Beauty treatments - CoolSculpting at MediSpa Wilmslow

Cool slimming

Cool slimming - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Kate Houghton gets into shape at MediSpa Wilmslow

So, if someone offered you a magic wand that could rid you of that un-shiftable squodge of fat you’re left with after having babies (you know, the one that we laughingly call our muffin top) or even up your back so your bra doesn’t create a hillscape in miniature, or just disappear those irritating underarm nasties no amount of press-ups will clear away, would you leap at it with both hands? I would. So when Dr Nyla Raja offered me the chance to test the CoolSculpting procedure at MediSpa Wilmslow, I did.

As you will have guessed, CoolSculpting works by using cold stuff. I’m not entirely sure what the cold stuff is, but that’s not important. What the cold stuff does, when applied to the fatty area you want rid of over a period of an hour or so, is crystallise those pesky fat cells. These crystallised fat cells aren’t recognised by the body, are therefore treated as a foreign substance and expelled naturally via the urinary and lymphatic systems.

Like a lot of forty-something women, I have a mummy tummy. While not of vast proportions, it does bother me and it was this bit I decided to have slimmed down. I was advised to set aside two to three hours and bring a book.

My therapist asked me to remove my jeans and she marked up my tummy to ensure she aligned the head of the CoolSculpting device up properly on both sides. She then applied a special cloth to prevent the skin itself making contact with the freezing element, and pushed the head of the device firmly against my belly fat. A flick of a switch and, yeech, half of said belly fat was sucked into the head of the device, which, it has to be said, wasn’t entirely comfortable but also didn’t actually hurt. I maneuvered myself onto the treatment couch, lay back, picked up my Kindle and prepared to chill out (no pun intended) for an hour.

At the end of this hour my therapist returned to remove the device and undertake the absolutely vital massage of the treated area, to help dissipate the crystallised fat. This is the point where, I had been warned, serious pain could happen. Hmmm. Not so much in fact. It was deeply uncomfortable, I will give it that, but not the awful pain I’d expected.

The process was repeated on the second half of my tum and I was sent home with the warning that I would probably have some stinging pains in a few days when the nerve endings woke up and that my tummy would be a bit swollen for a few days and numb for a few weeks. I was very glad of that warning! For the next three days it was soft and stretchy clothes for me; the area did puff up (and that sensation you get when you have an injection before a filling at the dentist, when the feeling starts to return to your lip – well that’s how it felt for around a month. Deeply odd, mildly uncomfortable!

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It’s now been seven weeks since my treatment. As you will appreciate, using the body’s own processes to deplete the body fat after the freezing trauma means it takes some time for it to have a visible effect. I’m told that two to three months is normal but I can already see, and feel, quite a difference. The area treated was quite big and very dense, meaning that there was a lot to do. It’s much softer now and definitely, absolutely, smaller. I still have to tense my muscles to get a flat tum, but whereas before I tensed and it still hung over my waistband, now it sits neatly behind, in a very well-behaved way. I am one very happy lady indeed. Now for the love handles…

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