Fooled by my pointy chin and bony wrists, people look aghast when I tell them that I need to be slimmer. But they don’t see the spare tyres and lovehandles which spill from my waist once I sit down. This makes it next to impossible to wear bodycon dresses without special underwear.
This problem wasn’t so prominent until all those late-night McDonald’s meals started making their presence felt sometime after Chinese New Year this year. Even Spanx couldn’t contain those wobbly folds of flesh.
So when an opportunity from Absolute Slimming came along to go for a slimming treatment using traditional Chinese methods of gua sha and cupping, I thought it was great timing. The idea is that guasha (“scraping”) and cupping will regulate your body’s metabolism rate and help it burn fat more efficiently. If you don’t want to read this post in detail but want to find out if this treatment worked for me, the short answer is “yes” and you can scroll down to read a summary right at the end plus get a promo code.
Absolute Slimming has been around for 13 years utilising these traditional Chinese methods to achieve body sculpting. You might wonder why Alvin didn’t go for the treatment instead of me, but the truth is – the slimming regime requires strict diet discipline, and Alvin knew that he wouldn’t be able to stick to the plan. I guess he also minded my spare tyres more than his own. 😛
A standard package at Absolute Slimming includes eight sessions ($1,600), lasting four weeks, with two sessions to be done per week for optimum results. Run by Irene, the business originally started as a home-based salon more than 10 years ago. As business has expanded, Absolute Slimming moved to Holland Road Shopping Centre in November last year.
What to expect
Here’s what happens when you go for your first session at Absolute Slimming. During your free 20-minute consultation, you will be asked about your weight-loss goals, diet and habits, medical condition, and also find out more about treatment procedures. You will be asked to fill up a form with your current height and weight, and shown a diet plan formulated by Absolute Slimming, after many years of refining.
I was told to stick to this diet plan as strictly as possible; otherwise it would be difficult to guarantee ideal results:
- Low-fat dairy is allowed but in judicious amounts.
- No processed carbs including pasta, biscuits and bread – with the exception of wholewheat bread.
- No soups, including homemade soups, due to high sodium content.
- No grains (including oats), nuts, beans and seeds.
- No processed foods, including beancurd. The only exception is canned tuna.
- No juices, sugared drinks and sodas. Caffeine beverages with less cream and sugar are fine though.
- One portion of meat is allowed per meal.
- Fruits are allowed with the exception of very sweet ones like mango.
- All vegetables are encouraged with the exception of carrots (high sugar content).
- Only eat until you feel 70 per cent full.
- Try to have your last meal before 8pm.
Sounds restrictive? It took some getting used to for the first two days. Breakfast was filling enough but I felt really hungry about two hours after lunch and dinner. After those first two days, though, I started getting into the rhythm of the plan. While many foods are banned from the diet, there are still lots of things one can eat.
Two things helped me cope with the hunger pangs: 1) Controlling the amount you eat shrinks the size of your stomach; 2) The guasha and cupping helps to suppress your appetite. If you really have zero diet discipline, you will still lose weight from undergoing the treatment – just not the average 4 to 6kg.
Speaking of which, let me describe the treatment itself.
What the treatment is like
After stripping down to your underthings (men are given a pair of shorts to change into), you are weighed on a special scale which details things like your muscle mass, percentage of body fat, and the extent of your lovehandles. Every customer is weighed before the start of each treatment session.
Now, because I am actually 1kg below the ideal weight according to the Chinese charts, the people at Absolute Slimming said that four sessions would be enough for me to experience the treatment and see results. They were right.
The therapists at Absolute Slimming work very quickly. Depending on the availability of staff you can get two therapists working on you at the same time. The therapist dabs slimming cream on the upper thighs, calves and back and “scrapes” those muscles with a smooth instrument, in firm, broad strokes. Then, they apply about 20 or so cups on specific areas. Absolute Slimming has a proprietary method of placing the cups to achieve optimum results.
You shouldn’t expect the guasha to be like a relaxing massage. The sensation of being scraped all over is bearably painful – I would say the pain score is the same as getting your facial hair threaded for the first time. There are two rounds of cupping, 18 minutes per round – the first round for your back and the second for your front – and the sensation of having many circles of skin being sucked by the cups all at once is akin to ant bites.
Setting my tummy on fire with a special “Heat Treatment”
During my third session, Irene suggested that I try their special Heat Treatment right after my regular scraping and cupping. It is supposed to burn 6,000 kcals – twice the amount in a regular session – and this can be done on either one’s thighs or abdomen. I chose abdomen. Slimming cream is applied to the area and carefully covered in plastic and then towels. The towels are then soaked in some Chinese herbal liquid which is, by the way, flammable – and then set on fire.
