With a cruise scheduled in about a month and less and less time left to lose a few inches, when Spa 810 in Buckhead reached out and offered for me to review their new Strawberry Laser Liposuction treatment, I just figured it was serendipity. I immediately asked them to tell me more. I then went to my good pals Google and YouTube to do a little research of my own, and was relieved to hear it was a ‘non-invasive, painless and speedy’ treatment that even the FDA has cleared for use. I didn’t see a down side, so I booked an appointment and days later, was lying on the table, relaxing in a room typically used for massages, with 10 paddle-like devices strapped to my mid-section. By the time I left, I was down 2 and 3/8 inches around my belly (yep, that’s my before and after in the photo above).
I call that success.
And yes, I plan to return.
And no, it didn’t hurt. Not one bit. In fact, I rather enjoyed the 20 minutes of lying still, doing nothing but relaxing with what felt like a heating blanket on top of me.
After that, they had me switch to what I’m calling the big egg—a heating and vibration pod of sorts, where I relaxed for another 20 minutes—before hopping in my car and heading home.
No drugs, or painkillers involved. No cuts or bruises.
So, how does it work?
Well, based on info I found from the FDA site (feel free to skip ahead to the people speak version in the next paragraph—but I feel like I must explain for those with a better handle on science than I have), the machine uses laser diodes incorporated into 4-10 ‘paddles’ with 6 holes on each, strapped to the ‘subject’ and connected to a control unit that uses electricity. “When the laser paddles are placed on the skin, the cold red laser beams penetrate the skin just deep enough to reach the layers of fat. When the light hits the fat cells, a rapid chain of events takes place. Firstly, pores form on the cells causing them to spill out. The water, Glycerol and fatty acids move into the interstitial space beneath the fatty layer in the skin. Then further water, fatty acids and Glycerol spill out. The adipocyte cells are therefore reduced in size.”
Broken down in people-speak, the red lights shoot through your skin (I promise, this is painless) and essentially melt the fat cells. What was in them before is then sweated out or eliminated from your body when you go to the bathroom. That’s really it.
The treatment with the paddles is supposed to take 20 minutes and the cells stay open for 2-3 days, so I’ve been told there’s no real point in repeating the process until after that. It’s recommended you do several treatments—up to 8—every 3 or 4 days. According to the FDA information, a double-blind study showed after eight treatments, “an average recorded loss of 3.68in (9.35cm), with the greatest loss at 5.6in (14.22cm). Out of the 22 treated subjects, one failed to met the criteria with a reduction of only 1.2in (3cm).”
Andrea at Spa 810 measured me before my first treatment and again afterwards. She measured three spots on my mid-section, from my waist to my lower abdomen. After the treatment, she measured again.
In just one treatment, I lost 2 and 3/8 inches of fat around my stomach. Not bad for 20 minutes, right?
They make it clear you should also drink plenty of water and get at least 20 minutes of a cardio workout in within 10-15 hours of having the treatment. That will help you flush out the bad stuff for good.
I plan to do a total of four treatments, which I’ll write about again once treatment is complete, so you can see whether the great results continued.
After the success of just one treatment, I plan to try it on my thighs, too, which have always been my biggest trouble spot. The treatment can be used on multiple body parts, from your arms, backs, sides, hips, thighs or abdomen.
This video explains the process to you (this is Andrea, who treated me).
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What does it cost?
Well, that varies, based on how many treatments you get and where you have it done. If you are near Atlanta, I highly recommend going to Spa 810, where I tried it. They have a special rate right now for Mother’s Day and have even bigger discounts if you become a ‘member’ of the spa (which essentially gets you a massage or facial each month, on top of discounts on other services).
The normal cost is $300 for one session for a non-member, though members have a special deal of $89 this month! It’s $1080 for 4 sessions or $2040 for 8 sessions for non-members. Members (who pay a monthly fee and get free services each month) pay $250 (although it’s $89 this month as I mentioned) for one treatment, $900 for four (or $699 this month) and $1700 for 8 ($1299 this month).
It’s definitely an investment, but much less than cool sculpting, which I’ve also tried. I’ve never looked into the surgical liposuction, though I’m aware it’s much more expensive than this.
Why is it called strawberry?
I asked and they told me it’s just because the machine is shaped like a strawberry. That’s about it.
This technology was created in England and has been in use in Europe and the Middle East since 2007. It was FDA cleared in 2013 and is now available in select spas and plastic surgeon’s offices around the US.
If you’re not in Atlanta, it’s easy to search for a location near you that offers this option. I think it’s worth considering and will be back for more treatments. I’ll write a follow up article in a couple weeks to see if the results lasted, so check back.
As I mentioned above, I was asked to try a treatment in order to write a review. I was not otherwise compensated and my opinion remains my own. I promise, I didn’t alter images in any way and didn’t ‘suck it in’ for better results. This is the real deal. However, do remember I am not a doctor and cannot advise you on whether this is right for you. As with all medical procedures, talk with your doctor first.