Zerona review: My final measurements… for now

Zerona before and after

UPDATE: I’ve concluded that this procedure does not work—my feeling is that any weight loss that people experience comes from the supplement, Curva (NOT the Zerona sessions themselves). To read the full series of posts on my experience, see here: a Q&A with Dr. Mulholland, the pre-treatment measurements and photos, my first two sessions, the mid-treatment measurements, post-treatment measurements and then final measurements. As per the post below, I then started a second round of (six) treatments, but once again did not experience any changes. I believe that LipoSonix sounds more promising.

Time for another Zerona update! Zerona is, if you’re just joining us, a new fat-burning laser treatment that I’m testing out at SpaMedica in Toronto. (All the details about it are in this Q&A I did with medical director Dr. Stephen Mulholland, and you can also read up about my first couple of sessions and my most recent measurements.)

Anyway! Last time I posted about Zerona, I’d just had the final (sixth) session, which involves both the treatment itself and an encounter with the scales and measuring tape.

After that, the very last step happens a week or so later, when you just come in for one final weigh-in and get measured from head to toe. AND you get photos taken—always my favourite part! (Just kidding. And no, that’s not me in the photo above… we actually get to wear a white, high-waisted paper thong, which is MUCH more flattering. Ha!)

Anyway, here’s how I fared:

Overall, I actually GAINED weight (uh, five or six pounds—eek!), which is a mystery to me and can only be explained (as I said last time) by possible menstrual cycle fluctuations. It’s either that or I’m drinking so much water to flush out the fat that it’s actually water weight. Hmmm…

However, I’m told that it’s not the number on the scale that Zerona really changes—it’s the inches you lose. And I did lose some: 1.5 inches around my waist and 0.2 or 0.3 around my neck. (Why am I losing weight off my neck when my thighs are crying out for a smaller circumference? No fair.)

So the bad news? I was one of the few people who don’t lose the guaranteed minimum number of inches, which is 3.

But did you hear me say “guarantee”? YES. That’s the good news: Zerona will actually let you repeat the treatments, at no additional charge, if you don’t lose the 3 inches (or more).

So guess what I’m doing starting tomorrow? You guessed it—I’m starting the entire cycle all over again. I think it’s great that Zerona offers this to all their patients. I certainly wouldn’t want to spend $3,000 on the treatments and walk away with no guarantee of the results! So I’m thrilled to be giving my poor thighs another chance. And of course, I’ll keep you all posted on what changes I see the second time around!

And now… just because…  I’m going to leave you with this, which I can’t get out of my head every time I say the word “Zerona.” I blame The Chic Storm.

41 Comments

Bree
Wednesday, June 2/2010 at 6:17 pm

Oh, how I remember trying soooo many of these types of treatments over the years! Haha – memories!

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Michael Persky, MD
Thursday, June 3/2010 at 12:48 am

Hi Michele,

The above photos are misleading even though in your article you explain that it is not you. The glaring mis-statement in this update is “I was one of the few people who don’t lose the guaranteed minimum number of inches, which is 3.” You are not one of the FEW, but unfortunately one of the MAJORITY. The 635 nm laser cannot penetrate through the skin to cause disruption of fat cells. It can disrupt the fat cells when directly applied without having to pass through the skin. Good luck with your next “series”, though your results will be the same if you save your time and just take the dietary supplement Curva, exercise, and diet.

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Erin
Saturday, September 28/2013 at 7:13 pm

I wasted $1500 on this scam. Followed all directions…NO REDUCTION WHATSOEVER. Height, weight proportionate, great diet, moderate exercise, no alcohol, lots of water, etc. Tried Vela shape and another scam I can’t recall the name of. Spent over $5K between the three treatments- a total waste of $! NO GUARANTEES, EITHER. Just spent that amount for lipo with Elite Body Sculpture, who has 5 star reviews with a patented state of the art technique to ensure natural, symmetrical results and voila! INSTANT & PERMANENT GRATIFICATION! FINAL RESULT WITHIN SIX MONTHS, AS YOU WILL CONTINUE TO DECREASE IN SIZE. DON’T WASTE YOUR $!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, June 3/2010 at 9:06 am

Thanks for commenting again Dr. Persky. Question back to you about the Curva. The medispa where I’m getting my treatments done has said throughout this that the Curva is optional. (I understand that some people don’t take it because they’re vegan, or, like me, it makes them break out.)

