The summer is approaching and summer dresses, shorts and swimming costumes beckon. If you’re reluctant to expose areas of your body that aren’t looking so tip top, then consider a visit to The Orangery, says Emma Clegg
Have you booked a summer holiday this year? Are you looking forward to some quality time in the sunshine? Well, if you’d like to make your body look the best you can on the beach or around the pool, it could be a good time to think about some body sculpting. I talked to Victoria Rawlinson at the Body Clinic at The Orangery in Bath who specialises in various body shaping treatments including VelaShape and HIFU.
Victoria started our conversation by showing me a picture of the upper legs of a 67-year-old lady, and then a picture of the same area after a series of treatments of VelaShape. The results were astonishing.
VelaShape is a non-invasive body shaping treatment using suction rollering. It aims to reduce cellulite and alter the contours of the body with radio frequency energy and infra red. “The heating with the suction roller helps melt some of the fat in the cellulite pockets and also tightens and tones the skin,” explains Victoria. The heating stimulates the growth of new collagen and elastin, which reduces loose skin and body volume, and improves skin structure and texture.
VelaShape is area specific, so the treatment starts by marking up the area that is to be treated, typically the stubborn areas you want to tighten and tone. After applying oil to the skin the machine is turned on. “You can feel the skin and flesh being sucked in and then you feel the warmth. It’s like a gentle suction, moving around, building up the heat. Eventually the heat will become quite intense, and that’s when we move to another area.”
It takes about 20 minutes per area to build the heat up. It can cause a small amount of bruising, but Victoria describes this as “all part of the healing process, after which the skin will start to tighten and tone from there. You need to feel the heat for it to be really working.”
Another treatment, HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) is a non-surgical treatment that uses ultrasound to lift, firm and tighten the skin, treating lines and wrinkles and areas with reduced skin elasticity. “Our skin constantly renews itself, but by the time we age, the renewal slows down and causes the skin to age”, says Victoria. A HIFU treatment applies ultrasound energy below the surface of the skin, which results in the contraction of the layer of skin.
HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) is a non-surgical treatment that uses ultrasound to lift, firm and tighten the skin, treating lines and wrinkles and areas with reduced skin elasticity
The HIFU treatment starts with the marking up of the area, and the application of a cooling gel to the skin. Then a handheld device emits the ultrasound waves in short bursts. The level of penetration will depend on what the area is. The process of HIFU is designed to break up the fat. Victoria says, “It’s very useful for people who want to lose weight because it means the fat is more bioavailable. If you have a stubborn, fatty area and it’s been penetrated by sound it will be heated up through those soundwaves. Then if you are exercising you’re more able to access that fat and use it, so it’s useful for breaking down and body sculpting.”
With HIFU you have one treatment and come back for a six-week review and the number and level of treatment is discussed to suit the client and their budget and what they want to achieve.
“If people feel they can only afford to do one layer at a time you can still get good results,” says Victoria, who also tells me that a younger person will get results more quickly because your metabolism changes as you age. Many of her clients are in their 50s and 60s, frustrated by loose and crepey skin, but younger clients include those going on holiday, getting married and wanting to treat areas of cellulite or lose some weight.
If you’re prepared to put the work in, do a bit of exercise and look after your diet, you can rebuild the tummy, take away some of the love handles and tighten the skin on your legs
“For weight loss and body shaping for both VelaShape and HIFU it is also important to have a healthy diet, because otherwise your body can’t heal itself,” says Victoria. “All the treatments are just winding the clock back, so the impact of one or a series of treatments will vary. One treatment might wind you back a couple of months; a combination could wind you back two, three or even four years.
“We have to work with the individual. It’s a partnership. You can re-sculpt your body if you want to. If you’re prepared to put the work in, do a bit of exercise and look after your diet, you can rebuild the tummy, take away some of the love handles and tighten the skin on your legs.”
That sounds like the perfect change in order to feel more comfortable and confident this summer.