Love handles. The term sounds so warm and cuddly but frankly, “warm and cuddly” is far from how it makes one feel about one’s body. “Love handles” is as a slang that became popular in the 1960’s when abdominal exercises began targeting this particular area because these unwanted excess flabs that you can pinch around your waistline – from the front, back and sides – are one of the hardest bulges to get rid off. Some of these bulges just won’t give up its territory, even with your best arsenals of costly diet and high intensity interval training exercises!
You’ve probably heard of tumescent liposuction, a procedure that has become a popular surgical procedure for removing excess fat to contour the body. But being a surgical procedure, it does pose safety risks and higher costs. But don’t give up just yet, a non-invasive fat-removal technique called Cryolipolysis® has recently gained approval and recognition. Now, it is a proven solution to “stubborn fats that do not respond to diet and exercise.”
On Popsicles, Dimples and Love Handles
Did you know that kids who habitually sucked on popsicles increase their chances of forming dimples? This was what a study in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed. Apparently, constant exposure to extreme cold can “kill” fat tissue in the cheeks of children, leading to dimples! If this can happen to cheek fat, then why not other fat deposits in the body right? Thus, the inspiration for the study that led to Cryolipolysis® technology.
Intense cold causes fat cells to “freeze to death.” When done with consistency, “freezing of fat cells leads to apoptosis or “a process of programmed cell death”. Afterwards the body’s natural metabolism removes these destroyed fats from your body. Finally! This is the principle behind Cryolipolysis®, which makes it possible to target specific problem areas –like those nasty love handles.
To be more technical in describing it, Cryolipolysis® is the “non-invasive cooling of the adipose tissue to induce lipolysis –the breaking down of fat cells –to reduce body fat without damage to other tissues.” Dermatologists Dieter Manstein, MD, PhD and R. Rox Anderson, MD, of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, discovered the scientific principles of Cryolipolysis. This discovery called “selective Cryolipolysis led to the development of the patented technology behind the non-invasive CoolSculpting® Procedure.”
Cryolipolysis however, is not a replacement for diet and exercise, nor is it a treatment for obesity. Losing those love handles requires a combination of proper diet and exercise, which don’t always completely remove stubborn fat.
That’s where CoolSculpting® comes in.
Lose Flabs Over Lunchtime
Because Coolsculpting® is completely non-surgical –does not involve incisions or surgical tools entering the body– the patient can return to normal activities after the treatment. It’s been dubbed as a “lunchtime procedure,” taking only 60 minutes, after which you can go back to work without a hint of discomfort or pain. Although for some patients, the treated area may undergo tingling, discomfort, redness, numbness or minor bruising, this is temporary and will go away in no time. Patients often spend procedure time reading, working on their laptops, or simply relaxing. It’s safe, FDA-cleared and effective.
During a Coolsculpting® session, a trained professional will mark the area to be targeted, for example, the center of your tummy. For maximum contact with the hand piece or “cooling device,” a gel pad will be placed over your tummy. The hand piece will be positioned over the gel pad, and finally be activated to pull the bulge up. You will feel a firm suction and pressure –enough of a pull to make sure the device has proper contact in order to “cool” the targeted area efficiently. After 60 fleeting minutes, procedure is done.
Love Handles Take Time
Results of the treatment can be seen as quickly as three weeks after, but the most dramatic results come after one to three months. Around 1-2 inches usually come off a patient’s waistline.
As mentioned earlier, it takes some time for the fat tissues to “self-destruct” and be washed off through the body’s natural metabolism. But note the long-term effects. The body will still be flushing fat cells for up to six months after treatment. Combined with healthy eating and some perhaps some exercise, long-term results are bound to stay.
But who cares about having to wait a while when losing stubborn fat around the waist may actually take forever? CoolSculpting® is literally cool, innovative, and non-surgical – a much awaited news for those who want to say goodbye to their annoying bumps and bulges.
Although Cryolipolysis® is already available in several cosmetic clinics here in the Philippines for the past couple of years, it hasn’t gained wide popularity as compared to liposuction. But now it’s available as a body sculpting option for those who are not inclined to go through liposuction.
Text by: Riza Olaguer