Smooth, Taute Bums and Beyond Achieved at SpaMedica
It’s that time again. Or at least, it’s time to start thinking about that time again. That would be bikini season. Finally, the days ahead boast a forecast in the double digits, and sunshine is a plenty. Cabana Pool parties and trips to the Toronto Island will be here sooner than we know it, and thank god for that — I’m surely far from the only Canadian sick of parkas and double layers, pants included.
But shedding layers can be a daunting task for many women; exposed bums can make us feel more vulnerable than exposing our souls (which I do after a few whiskey sours anyway). Although the Jen Selter’s of the world have told us we can squat our way to a taught, perky bum, that’s sadly just not the (whole) truth. Yes, exercise is an important aspect of physical (and mental!) superiority, but smooth, cellulite-free skin is unachievable through leg lifts alone.
In addition to an overall healthy, balanced lifestyle, peppering in treatments to attain maximum results is what has me still slipping into my favourite One Teaspoon Trashwhores (look them up — they’re the best!) after every winter season. This spring, I’ll be doing the same — I just bought the most amazing leather pair! — thanks to Dr. Mulholland’s stunning clinic, SpaMedica.
The wonderful and talented Doctor started his career by performing head and neck cancer surgeries for the better part of a decade. In the late 90s, he became interesting in the then-new and innovative non-invasive laser devices and switched gears, explaining, ” I found these to be fascinating and certainly a great way to impact upon someone’s life by improving their appearance.”
The change was good: “although I wasn’t saving lives, I was enhancing the quality of the life that was being lived. I have now been performing exclusively aesthetic plastic surgery and non-surgical in face and body enhancements for 20 years.”
The gorgeous, large and spacious Yorkville clinic offers a myriad of supremely prolific treatments that range from non-invasive pick-me-ups to full on, medically-administered surgical procedures, which are not done in office, but rather performed in the SpaMedica Plastic Surgery Centre. Located just above the medspa, it’s a government certificied outpatient surgery centre and where the Doctor performs about 300 surgeries a year.
Unique in excelling at both types of treatments and having them done in the most comfortable, relaxed environment by the most skilled and professional experts in the city makes this clinic bar none the best; seamlessly blending the newest, most innovative technology with the ambience of a luxe spa, there’s no better service and result.
Looking to tighten up my legs and bum and reduce cellulite in those ever-common areas (more than 80% of women suffer from dimpled skin!), I visited the clinic to investigate their Cellulite Reduction Treatment package.
But let’s rewind for a sec: what exactly is cellulite, and why do some many women lose the war on fighting it? As Dr. Mulholland explains, “Cellulite is believed to be a disease, a microcirculatory compromise of the blood supply and oxygenation and circulation to the superficial layer of the skin. The superficial fat layer just under the skin is deprived of oxygen, which over many years creates swelling and bloating of the fat cells. The fat cells stretch and push up in to the skin causing nodules. The relative lack of oxygen results in contraction of fibrous structures that pull down the skin in certain points leading to dimples. Ultimately mild versions of cellulite will appear like orange peel skin. More advanced cellulite will be more nodular and pitted much like cottage cheese.”
Dr. M. Christine Lee, dermatologist and director of The East Bay Laser & Skin Center in Walnut Creek, California, tells us that “cellulite is a puckering caused by the connective fibers under the skin (more on those later) pulling it down. Think of your skin like a mattress. If you look at the top of a mattress, it has all those dimples from the springs that are holding down the mattress top, and then there’s the stuffing that’s caught in between them.”
“Those connective fibers (called septum) function the same way, pulling down the skin and keeping it attached to the muscles. In between those bands are deposits of fat, and as those grow, the fat begins to form pockets that bulge through the bands and create a dimpled appearance. The more fat deposits there are, the more pronounced the bulges become.”
More bad news: topical creams, no matter how pricey or tingly, do little else than moisturize skin, which can help reduce the appearance of cellulite temporarily. If you’re looking for a more permanent and effective result, you’re going to need more than a caffeine-spiked cream.
