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. I then started a second round of (six) treatments, but once again did not experience any changes. I believe that LipoSonix sounds more promising.
Let's get this out of the way first. My first appointment for Zerona—the series of fat-burning laser treatments I'm trialling at SpaMedica in Toronto (if you're just joining us, read more about it here and here)—involved a pair of these.
Oh yes. And let's not even TALK about where I got that photo. (Apparently there are sites out there that AUCTION THEM OFF. Unused, I hope. God, people are weird.)
Anyway, don't let that scare you off. The reason you need to wear them is so that you can get before and after photos taken—a process which is, I'll admit, not all that pleasant, but necessary nonetheless.
Before that even happens though, you get a more detailed explanation of what the treatments are all about. (At SpaMedica, this is with Tracey Beaudry, director of operations. She tries a lot of this stuff herself, so she can tell you honestly about what the treatment actually involves and feels like.)
Here are a few interesting tidbits that Tracey shared with me:
- Like Dr. Muholland mentioned the other day, Zerona is for all-over fat loss—not spot treating. If you're more concerned about one particular area of fat, like your belly, you'd be better off going with something like VelaShape, which is more targeted (but also more painful—Zerona isn't supposed to hurt at all).
- You'll lose PURE FAT. Sounds good, right? Most people, when they lose weight, will initially lose water. With Zerona, we're talking about losing three to four pounds of fat only. Hurray!
- For best results, you should take a supplement called Curva, which helps the fat flush itself out of your system. (It's basically a high dose of niacin, which is totally safe, but may cause a bit of flushing for a few minutes after you take it—just FYI.) Curva is included in the treatment package, so they'll give you a bottle at your first appointment, and you should start taking it about a week before your treatments start. Note: Curva is optional—it's got fish oil in it so it's not suitable for vegans.
- During the two-week treatment period, you also need to avoid alcohol and fatty foods (sorry) and drink eight glasses of water a day. Also try to get regular exercise—at least two 30-minute sessions per week.
- Each treatment session is 40 minutes: 20 minutes on your front and 20 minutes on your back. You can talk on the phone, work on your laptop, read or just relax during the sessions. SpaMedica recommends maintenance sessions of Zerona twice a year.
After I got the rundown, it was time for photos—and the dreaded thong! I had to don it in this room:
And that's where they take photographs of you wearing it (just showing your body from neck to knees). I won't lie—it's pretty traumatic, although it's just you and the medical esthetician in the room, and she's very discreet. But they've gotta do it—they take photos at the beginning and then when you finish all the treatments—so you can see the difference.
After that, you get your measurements taken VERY thoroughly from neck to knees. Also a bit ego-crushing, but they do this at the start, mid-way through and at the end.
So next week I start the actual fat-burning. Stay tuned for the play by play!