IMAGINE being able to vacuum-wrap your fats away without having to go under the knife or subject yourself to months of sweat in the gym. In your dreams, as someone from the old school of fitness would tell you.
But perhaps not.
There is a new treatment regime in town called Hypoxi therapy that promises to help women get rid of their pear-shaped bodies with ease, even panache.
'Women have more padding on their bottoms, so they tend to have fat legs and many struggle with cellulite, which resides close to the surface of the skin, where blood circulation is the least pronounced and where heat generated from exercise is unable to reach,' explains Ix Shen, certified trainer and co-owner of Verve Studio on North Bridge Road.
The Hypoxi theory is that cellulite can be eliminated and fat burnt through the unique combination of gentle exercise and targeted low atmospheric pressure, which increases the blood supply and encourages the circulation to the cellulite and fat prone areas of the hips, thighs and buttocks.
'Hypoxi uses vacuum and compression therapy to help women get rid of cellulite which would otherwise require invasive surgery to remove,' says Mr Shen, whose boutique exercise studio is the first in Singapore to offer the patented Hypoxi system.
This system, which consists primarily of a vacuum chamber with a bicycle pedal, requires the lower half of the body to be enclosed within the air-tight chamber, where the therapy is applied to stimulate circulation in the problem areas.
Explaining its workings, Mr Shen says: 'Each session starts off with about 15 minutes of vibration induced massage to loosen up the cellulite molecules in the body. You will then don a special suit which will hook you up to a temperature sensor and heart rate monitor.
'Then, all you have to do is some gentle foot pedalling, to pump up the blood circulation.'
The entire session will last about an hour, and most people won't break much of a sweat. Compared to a regular workout, it sounds like a piece of cake indeed.
And according to Mr Shen, it takes just 10 to 12 Hypoxi sessions to start seeing results.
'So far, about seven in 10 people will drop at least one dress size after a dozen sessions or so,' he claims.
Developed by a sports physician in Austria, Hypoxi therapy was launched in the European market in 1997 and has since grown into a successful business, with more than 2,000 studios worldwide.
Each session here costs $150, and patrons who purchase a package of 20 sessions will be rewarded with two free sessions.
To fully reap the benefits of Hypoxi, clients are advised to have a small carbohydrate meal sometime before their sessions, and a meal rich in protein but low in fat after each session.
Asked if the effects of Hypoxi therapy are permanent, Mr Shen laughs and points out: 'Nothing is permanent if you don't maintain a healthy lifestyle. Hypoxi will help kick-start the process to a good, slim body, but still, you need to have a sensible diet and an active life. If you eat fatty food and smoke a lot, then of course you will go out of shape again!'
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