That’s where SpaMedica takes over and makes us truly smooth. I had the pleasure of meeting with Claudia, SpaMedica’s Senior Aesthetic Patient Coordinator and Medical Aesthetician, who was razor-sharp smart and equally sweet. With the utmost patience, incredible wealth of knowledge and passion, (which all SpaMedia staff possess: each person I came in contact with was pleasantly friendly, intelligent, educated and seemed genuinely happy to be there) she outlined all four state-of-the-art technologies SpaMedica offers and their uses for me. SpaMedica has the ability to specifically tailor each Cellulite Reduction Treatment package to each patient, thanks to their way-above average variety of machines. Here’s what I learned:
Their Cellulite Reduction Treatment package includes eight treatments administered by the highly trained technicians, and additional sessions can be added afterwards for maintenance or further treatment. The technicians receive continued education for all machines to ensure proper procedures and techniques are always bang-on, and evaluate each patient individually to tailor which machine is best for their needs. Claudia tells me they often combine more than one type of treatment to achieve the best results possible. I tried ’em all — allow me to break them down:
This session begins with the technician selecting which body part they are going to be treating with a touch screen that has an outline of a body on it. Claudia pressed on the back of the form’s legs and bum, which is where I would be receiving treatment. Donning protective eyewear for the duration of the session, Smooth Shapes use a laser, which warms up the fat cells and shrinks them, as well as a suction technology, which tightens the skin and stretches the “pull down” fibres (the very same ones as mentioned above).
Featuring not one, not two, but three technologies, Vela Smooth combines infra red light, radio frequency and suction to smooth out cellulite. The device features plastic rollers that are covered with metal and move in a spiral motion, which allows for movement in any direction; the vacuum’s wheels are spiralled to allow for this motion.
I can actually feel the infra red light heating up my skin, which makes the treatment more effective. The radio frequency, just like Smooth Shape’s laser, uses heat to tighten and shrink fat cells. The suction detoxifies tissue and uses a pinching-like motion instead of a constant vacuum, which is slowly moved around the area being treated. There are three different levels for each technology, which can be adjusted before and during the session.
Actually a warm treatment, Venus Freeze’s name comes from its ability to freeze the aging process. Another touch-screen prompted treatment, Venus Freeze has two different device heads, which are chosen based on whether the technician is treating the face or body (selecting on the screen). The larger device head, used for the body, is meant for treating stage one cellulite, the least prominent of the four stages. Requiring the skin to be prepped with glycerin oil, a water-soluble oil that allows the device to glide over skin, Venus Freeze uses radio frequency technology to smooth out dimples.
Alternating electrodes share the radio frequency current, which oscillates the cellulite cells one million times per second and creates heat, shrinking fat cells. The device head features eight little metal nubs and heats automatically. This is by far the most pleasant treatment, as it feels like a warm massage. Claudia must continue to move the device around though, or the skin can get too hot. When the maximum surface temperature of the skin is reached, the radio frequency is lowered to maintain the treatment and stop increasing the heat.
Another technology that can be used for the face and body, Claudia used the bodyFX applicator to treat me. Explaining how Body Tite works with a visually-imaginative and effective analogy, Claudia described the electroporation technology as if fat cells were a garlic clove, where the membrane holds it all together. Body Tite, like a garlic press, actually crushes the membrane and kills the fat cells. Neat-o, right?
The device head is pressed against the area to be treated, where it heats the skin to 40 degrees before delivering 40 watts of electroporation. Giving you an acoustic announcement in the form of a “beep!” every time the electroporation is delivered, it feels like a tiny shock that doesn’t hurt in the least. As the treatment continues, the skin heats faster, as the temperature is already higher and the time between electroporation zaps becomes shorter. The device head shows Claudia the surface temperature of my skin so she can monitor the treatment best.
During the each session, gleefully discovering none of which hurt, I had the opportunity to dig a little deeper in the quest for body perfection. Claudia tells me that body treatments weren’t really around in before the mid-2000’s, but now body and face treatments are astonishingly equally popular. She tells me that the demand for body treatments has risen so astronomically in the past decade, she is now administering treatments for the body just as much as the face.
To book an appointment or consultation with SpaMedica, click here, or call the Clinic at 1-877-211-7505. SpaMedia is located in the heart of Toronto’s beautiful Yorkville district at 66 Avenue Road, Suite 4.