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Melt Away the Inches 

A new high-tech, non-invasive procedure targets fat cells

click to enlarge The Zerona laser
  • The Zerona laser

It sounds too good to be true, but there appears to be a way to get rid of fat without diet or exercise. You can “melt” it away by exposing your problem area to the light of a cold laser. “It is a true laser,” says Dr. Michael Hardison, owner of Mountain View Chiropractic in Post Falls. “It’s a red frequency, so there’s no thermal effect at all, there’s no sensation.”

That’s right, painfree, non-invasive fat removal. And it’s FDA-approved.

Technically, the Zerona laser affects the inner-workings of the fat cell, disrupting its membrane and causing fat within the cell to become liquefied. Originally, that proved handy during liposuction because it made it easier to suck fat out of the body, says Hardison. But then there was an unexpected and fortuitous discovery. “What they realized was when they shined the laser on these fat cells… [the fat] was actually coming out of the cell and they didn’t need to suck it out.” The fat leaks into the interstitial space between cells, finds its way into the body’s lymphatic system and eventually leaves the body. No need for anesthesia, and no invasive procedure.

While the laser is not approved to stimulate weight loss, it is acceptable under the FDA approval for providers to claim the treatment will result in lost inches — at his clinic, the guarantee is at least six total inches among waist, hips and thighs in a four-week treatment session. Treatment consists of lying under the octopus-like laser with its five beams aimed at your trouble-zones for 20 minutes on the front, flipping over and lying there for another 20 minutes.

“You can be essentially any weight,” says Hardison. “We have elite athletes that just have little pockets of fat, we have people who are quite overweight.

Hardison says he has yet to see the limits of what the laser can accomplish, but it works best for clients who are committed to making lifestyle changes, improving their diets and adding exercise. “The laser helps them see some gains quickly — it gives you an incentive,” he says. “It increases energy production within the cell, so you need to make sure that person has the nutrients to continue to produce that. After four weeks, we typically have people take a week off. Whether that is necessary or not, we don’t know. We just want people to re-charge a little.”

He adds that using the laser does not guarantee fat won’t come right back. “It is like losing weight. If you continue to do what you’re doing, you’ll just gain it back. We really want people that are trying to make a lifestyle change.”

Effortless girth reduction doesn’t come cheap though. Two weeks of treatment goes for $1,600, while the four-week plan to guarantee six lost inches runs $2,500.

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