoother and, after the last session, my tightest pants were actually loose. No longer a skeptic, I now believe in VelaShape as a great, non-invasive option to reduce cellulite.

toni munna

Toni Munna is a native Long Islander who is always on the lookout for products that fulfill their promise to firm, hydrate, slim, soothe, de-wrinkle, plump, relax, de-stress, and just generally make you look and feel better. She a firm believer that wellness enhances beauty and has been testing beauty products and reviewing spas for you since the fall of 2006. You can reach her with questions at toni@lipulse.com.