Toronto Standard, July 2012, The Day a Lady with a Big Metal Wand Liquefied my Stomach Fat
The brochure describes TriLipo as “Pleasant and comfortable. Patients report a warm, enjoyable and relaxing sensation and a gentle ‘tingling’ feeling.” My ass. They could use this thing to interrogate terrorists.
TriLipo technology is a non-invasive solution for localized fat reduction and body shaping; they can use this baby on your face, neck, arms, tummy, and thighs to remove fat deposits, tighten the skin, reduce cellulite, and shrink stretch marks. I personally think treadmill companies should use TriLipo to promote the benefits of regular exercise—the benefit being that you won’t have to endure TriLipo.
In all honesty, I didn’t know what I was signing up for when I agreed to try the TriLipo Maximus Tummy Tightening Treatment at Glow Medi Spa in Yorkville. I’ve never had laser hair removal, Botox, or any other sort of non-invasive medical-cosmetic treatment. I always kind of assumed that ‘non-invasive’ was a synonym for ‘pain-free’… turns out, it isn’t.
The first sign should have been the slew of e-mails I received before my treatment advising that I abstain from drinking alcohol and load up on as much water as possible to “decrease any sensitivity that you may experience.” Maybe I should’ve drank more. If you’re so inclined to try TriLipo, I suggest that you chug the clear stuff ultrasound-style. If you’re not sitting slightly cross-legged and kegeling for the love of God on your way there, you haven’t done it right.
When I arrived at Glow, I was impressed right away. They have a beautiful 4,000 square-foot space in the heart of Yorkville with lots of light and elegant décor. No backroom Botox here. The name on the door is Dr. Diane Wong, MD-- but she’s not just a name on the door. She’s actually there. Even more impressive is that she personally consults with every customer who comes in looking for injectables (Botox, Restylane, etc). And unlike those doctors behind the bubble faces and chipmunk cheeks you see on Real Housewives and, occasionally, the Toronto social circuit, Dr. Wong prides herself on work you can’t see. It’s all about subtlety here.
I enter the treatment room, and I’m asked to strip down to a disposable thong (which I seem to be wearing a lot of these days) and a small robe. My pro takes my measurements in three places before we begin: four inches below my belly button, at my belly button, and four inches above my belly button. I then lay back on a table and wait for my “warm, relaxing” experience to begin.
To its credit, it does begin that way. The pro rubs me down with lots and lots of oil and then begins rubbing one half my stomach with what’s best described as a big metal wand. At first, it’s pleasantly warm. But then it gets hotter. And hotter. And hotter… until at one point I have to look down to see if my skin is sizzling off my body. Apparently the machine heats up to 45 degrees Celsius for maximal fat liquefying.
Oh, but that’s not the really fun part. You ain’t felt nothing yet until the Dynamic Muscle Activation kicks in to tighten the underlying muscle while squeezing out even more fat. If you’ve ever gotten electrical muscle stimulation via a physiotherapist, it feels like that, but a hella lot more intense to the point that it can get pretty painful.
Dr. Wong compared the sensation to the feeling of a baby kicking inside a pregnant woman’s stomach. Now, I’ve never been pregnant, so I can’t confirm nor deny-- but I’ve also never seen a pregnant lady in near-full body convulsions, so I’m inclined to think this might be underselling the sensation a little.
At one point my pro has to turn down the machine’s intensity so that I can tolerate it, and we have to take multiple short breaks. And then we have to do the other side.
The good thing about TriLipo is, despite the pain of the treatment itself, there’s absolutely no discomfort once it’s over. You can sit, stand, exercise, go back to work, sit in the sun, whatever. And the best thing about TriLipo is that it works. When my pro measures me a second time, I’ve already lost an inch off my lower stomach, an inch around my belly button, and half an inch off my rib-area. To sum up: That’s a total of 2 ½ inches in less than an hour! Not bad.
The fat stays off until you gain it back, so this is by no means a license to go eat whatever you want if you want to keep it off. The best and longest-term results occur with 4-6 weekly treatments. At the end of the day, I would recommend this to someone with a decent pain tolerance and stubborn fat or sagging skin that the gym and a healthy diet just won’t fix.