I was asked to indicate when I could feel the heat from the fire on my skin. The flames are then doused with a damp towel, which is left on top of my tummy for a few minutes to allow the heat to sink in. This is repeated four more times, with the heat allowed to get more intense each time the towels on my tummy are set alight.
I lost 600g by my second session within the same week, then another 400g, and then, after the special Heat Treatment in the second week, another 800g. According to the smart weighing scale, I didn’t lose fat – instead my muscles were getting smaller. Irene said that it was nothing to worry about – my muscles were merely becoming more compact. Haha I knew it, my tummy was just one big muscle, not blubber after all.
Anyway, after four sessions (two weeks) I lost a total of 1.8kg, 1.5 cm at the waist, 2.5 cm in my lower abdominal area, my butt seems to be perkier and my lovehandles have been significantly diminished. My “spare tyre” count was a “3” at my first session but by the third, it was reduced to a “2”. You can see from the pictures of me in my sleeveless bodycon dress that I look less pregnant (I AM NOT, in case you are wondering), although I do admit that I need to continue working on that waist to achieve washboard abs.
The diet did help me cut down on the portion that I eat. I don’t feel like I need to eat a big bowl of rice in order to feel full now. While I had to eat two slices of bread for breakfast in the past, I now am content with one slice and a small bowl of low-fat Greek yoghurt with fruit.
In a nutshell:
- Both men and women are welcome at Absolute Slimming.
- It doesn’t matter if you’re overweight, of acceptable weight, or underweight, because it’s possible to be skinny and still have flabby areas. As long as you have problem areas, the treatment will work on you.
- The treatment comprises guasha and cupping (1h). It is recommended that one goes twice a week. Each session burns about 3,000 kcals. A standard package has eight sessions and costs $1,600. Average weight loss is between 4 – 6 kg after eight sessions, and you’ll get your money back if you don’t see results within 4 sessions.
- Results can be seen from the first session onwards but you need to stick to the strict diet plan.
- Bruises from cupping will form but will fade within a few days, depending on the individual.
- You can resume your regular eating habits two days after the last treatment session. Unless you go back to overeating, you should be able to maintain your new figure with ease.
- The Heat Treatment (15 minutes) costs $90-$170, depending on the size of the area treated. Burns 6,000 calories at one go.
- If I just follow the diet plan and forgo the treatment, I will still see results, right?It is difficult to follow the diet plan without the treatment because the methods of guasha and cupping help to suppress your appetite. Even if you succeed in following the diet plan by sheer willpower, you may see overall weight loss, but without the sculpting effects of the treatment, which targets areas like the tummy, waist, upper arms and thighs.
- What will happen if I cheat on my diet plan?While it is understandable that it is in human nature to be tempted in all matters of the flesh, you have to accept that the weighing scale will betray you. Besides, it’s common for customers to break diet plan maybe one or two meals on the weekend, but it will only affect your weight loss for that particular day.
- Can I continue with my exercise regime while on treatment?Exercise is fine, unless you’re the kind of person who gets extremely hungry after a workout. If your exercise regime is going to wreak havoc with the diet plan, you will be advised to reduce the frequency and intensity (no need to stop completely). To be honest if I had to exercise, I would faint.
- Any side effects?I felt really hungry, weak and nauseous on the day after my first session. It could have been the diet plan or the fact that I forgot to abstain from taking my regular herbal supplement on that morning. I skipped the herbal supplement the next day onwards and felt fine. I got these 50 cent coin-shaped bruises where the cups were placed, but they faded away within three to four days, and faster and faster with each session.
- Is the treatment painful?Pain score: For me, the scraping felt about as intense as facial hair removal. The cupping, which lasts 18 minutes per round, felt like antbites. The amount of discomfort varies with each individual. You can ask your therapist to go lightly on you with the scraper (according to my therapist, this won’t diminish your results).
- OK cut all the crap. I can’t be bothered to read your super long post in detail. Did Absolute Slimming work for you or not and would you recommend it?Yes, it did! I lost 1.8kg after four sessions (two weeks) and lost 1.5 cm at the waist, 2.5 cm in my lower abdominal area, my butt seems to be perkier and my lovehandles have been significantly diminished. Highly recommended for those who hate exercise (like me) but can be trusted with a diet plan.
Find out more about Absolute Slimming at:
Address: 211 Holland Avenue, #03-14
Holland Road Shopping Centre
Tel: 64630360 / 98613123
E-mail: [email protected]
QUOTE “ALVINOLOGY” AT ABSOLUTE SLIMMING AND GET AN ADDITIONAL FREE SESSION WORTH $200 WITH EVERY PURCHASE OF ONE STANDARD PACKAGE. Promotion ends June 30.