Not all women have the perfect hourglass figure. The banana, apple, pear and hourglass are the four most common body shapes for women. All of these shapes are named by the resemblance of the breast-waist-hip ratio of the body. The banana shape represents women who have no curves; it is a straight frame from breast to hip. Apple-shaped women are big around the breast area and slim down toward the waist and the hip. The pear frame reflects women who are smaller around the breast area and gradually get bigger at the hip. Finally, the hourglass shape is big at the breast area, slims down at the waist and then gets bigger at the hip again.
A History of Body Contouring
The hourglass frame has been the sought-after frame for centuries. Women have tried various methods throughout the years to achieve this frame. In the Victorian era, women would wear corsets. These corsets were worn tightly around the waist and would hold everything in from the bust to the hips. The corsets were sometimes made out of whalebone and/or wood sewn into the bodice of the garment, allowing little room to breathe. Due to the structure of the corset, the tightness in which it was worn, and the amount of time it was worn, corsets caused many internal problems for the women’s organs.
Recently, corsets have come back into mainstream fashion as an undergarment to help tighten the midsection of a woman. Women are referring back to the Victorian era so that they are able to create the hourglass frame. Corsets serve as a form of body contouring by shifting fat, causing an hourglass frame. Although a corset is nice to have for a fancy night out to create that alluring silhouette shape, it is only a temporary solution.
Body Contouring Today
Fat is like an uninvited guest. It generally finds the coziest area to rest and linger until it is forced out of the body. Fat is hard to get rid of and sometimes, even with a strict diet and consistent workout, it will not go away. Today, women are seeking alternative ways to garner a more flattering figure. Body contouring is able to help sculpt the body and create a shape that will be able to assist women who are taking the necessary steps in order to take care of their bodies. Multiple treatments combined with diet and exercise will also help to achieve the desired body contouring results a person is seeking.
Body Contouring Treatments
There are different types of body contouring. Undergarments such as padded bras, corsets and padded underwear for the buttocks are one way in which to contour the shape of the body. There are also treatments that people can receive, such as Lipo-Light, Thermage®, cool sculpting, and wraps.
Lipo-Light uses waves of electromagnetic light that targets fat cells which naturally unlock, release into the body, and, eventually, metabolize their way out. Many treatment centers offer an additional treatment to the Lipo-Light to help speed up the process. After receiving a Lipo-Light treatment on a particular area, the client stands on a machine that vibrates the whole body. This full body vibration helps to enhance metabolism, increase circulation, improve lymphatic flow, and reduce cellulite. This treatment is non-invasive, painless and there is generally no down time.
Cool sculpting uses a low-level laser that targets the fat cells and causes them to leave the body by freezing them to the point of total destruction. The cold laser therapy is non-invasive; there is no down time, and the fat is eliminated from the treated area. Cool sculpting has been deemed a great alternative to liposuction, an invasive surgical treatment that vacuums the fat from the body and requires some down time. Cool sculpting can be used to treat areas of the back, abdomen and thighs; usually, six treatments are performed within a two-week period. It is very important not to miss any of the treatments and to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Being that this is a non-invasive treatment, it is recommended to stay active and maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Thermage is another great alternative non-invasive therapy for body contouring. Requiring only one treatment to deliver results, thermage is a laser that uses a radiofrequency and works on a different level of energy by using both heating and cooling effects. The heat treats deep tissue while the cooling effect helps to protect the surface of the skin, causing little discomfort for the person receiving it. With the heat being able to penetrate deeper into the tissue, it enables the remodeling of collagen. Thermage can treat any area of the body: the skin above the knee, the sagging skin on the upper arms, or the loose skin under the chin. There are many clients that seek less expensive treatments for body contouring treatments, such as wraps. Products and wraps go hand in hand. There are many great products that will help to stimulate cellulite turnover. Many of these products have active ingredients in them that will leave a tingling, warming and/or heated sensation. It is best to prepare the skin by starting with exfoliation.
Exfoliation serves two purposes: it increases the circulation of blood flow to the surface of the skin and it opens up the pores. Clogged pores do not allow the product that is going to be applied to the skin to penetrate as deeply as it should. By exfoliating and cleaning out the pores, the product will be able to be effective and deliver the best results. Once the skin is exfoliated, it is prepared for the cellulite treatment products to be applied.
Products for body contouring may cause some irritation and discomfort because they are treating the skin, causing it to be flushed. Once the product is applied, the body can be wrapped. Wrapping the body in a plastic sheath will push the product into the skin and also make it sweat to increase water loss and decrease inches. The longer the body is wrapped, the more water loss is released through sweating. It is common to lose inches in one treatment of a body contouring wrap, leaving the skin tone feeling smooth and even.
There are many modalities available to help contour the body and create an hourglass frame. We are able to treat the body with invasive and non-invasive procedures, as well as with topical body contouring treatments. When it comes to aesthetic modalities, an hourglass frame can be obtained no matter the figure.
Amra Lear is a licensed massage therapist and aesthetician. She has been working in the spa industry for 16 years, working for two of the most prestigious spas in the world. Her clientele consists of the stars, moguls and people alike. She has been trained by Japanese shiatsu masters and the founders who pioneered such wonderful modalities such as ashiatsu, mother massage and lulur. Skin is her ultimate passionate to where she has been dedicating the last six years to research and education of biochemistry to better understand the biochemical response to products used on the skin.