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Acoustic Wave Therapy: A Cellulite Cure?

Rated: 6.25 out of 10

Mechanical stimulation of cellulite-afflicted parts of the skin is a very popular method for treating cellulite. And there are many different types of mechanical stimulation, with several different machines associated with each type. Acoustic wave therapy machines are some of the most popular, and are most often found in high-end beauty salons or in a doctor's office (plastic surgeons and/or dermatologists especially). If you are rich enough, like Madonna, you can even own one for personal use at home. But how well does acoustic wave therapy actually work? We put our investigators to the test, and below are the results of our efforts.

How does Acoustic Wave Therapy Work?

Acoustic Wave TherapyTo get an acoustic wave therapy treatment, you have to start by finding a doctor or salon that specializes in acoustic wave therapy (AWT) treatments. Most of the time, they will recommend two treatments per week for a set number of weeks, which varies from location to location.

During your treatment, your doctor or salon technician will place you in a comfortable position, usually lying down on a table, and direct acoustic energy to your problem area(s). Some patients report mild to moderate discomfort, but usually are able to go right back to work as soon as the treatment is over.

The Benefits of Acoustic Wave Therapy

Contrary to most mechanical cellulite cures, AWT actually has some scientific evidence to back it up. As a matter of fact, using AWT to combat cellulite was a spin-off discovery from its original use, which was to treat joint pain and inflammation. But once clinicians started noticing that the skin of treatment areas was bouncing back firmer than before, they started testing it for use against cellulite.

And those studies yielded some impressive results. A 2007 study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging used AWT treatments on 21 female test subjects twice per week for 20 minutes a session. In just six weeks, ultrasound scans revealed that all test subjects showed evidence of collagen remodeling in their skin.

How Much Does Acoustic Wave Therapy Cost?

It's hard to get a feel for what you should expect to pay for an AWT treatment, or a series of treatments. More often than not, prices will vary by region and even country. Some people report paying as little as $55 per treatment and being amazed with their results, while others have reportedly spent $8,000 or more to no avail. When you’re shopping around, look for something ranging from the high hundreds to low thousands for a complete set of treatments.

Does Acoustic Wave Therapy Work?

It's honestly a little hard to predict. Out of all the mechanical anti-cellulite treatments out there, this one actually has some hard science backing up its claims. However, everyone's body is different. What might make your best friend's thighs look supple and firm after a single treatment might only make a minor improvement in your problem areas after a full six-week regimen. And it's a lot of money to spend on a cure that might not make a big difference. For our top picks for affordable cellulite treatment, click here.

Best Cellulite Cream Recommendation


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