Here’s what happened when our Editor-in-chief embarked on a body-shaping programme at Body Catalyst

In the decades that I have existed on this planet, I have spent hours, days, weeks and enormous amounts of money elevating the quality of the skin on my face. Because, that is, after all, what we are encouraged to do. This has meant regular facials, multifaceted skincare regimes, and regularly subjecting myself to injectables, all in the name of a great visage. But while all this energy was going into my face, I regrettably had little care for the rest of my skin — that covering my body. 

As a regular and enthusiastic proponent of exercise, I have believed for many years that if I commit to my routine of Pilates and walking at least five days a week, my body will remain as taught as it was in my twenties. I’m saddened to report that despite what your online fitness instructor may have suggested during lockdown (as you relentlessly squatted your way to a firmer tush or undertook 100 push-ups-a-day in search of taught biceps, a la Madonna), the truth of the matter is, our body’s skin needs just as much attention as that of our faces.

Sadly for this sassy lass, I missed that memo when it would have been most helpful, and am now left with a few… let’s call them, age-appropriate disappointments, when it comes to the firmness of several areas of my body.

So, it was music to my ears when I heard that leading Australian body-shaping and wellness clinic, Body Catalyst, would be landing our shores, promising non-invasive cutting-edge treatments that would help me to lose fat, treat cellulite, and tighten loose skin.

Because improving the shape and firmness of my body, would surely also have lasting benefits in enhancing my own self-image, right? 

After a consultation with Body Catalyst specialist, Renee Bell, I was emailed an outline of a treatment plan that was designed to improve the areas that concerned me the most. My bottom, my arms and the backs and sides of my thighs.

To tone the saddlebags (yes, that’s what they’re called) on my outer thighs, Renee recommended three fortnightly treatments of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) which is used to target stubborn pockets of fat. It uses Macro-focused ultrasonic waves to permanently destroy the subcutaneous fat tissue using heat at 65-75 degrees. Unlike Fat Freezing, the high frequency of the ultrasonic waves results in heating under the skin which works to tighten, lift and reduce stubborn pockets. 

Elsewhere, to help improve the muscle tone on my glutes the recommended programme was ten, 45-minute sessions of TeslaFormer (a machine found exclusively at Body Catalyst in NZ). The TeslaFormer uses Functional Magnetic Stimulation (FMS) to build muscle tissue and reduce fat. During a treatment, the TeslaFormer induces strong supramaximal muscle contractions above the level that is possible during exercise, and consequently, the muscle remodels itself, building fibres and growing in size. The result is increased muscle density and volume. TeslaFormer lifts and firms the treated area, targeting muscle groups that are not accessible via a normal workout. 

And to give me the toned biceps I had always dreamed of, Renee recommended ten, 30-minute sessions of skin tightening using Radio Frequency. The Radio Frequency energy penetrates the skin layers to selectively heat the skin tissue. The local heating causes an immediate contraction of collagen fibres, and at the same time increases metabolism of the fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen fibres) thereby accelerating the production of new collagen and elastic fibres. The result is a tightening effect on the skin, creating a smoother and younger appearance.

At the time of writing, I am only halfway through my Body Catalyst treatments, however it’s clear that things are headed very firmly (literally) in the right direction. While there is a reasonable commitment of my time involved in undertaking each treatment concurrently, the procedures themselves are painless and in some cases actually quite relaxing. I often take my laptop so I can work while the fat is being flushed from my system. 

So for anyone needing an extra, self-esteem boost (without resorting to drastic and invasive measures), Body Catalyst’s innovative, gentle and effective treatments are certainly worth your time and a good reminder to care for and invest in your body’s outer layer, just as you would your face.

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