When someone tells me I can lose four to eight inches off my thighs and all I have to do is lay there, well, I’m all ears. So when I first began hearing about Ionithermie cellulite reduction treatments on cruise lines a couple of years ago, I couldn’t help but pay attention. According to spa claims, Ionithermie detoxifies the body at a cellular level, which results in smoother, more toned-looking skin.
It took a few cruises (and some extra pounds) before I was willing to take the plunge. Why the heck not? At $159 per treatment, it wasn’t crazy pricey. If it actually worked, it would be a downright bargain. And if it didn’t, my curiosity would at least be satisfied.
So when I was on Norwegian Jewel earlier this year, I signed up for one treatment. – despite the receptionist’s disapproval.. “You know, one treatment really isn’t enough,” she said, trying to be helpful.
“I think I’ll just start with one and see how it goes,” I answered (I don’t know what other passengers do, but I expected to see results before forking over another $240).. She smiled but shook her head as if I were making a grave mistake.
The next day I stood in a treatment room as a 20-something spa therapist explained the process to me. First I would be measured, then slathered with a special algae and wrapped in plastic with electrodes stuck to me, left to bake. At the end of this, I could expect to lose an inch off each thigh, maybe. The four to eight inches that’s touted in the brochure? That only comes after a minimum of three sessions.
An inch isn’t so bad. I’ll gladly take an inch of my thighs without doing 200 squats!
Measurement time: I am not a thin woman. I can barely stand to undress in the privacy of my bedroom all alone, so standing spread eagled while the specialist took my measurements wasn’t entirely comfortable… to put it mildly. She was sweet, though, and treated the whole thing in a matter-of-fact manner; no judgement.
Nonetheless, I was glad when it was algae time. I don’t know what makes the algae used in this process any different from the green slime you find on a stagnant pond, but the therapist told me it had detoxifying qualities and would help me shed toxins and unnecessary water. Sounded good to me.
After my thighs were covered in the green goop, I hopped up on the table where four electrodes were applied to my legs (two each). Plastic was then wrapped around my legs and the specialist left the room for some 30 minutes.
Now, I’ve had electric stimulation at my chiropractor’s but this felt nothing like that. Instead of a constant, pleasant buzz, the electrodes intermittently activated, causing my leg muscles to clench. It feels like you are tensing your muscles, and yet you’re not doing anything. It’s not painful or uncomfortable; it’s just weird and not at all relaxing.
Thirty minutes later, my Ionithermie therapist returned, removed the electrodes and rinsed down my legs. Then she measured me again.
A half inch.
That’s what she told me I’d lost on each leg.
I guess I have to believe her, but my pants didn’t feel any looser and my thighs definitely didn’t look any more toned.
In the end, I’m glad I satisfied my curiosity, but I won’t be doing it again. I would have had better results spending the 45 minutes in the gym.