Johannesburg- The new buzzword in celebrity and socialite circles is fat-freezing. This weight-loss quick fix is properly termed cryotherapy or cryo lipolysis.
But if you think you’ll have a summer body come December, you may be disappointed if you only start now. It takes an average of five monthly treatments to see results.
Fans of the treatment, which can treat almost any body part where there are small pockets of fat, include fitness enthusiast Sbahle Mpisane, dancer Zodwa Wabantu, influencer and make-up artist Maya Mia and media personality Shashi Naidoo.
Nasrin Ebrahim from the aesthetic clinic, Anti-Aging Art, said even men are trickling in to see aesthetic practitioner Dr Reza Mia, specifically for this treatment.
A single session starts at R4 000. Lea-Anne Rheeders, owner of Young Again Aesthetics in Johannesburg, explained that she initially did it herself, abroad, five years ago.
And when she returned to South Africa, she was one of the first to offer treatment at her clinic. She said in the last year clients have doubled.
“I invested in fat-freezing machines and started small. Eventually, it grew so big. What started with 30 clients a month has now doubled. We proudly do 60 cryotherapy treatments a month,” said Rheeders.
She said the medical device that uses cooling technology is applied to the targeted area. Once the machine is turned on, it freezes fat cells to a minus eight degrees, resulting in fat cell death. It is non-invasive and has no downtime, she said, but it’s not meant to treat obesity. A body mass index of 18.5 to 20 is recommended.
She said there are side effects though rare, adding that some patients can suffer from paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, which causes fat cells to double instead of shrinking.
Other side-effects include mild stomach cramps, tender muscles, redness and swelling, which all subside in a few days.
She warned to only go to approved centres. “Unsafe methods would be things like home freezing. People purchase machines to do this at home, this is dangerous,” said Rheeders.
Naidoo, who also went for treatments through Dr Reza, said: “It’s painless, effective.”
Maya said she shed quite a few centimetres off her waistline after only one treatment, but that she combines the treatment with a healthy diet and exercise – which is recommended.
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