Therefore – if, like you say, it’s the Curva that is responsible for the inches lost, then how can Zerona still give the guarantee even when people (like me) aren’t taking it?

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Chuck
Thursday, June 3/2010 at 9:51 am

Dr. Persky, I have to say your comments are misleading stating the laser cant penetrate and that Curva is the only thing making the difference. First off Curva wasnt part of the clinical trial, it clearly states in the research article the laser was the only thing used and nothing else was allowed according to the guideline set by the FDA.
Secondly a common misconception within the laser community is that low power lasers cant penetrate the skin, but that is simply not true. Low-level laser therapy works differently than the majority of high powered lasers on the market, it operates under the principles of a science known as photochemistry. For photochemistry, it is the unique characteristics of the photon (wavelength primarily) that is most important. The purpose of LLLT is to excite electrons in a photoabsorbing receptor, and excitation of electrons occurs via the absorption of a photon of a specific energy value. If too much energy is supplied, the electrons may not enter an excited state simply because the protein they are housed in may become altered due to the high amount of energy being applied to the cell, this has been well documented and your argument has been dispelled many times.
Good Luck Michelle!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, June 8/2010 at 6:29 pm

Thanks for the comment Chuck! I think I’m going to need a medical degree to be able to understand these laser technologies, wow! :-)

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lisa
Thursday, July 22/2010 at 6:50 am

I had the same problem. I did the six sessiona and took curva and foLowed all instructions and lost no inches. I did this in tme for my wedding

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, July 22/2010 at 9:30 am

Oh dear – we’re in the same boat then. I still haven’t done my final measurements from the 2nd round, but I am pretty positive nothing changed. :-(

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Karen
Thursday, July 29/2010 at 4:56 pm

Hi Michelle,
In your interview with Dr. Mulholland he said results “will very visible within the two weeks, but optimized in one month” so now your over the month point of your first treatments and just about that from your second round of treatments, have you had your new final measurements? I’m hoping this process isn’t too good to be true.

Thank you for your article!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, August 5/2010 at 6:54 pm

Hi Karen – unfortunately I didn’t see any difference with the second round either, although I ran out of time to go in for the final measuring session because of a trip and lots of work deadlines. But I’m fairly sure my weight and measurements remained exactly the same, as they did during the first round. (After going to that place oh, 14 times or so for 1 hr per session I got kind of tired of the whole experience and how much time it was taking out of my schedule for no results.)

I really wanted this to work, but I don’t think I can recommend based on my experience. $3000 is a lot of money!

I will be trying out a couple of other fat-blasting procedures soon though… so stay tuned.

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ANGIE
Saturday, August 28/2010 at 10:20 pm

Hmmm,

Boy does this dialog sound familar. I just completed my third treatment of the make good series. Still not feeling any results. Even after wearing the torture, I mean compression garment this time around since they forgot to give it to me the first time. I too was scolded for eating dinner at all. And was told I need to stop that if I wish to see any results…WHAT???? What in the world am I paying for. I could stop eating dinner for free. I may not attend the remaining three sessions. It is too much time out of my life. Live and learn.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, August 29/2010 at 11:22 am

Compression garment? Are we talking about the same treatment? That wasn’t a part of the Zerona program… and they never discussed diet (aside from just saying to eat healthy + drink lots of water). Your experience sounds VERY strange…

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Eliza
Monday, September 27/2010 at 12:07 pm

Doesn’t sound strange to me. I have scheduled my treatment to begin next Monday 10/4/2010. The ladies at the facility gave me a list of items I can eat and the ones I should stay away from, along with that she gave me the Curva pills and told me I would be getting a compression garment to wear throught out my treatment. When my husband looked over the information package and things I should follow to see better results we both came to the conclusion that if I followed these steps without the lazer I would loose weight too. I am very skeptical about this procedure after reading all these comments. I was very excited when I first heard about this treatment but so far every where I look….I read pretty much the same results. I am glad I did some research before starting the treatment because I still have time to cancel my treatment and save money. Thanks!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, September 27/2010 at 5:32 pm

Hmmm I guess some docs are using the compression garment as part of the treatment… what I find scary is Angie being scolded for eating, etc. That doesn’t sound kosher to me! (And I will reiterate, NONE of that goes on at SpaMedica in Toronto, where I got my treatments done… my only issue was really not seeing the results I wanted to, as I mentioned.)

