Fat Freezing combined with Shockwave Therapy
Fat Freezing combined with Shockwave Therapy (also referred to as Acoustic Wave Therapy or AWT) is the latest innovation in clinically-proven technologies in targeted, non-surgical fat reduction.
Combined, they work better to reduce fat and the combination therapy leads to a more rapid reduction in fat. One of the clinical studies which proves this is referenced here: A Prospective Study Determining Patient Satisfaction with Combined Cryolipolysis and Shockwave Therapy Treatment for Noninvasive Body Contouring.
When fat cells are cooled during a fat freezing treatment, they are dead and dying, but still there, in a big clump. The brain realises the fat cells need to be removed, so it sends a signal to the lymphatic system that sends specialist white blood cells called macrophages to the area. The macrophages consume the dead and dying fat cells, which are processed by the liver and excreted. However, this process takes a few weeks to months – not only do the macrophages have to proliferate around the fat cells, but they need to be able to actually reach the fat cells to be able to consume them – and the fat cells are in a big clump. It could take ages for the macrophages to reach the cells in the centre of the clump. This is where shockwave therapy comes in – it bashes the fat cells into much smaller clumps which increases the surface area available to the macrophages, and hence speeds the rate of excretion. Shockwave therapy also has a skin tightening effect and improves lymphatic drainage too.
During the study, ten participants had the standard fat freezing treatment. Five had a post treatment massage – following the original fat freezing protocol. The other five were given additional shockwave treatments.
The results clearly show that the treatment worked more quickly in those who had weekly shockwave treatments, with the results at week 4 showing twice the fat reduction of the group that did not have shockwave.
To be clear, the study proves that fat reduction is quicker with weekly shockwave treatments.
Does Shockwave Therapy improve the overall results of fat freezing?
The above study did not monitor the participants up to the three to four month stage, to see if there was a difference in the fat loss between the two groups at that stage, and if there was a difference, how big it was. It can take 12 weeks or more to see the final results of fat freezing. So the only conclusion I can reach from the data is that the fat loss is quicker with Shockwave. However, there is clinical evidence that Shockwave Therapy will reduce fat on its own (even without fat freezing, see, for example “Acoustic wave therapy for cellulite, body shaping and fat reduction“,) therefore it is logical to conclude that fat freezing in combination with Shockwave not only speeds up the result, but it improves it as well.
I describe shockwave therapy to my clients as the “icing on the cake”. Yes, it makes the results of fat freezing show more quickly and it improves the overall result. However, I’ve seen amazing results from fat freezing on its own, so I offer Shockwave therapy as an option, not a necessity.
This diagram shows the improvement in fat loss when fat freezing is combined with shockwave therapy (also known as acoustic wave therapy).
“Cryogenic lipolysis” is another term meaning fat freezing, and “Z-Wave” is the brand name of the shockwave machine used in this study.