Cold laser therapy for weight loss has been featured in a wide range of magazines and fitness articles in recent years. It is an FDA cleared procedure that is minimally invasive and can help reduce the size of specific areas of the body.
This article is going to help explain how this procedure works and what you can expect. It will include links to studies that support its effectiveness as well as discuss any potential drawbacks relating to treatment.
How Does Cold Laser Therapy Weight Loss Work?
Cold laser therapy weight loss is a fat reduction technique. The term cool laser is often used to describe a variety of different fat removal products including Zerona, Thermage, and Lipsonix. It is important to note that this article will only be discussing Zerona.
The reason for this is that Zerona is the only true cold laser therapy weight loss. The other procedures mentioned are also minimally invasive and require no downtime. However, their method of action is very different from Zerona and they do not use lasers as part of the weight loss process.
The technology behind Zerona’s cold laser weight loss therapy was developed by Erchonia. They have pioneered many different types of cold laser technologies for a wide range of cosmetic uses in the United States and other countries.
The Science Behind Cold Laser Therapy Weight Loss
Cold laser therapy for weight loss works by disrupting the cell membrane of fat cells in treatment areas. This process is the direct result of the energy that comes from the laser and is called a transitory pore. Other tissues like the capillaries are not affected by this process and are not damaged.
Once the transitory pore forms, the fatty contents of the cell are released into the body and are eliminated naturally over the next few days. Once a few days have passed, the transitory pore closes and the cell returns to normal.
In a study evaluating the effectiveness of cold laser therapy, scientists were able to confirm that 80 percent of fat was released from the adipose cells after four minutes of treatment. After six minutes of treatment, 99 percent of the fat was released by the cells. The cells were studied using an electron microscope after the treatments to measure how much fat was released.
How Effective Is Cold Laser Therapy Weight Loss?
Cold laser therapy for weight loss is an effective way to help reduce the measurements of areas like the thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. There have been multiple studies done supporting its use that were supported by Zerona and by third party researchers.
In a six week controlled experiment sponsored by Zerona, patients lost an average of 1.2 inches on their thighs, 1.8 inches on their waist, and 1.3 inches from the upper abdomen. There were no reports of adverse effects during this experiment and 81 percent of the patients were very satisfied with the cosmetic results of the treatment.
In another third party study, cold laser therapy weight loss was used over the course of two weeks for 86 patients. The mean measurement loss by the end of the procedure was 2.99 inches further proving the efficacy of cold laser weight loss therapy.
It is important to note that in both of these studies the average amount of weight loss was not that great. These types of treatments are meant to contour the body by treating areas that are particularly resistant to the effects of diet and exercise. While there was not much weight loss, there were measurable decreases in the size of the treated areas.
How to Use Cold Laser Therapy Weight Loss
To use cold laser therapy for weight loss, start by visiting a treatment center that offers Zerona. They will schedule an initial consultation with a doctor who will perform a variety of measurements and determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Ideal candidates typically are normal to only slightly overweight and cannot be pregnant.
Once you have been cleared for the procedure by the physician, they will schedule a series of Zerona treatments. The average treatment plan consists of six or more treatments spaced no more than two to three days apart. Each treatment last between 30 and 40 minutes based on a number of areas being treated. There is no pain involved and no injections are needed before or after the treatments.
Your doctor will often request that you increase your fluid intake in preparation for the procedure. This is to help metabolize the fat that is released during treatments. It is recommended that you limit or eliminate your caffeine consumption during the treatment period. Some physicians may also recommend supplementing niacin to help encourage positive results.
You will need to purchase a compression garment as part of the treatment process. These garments are to be worn as much as possible between your appointments to help promote fat loss from the treatment areas. Outside of the special garment, you can perform your day to day activities like normal and it’s recommended that you still lightly exercise to help facilitate the fat removal process.
The Disadvantages of Cold Laser Therapy Weight Loss
Cold laser therapy is minimally invasive and has statistically been proven to reduce the measurements of treatment areas. However, there are also some disadvantages that need mentioning as well.
The biggest disadvantage to cold laser weight loss therapy is that it is not suitable for patients who are severely overweight. This treatment is intended to help sculpt problem areas of the body that are naturally resistant to diet and exercise. It will have little to no effect on patients with high BMIs.
The other disadvantage to this therapy is that results are often temporary. All of the studies showed that patients had regained some of the size that was lost as the result of treatment. The fat cells are not removed or destroyed in this procedure and remain in the treated areas. This means that they can reabsorb fat once the treatments have ended without appropriate diet and exercise.
Cold laser therapy for weight loss is a viable procedure for those who know what to expect. It is meant as a supplement to a healthy lifestyle that is comprised of regular physical activity and smart eating habits.
The vast majority of patients experience meaningful reductions in their targeted treatment areas. However, it is important to remember that the fat cells in these areas are not removed and can quickly reabsorb fat once the treatment has ended.