Eliza, I do have to wonder as well about whether taking the Curva, along with being more conscious about diet/exercise during the treatment, accounts for any inch loss people may see.

I purposely didn’t make any changes to my regular routine so it was a fair test. Or maybe I’m just one of the few it doesn’t work on—really not sure!

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Jenni
Tuesday, December 14/2010 at 4:53 am

Did you do the SECOND round of Zerona treatments?
I only see your late April to early June reviews of your first six treatments.
What happened the 2nd time?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, December 14/2010 at 3:45 pm

Hi Jenni – see my above comment to Karen. Unfortunately I can’t recommend this procedure as I didn’t experience any change despite two rounds x 6 sessions each.

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CateM
Saturday, January 29/2011 at 5:58 pm

Hi Michelle.. The diodes on the Zerona are 650 nm and only 15 mw that is milliwatts. The output is not strong enough to do anything and too shallow to target deep fat. The studies are really have a lot of holes in them (I’ve read them) and were performed by a Doctor who is benefiting from the sales from the Zerona. It is FDA approved to assist in Liposuction as a non-essential application for pain control. I have spoken to Physicists who basically agree the equipment doesnt work for fat reduction.

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Ariana
Monday, January 31/2011 at 5:23 pm

I am glad to read all of this comments i was just about to pay for the treatment next week. It just sounds too good to be true.

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mario
Thursday, February 3/2011 at 9:53 pm

the zerona is a complete waste of time and money. im in my second week of treatments, 1 more left. ive gained weight, i see no visible inch loss. heres the skinny on this magic laser.

first off its for people who arent fat but have a few pounds to lose, it wont penetrate dense fat and therefore will not work for obese people.
i went into this with a clean system, i had detoxed for a month before hand on a very strict low calorie diet and i exercise alot, 4-5 times a week, hard cardio and mild weights on the zerona, but heavy off of it. ive put on weight, how can you loose inches of body and not lose weight? bullshit right.
the techs tell you not to lift weights during this process, why, because some of the inch loss will infact be muscle loss. youd be surprised how much muscle you can loose in the 5 weeks youre on a fat burner.
that brings us to the next item at hand, the curva. its green tea extract, fish oils, and niacin, all which contribute to weight loss. so lets see if we have this correct, they give you a mild fat burner, tell you to stop eating crap, dont drink alcohol pop juices or anything with caffeine, from a guy who lost 70 pounds in the last year without the laser, just cutting those things out and dropping to a low calorie diet will cause weight loss when combined with cardio, but you cant lift weights because they expect you to loose inches in muscle loss aswell.
if youre an overweight person who eats like shit and drinks booze you will loose 20 pounds in 3 weeks with just a good clean detox, i know i did, this gimmick tells you to do just that and gives you a fat burner and then has you sit under a spinny red light for 40 minutes. go to the zerona website, it only works for people looking to loose those few extra pounds. but thats likely due to the mild fat burner.

now ive gained weight despite intense cardio for the last three weeks and a clean diet. who knows why, i know before i started the treatments i was on a much stronger fat burner so maybe thats why, im following the procedure exactly as ive been told to do it, my belt doesnt fit any better, clothes dont fit better, the only reason i have lost any more weight is because i just dropped my christmas and pre christmas weight, 15 pounds and my body has come to a plateau of sorts, happens randomly while cutting weight and ill likely start loosing weight again once i get back onto my own fat burners.
this gimmick is a waste of money and time, do yourselves a favor, save your money, if you feel inclined to part with $3000 do it with a personal trainer/nutritionist. that way youre guaranteed results, not with some fancy magic spinny light

