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Acoustic Wave Therapy for Cellulite: Does it Really Work?

Anti-cellulite treatments have existed for decades and have seen many iterations. One of the newest trends is using acoustic wave therapy to combat cellulite. With this treatment, high-intensity pulsating waves are sent directly into problem areas to break up fat deposits and increase blood circulation. While it may seem like another gimmick, there are plenty of benefits to this type of therapy, as long as you do it right. Here’s everything you need to know about shockwave therapy for cellulite and if it’s worth investing in or not:

How Does Acoustic Wave Therapy for Cellulite Work?

Acoustic wave therapy is a non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves to stimulate collagen production and increase blood flow around the treatment area. You can think of shockwaves as sonic booms that are directed straight into your skin.

To target specific areas, like cellulite, a special device called a cannula is placed on the skin and the device is turned on. In just a few minutes, the shockwaves penetrate the top layers of your skin and travel down to the fat. The waves cause the fat cells to break up, which allows the interstitial fluid to flow more freely, carrying the fat with it. This also stimulates fibroblasts, the cells responsible for collagen production.

As a result, new and stronger collagen is formed, filling in the gaps left by the fat and creating smoother, tighter skin.

The Science Behind Acoustic Wave Therapy

Acoustic waves are very similar to ultrasound waves in that they are used for imaging and tissue manipulation. The only real difference is that shockwaves use sound waves with a higher frequency and intensity. When ultrasound waves are sent through the body, they bounce off tissues and create an echo. The device then measures the echo to determine the size and shape of tissues and organs.

A study conducted in 2007 resulted in the following finding:

The data indicate that low-energy defocused extracorporeal shock wave therapy may be effective in treating cellulite by remodeling collagen within the skin

National Library of Medicine

In the same way, acoustic waves also bounce off tissues in the body, but they are more powerful and are sent in short bursts. This allows the sound waves to penetrate deeper into the skin, muscles and fat. This is where they come in handy when fighting cellulite. Shockwaves can be sent into the fat cells and cause them to rupture, which then releases the interstitial fluid and pushes the fat cells out through the surface of the skin.

Results

Check out this video from Novus on the actual results you can expect with acoustic wave therapy for treatment of cellulite.

Pros of Acoustic Wave Therapy for Cellulite

Acoustic wave therapy is a non-invasive procedure that can be done in a single visit and works best when performed on areas with a lot of fat, like the thighs. You can expect to see results after just one treatment, and the effects will last for about 6 months. Shockwave for treatment of cellulite is just as effective as cellulite laser treatments and is less expensive and less painful than traditional cellulite treatments that use suction. Other benefits of shockwave therapy include:

  • Promotes collagen production
  • Improves blood flow
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Eases muscle pain
  • May help with other skin problems

Cons of Acoustic Wave Therapy for Cellulite

Although acoustic wave therapy for cellulite can be incredibly effective, it does come with some downsides. For starters, you may experience some mild bruising and swelling in the treatment area. Generally, though, these side effects go away on their own within a few days. In the short term, you may also notice increased skin discoloration and peeling.

This will go away within a few weeks. Unfortunately, acoustic wave therapy is not effective on cellulite that is caused by genetics or poor nutrition. While it can help improve the appearance of cellulite, it’s not a cure-all.

How to Get the Most Out of Acoustic Wave Therapy for Cellulite

Like with any cellulite treatment, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to maximize the results of shockwave therapy. First and foremost, make sure you’re visiting a certified aesthetician with experience in cellulite treatments. You don’t want to skimp on quality here, or you could end up wasting your money. To get the best results from Acoustic therapy, you should visit a treatment center 3 times a week for about 6 weeks. Because this treatment is so intense, you may want to consider taking an anti-inflammatory before your session to reduce any swelling or pain.

Final Thoughts

Acoustic wave therapy for cellulite works best on areas with lots of fat, like the thighs. This non-invasive procedure can be done in a single visit and is best when performed on a consistent basis. To get the best results, you should visit a treatment center 3 times a week for about 6 weeks. To maximize the results of shockwave therapy, you should visit a certified aesthetician with experience in cellulite treatments and make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to care for your skin afterward.