A new technology has been launched in SA that uses lasers to stimulate weight loss. Called iLipo, it uses low level laser technology to stimulate the breakdown of fat cells within the body. It’s not actually marketed as a weightloss treatment but rather a way to shave off centimetres around the body. Like all body sculpting treatments, this works most effectively when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, meaning a proper diet and moderate exercise.
If you’re more science-minded, the theory is that the mitochondria in the fat cells absorb the light energy and react in such a way as to temporarily change the pH level in the cell. The cell responds to this by creating pores in its membrane to restore the balance, aka homeostasis. Secondary reactions include changes in the concentration of iron and calcium which triggers enzymes that break down triglycerides into component fatty acids and glycerol molecules. These smaller molecules can move through the cell membrane and into the body’s lymphatic system where they are used as energy.
If you understood any of that, you’ll probably be wondering why the body doesn’t just take these molecules back into the fat cells. And that’s where the whole “lifestyle” concept comes into play. The treatment has an immediate effect but if you don’t exercise to get rid of this new excess energy, the body will reabsorb it.
So wait, this doesn’t get rid of fat? No. What it does is break the fat cells down into components that are effectively easier to get rid of. This isn’t meant to be a cure-all, once-off solution like traditional lipo. It’s about helping people who struggle to get rid of those extra “fat pockets”. It’s perfect for that little muffin top no amount of crunches will destroy. The results from the trials showed what I like to think of as “natural photo-shopping”.
Because the result are immediate, the treatment also has quite an interesting psychological impact. You know that by exercising, you’ll keep the weight off so it acts as a motivational tool to get you to the gym and on the treadmill. In fact, the manufacturers recommend getting to the gym a few hours after the treatment, which makes this an ideal lunchtime treatment.
The cost is about R500 per treatment and a series of eight treatments are recommended. Currently, it’s available in 100 salons in SA and you can find salons by searching on the company’s website at http://www.chromogenex.com/ilipo/