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tom
Friday, January 27/2012 at 3:03 pm

Sounds like u are frustrated with your weight. Zerona works BTW, its clinically proven by the FDA, its not a question of if Zerona works, but if your fitness plan and diet are working as well. You may have other health problems besides obesity, such as thyroid disfunction etc…

Zerona slowly shrinks fat cells, but at a rate that is higher than the naturally occurring fat burning process. If you have tons of fat, it may take 30 treatments to get the results you want. For people who want to trim up, 6-10 is good. I’ve done 12 and there is a TOTAL improvement. My pants fit better and I get nonstop compliments on how I slimmed up so quickly. I dont weigh myself, I just go by the mirror and how I feel physically.

I am a client of a Zerona clinic, NO PERSONAL INTEREST IN ZERONA’S SUCCESS!

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Stacey
Thursday, May 10/2012 at 8:29 pm

You can loose inches and not weight becausemuscle weighs more than fat per sqaure inch…so if you tine up, you may see a jump on the scale.

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Jeff
Friday, March 11/2011 at 11:08 am

Wow, I’m glad I read these reviews, thanks everyone. I to was considering trying the treatment and possibly starting a business with it. I can scratch this off my list :).

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Mary
Sunday, March 20/2011 at 9:32 am

I am on my 12th session with NO reuslts whatsoever!!!
do NOT waste you money.I am at my ideal weight and just wanted to loss some stubborn back and bra area fat..so I thought I would be a good candidate..NOT

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Steph
Friday, April 29/2011 at 1:11 am

Maybe u guys not following the proper food maybe you guys still eat lots of food and has no exercise..I think for the best result whoever planning on doing the procedure should eat lease and do some cardio exercise for better result…

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Wilbur
Monday, May 16/2011 at 5:59 pm

Whenever lazy, fat people decide to lose weight, they look to a machine or the latest miracle diet. People have to realise that they should eat less, and/or excercise more. It is a simple thing. Eat more calories than you expend and you will retain the excess as fat. Come on folks, use the $3,000 on the services of a nutritionist and gym fees.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 7:12 pm

I get your point but sadly most conventional nutrition/weight loss info out there is flawed. I’m not an advocate of the Zerona treatment however I don’t think weight loss is as simple as counting calories and exercising more. I would recommend the Slow Carb diet in the book The Four Hour Body as a great starting point for anyone looking to lose weight.

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Sarah
Thursday, June 2/2011 at 11:00 am

Hi there! Was searching for reviews on Zerona and came across your blog. I have my first treatment scheduled today and just wanted more info. The results don’t look very good and I’m sorry Michelle had to pay $3,000 for it. I got an online deal on Wagjag for Zerona – 3 sessions for $199. I’m going on vacation next week and just wanted to give this a try. I tried the Velashape sessions at Skin Vitality a few years ago and was really disappointed with the results. I kept purchasing packages cuz they said I needed more and ended up spending over $4,000! I did lose some inches and even weight (although they only guarantee inches) but I’m pretty sure it was because of regular exercise and becoming a weight watcher. When I asked the manager at Skin Vitality (Mississauga, Lakesore location) that I am not happy with the results and have dished out so much money and would like some additional sessions free of charge, she said she would get back to me – but never did.
I also tried something for cellulite treatment a couple of months ago. In these sessions had to wear a white body suit and they went over your body with a shaping machine. Didnt really lose any inches in this either. So, you must be wondering why I’m still wasting my hard earned money on these scams…? I work out 6 days a week including Hot Yoga and try my best to watch what I eat (even though thats the challenging part for me). I just wanted that “extra” boost before going away. Well, this is the last try. I’m gonna see if I lose the “guaranteed” number of inches – if any.

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Bria
Thursday, June 2/2011 at 5:40 pm

Thank you so much for this blog. I was just about to purchase the 3 sessions for $199 advertised on Wagjag. I thought I’d read some reviews first. I’m sorry to hear that so many people have essentially been screwed out of their hard earned dollars on this gimmick. Know that your reviews have saved someone else money that they really couldnt afford to spend, but was willing to do it anyway out of self consciousness. Thank you all.

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Chris
Monday, June 6/2011 at 12:53 pm

Thanks to all who posted in this blog their non-results and disappointments with Zerona. I actually just booked a consultation this morning and have decided to cancel after reading this blog and save myself $3000. Wow I can’t beleive I almost got caught up in another gimmick. Thank you everyone!!!

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Sarah
Monday, June 6/2011 at 1:35 pm

Hi, just wanted to give you an update. I had an appointment with them last week and they made me watch videos of the procedure etc ( which I already had read about online). They also told me that I would need a minimum of 6 sessions to see results and that 3 sessions were offered at this price for people to just ‘see’ how it works etc. Anyhow, I didn’t have time (or money) to book 6 sesssions so I basically asked Wagjag for a refund. Wagjag gave no problems and my refund will be issued in the next few days.

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Margarita Sanabria
Friday, June 10/2011 at 9:22 pm

I want to thank you, Michelle, and everyone who wrote their opinions for saving me $3,000 that I couldn’t afford to part with, but that I was willing to part with to boost my very low self esteem. I am a 50 yr old female who is hypothyroid and peri-menopausal. No matter what diets I try or how much I exercise, I can’t seem to lose weight, especially in certain very fatty areas (such as my stomach, around my knees and elbows, and my thighs). I have always struggled with my weight, but within the past three years of trying extra hard (treadmill for at least one hour, burning at least 500+ calories, weight lifting, etc), I was ready to give up and try Zerona. I am relieved to have saved the $3,000, but also extemely disappointed because I am left with no alternative other than to accept my flabby, fatty body. Ugh!!! I think I’m getting ready to throw a pity party…or at least sit down and have a good cry…

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, June 11/2011 at 8:40 am

I’m inclined to think your inability to lose weight may have to do with poorly managed hypothyroidism. Especially if you are on T4-only medication, it is very common. You should check out the website stopthethyroidmadness.com.

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Niki
Wednesday, July 6/2011 at 8:30 pm

oh wow…i am glad i read all these posts…i was wondering if i could use this product in my spa…but i cannot afford to have poor results! How do products like these get PR on shows like “the Doctor show” …however their test subject had positive results….

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Zerona Owner
Wednesday, August 31/2011 at 3:40 pm

1.5 inches off the waist, I would say is good for some people. so you cant honestly say it doesnt work.

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erin De Cesare
Thursday, November 29/2012 at 1:14 am

Yeah, OWNER! You’re just pushing your product, cuz you own the machine and want to sell treatments!
It’s total BS, LIKE EVERYONE SAYS. I ran 2 miles every couple days, consume less than 1,000 calories day, drank tons of water, no booze. 15 treatments later at $1500, NO INCH LOSS AND NO REFUND!

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Trainer
Friday, September 2/2011 at 4:30 am

I am a personal trainer in a gym that does Zerona procedures. I have heard many of my clients complaining that it does not work. This alarmed me so I went to the inquire about the procedure from my fellow co-workers and zerona specialists. They all came to the same conclusion, that it was a huge scam and weight loss only occurred due to the change in diet and little exercise the patients receive after the treatment. I have seen enough people waste their money, please stay away!

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JPsbabygirl
Friday, September 2/2011 at 3:01 pm

I just had my last treatment this morning and lost a total of 16 inches and 4 pounds. Even the tech taking my measurements kept saying how good I did. I am so happy and would do it again in a heartbeat. I still have to finish the curva so should continue seeing results for up to a month.

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JJ
Thursday, September 8/2011 at 4:15 pm

I was not fat. I was, what some people call “skinny fat.” 6’2″ male, 175 lbs. Pretty good weight…but I had a small spare tire. All the way around my midsection was a layer of fat. Stubborn fat that wouldn’t go away. I exercised, lifted weights, ran, P90X, and I ate very well. 175 was the lowest I could get to (from 190 lbs and 12 months of exercise). Even after losing the 15lbs, I was still wearing a 34 waist. The fat just wouldn’t go away. I signed up for 6 Zerona sessions through an online coupon site. When I went in, the doctor was shocked that I would want treatment. “You’re so thin!” he said. Yes, but….and I showed him my “layer.” It was not a bad layer…but I wanted abs…or something close to it, at least. I wanted the traditional “hot look.” No more love handles. He said that the procedure wasn’t for everyone and that it may not work, but if I was willing to take the chance, I could…or he’d refund what I already paid. No pressure. I took the chance.

And I’m glad I did. I continued my same exercise regimen, continued to eat the same, took the Curva along with a multi vitamin, fish oil, CLA, and Sesamin (all of which, minus the Curva, I took before the procedure). I lost a total of 9 1/2 inches in 4 weeks. I bought all new pants and shirts (from a L or XL shirt to a M, 34 waist pants to a 32). I could almost see abs (and now, with continuing my regimen, I CAN see abs).

This is definitely not a procedure for everyone. I almost didn’t do it because of all of the negative reviews out there, but…I had some extra money and I was desperate to shed the tire. Don’t mean to offend, but if you’re fat…don’t try it. If you think you’re even close to “fat,” don’t try it. The literature should say “If you need to lose a couple of inches TO BE WHAT THE GENERAL POPULATION WOULD CONSIDER SKINNY,” give it a shot.

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Caryn
Thursday, February 16/2012 at 4:19 pm

I did 9 treatments and they said they have a money back guarantee, which they did not stand up to. I was doing only my back (I had a tummy tuck and was left with a tire in the back only) and they said I would lose 5 inches at the least. Well, what they didn’t tell me was that they were going to measure just above my belly button to just below my hips in 4 different places, REALLY??? 4 different places?? Yea, that added up to 5. Not to mention on the measurement sheet, the girl crossed out the section that was marked “thigh” and wrote in 1 inch. When I questioned it, she said “Oh, thats really your lower abs, we just mark it there” Sure. TOTAL SCAM. I am now in the process of getting back my money, even if it takes me to small claims. I went in to this carefully as I tried the Velashape machine, costing me $1000, and it did not work. I specifically asked if there was a money back guarantee as if it did not work I wanted my money back so I could do Lipo. They failed to tell me that the 5 inches would not be where I wanted. Not to mention they also wanted me to “lose weight”, 4lbs to be exact. He also said to do 15 minutes of jumping jacks along with drinking a ton of water and yes the curva pills. That alone would have made me lose weight without the laser. Not Shit I was gonna lose an inch or two. And if the laser was the reason for me getting smaller, why did I go from a “B” cup bra, to a “A”?? That laser never did touch my boobs. I was strictly doing my back fat. SCAM, SCAM, SCAM!

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Anabella
Monday, March 26/2012 at 10:50 pm

I thought I had done my research prior to taking the zerona treatments. The sites I went to all talked about the success of Zerona. And the endorsement from “The Doctors” really impressed me. I had 9 treatments. I am 60, 5’3, 120 pounds. Prior to Zerona treatments, I did 5 days a week of cadio / yoga. I also had to stop the niacin, fish oils, and other supplements I was taking in order to take curva. My diet is excellent; no sugar, carbs from vegetables and fruit, about 1200 calories a day, fish, lots of purified water. I did not need to loose weight but there were love handles, extra fat on butt and thighs and tummy. I lost no inches. They told me it was because I really did not have the fat to loose. If they knew it wasn’t going to work, they should have told me that on day 1 instead of saying how excited I would be with the “new” me withing a few weeks. The compliment did not change the fact that the fat is there and I am two sizes bigger than I was a year ago. They would not refund my money and I am too embarrassed to do anything further. I looked at the paperwork and it says nothing about the guarantee; but I was told about the 3″ guarantee verbally. Very sad and frustrated about this $2000+ scam. :(

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paticia capes
Thursday, September 26/2013 at 7:09 pm

I am going to start 6 40 min treatments on my belly Monday. won a gift certificate for this and said valued at 2,000. after reading this comments im not so excited anymore. has anything changed in the last two years?

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