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Tuesday, March 17, 1998 Published at 13:48 GMT



Sci/Tech

Remote controlled weight loss
image: [ The Gaia Form promises to melt away fat at the press of a button ]
The Gaia Form promises to melt away fat at the press of a button

Beating the bulge is for some a full-time preoccupation. The quest to reach the desired size and shape can seem never-ending.

There are all manner of diets, exercises creams and massages on offer to try to make the job easier.

But a new treatment could take the "no pain, no gain" out of slimming for ever.


[ image: Sweating it out]
Sweating it out
Conventional weight loss methods such as aerobics and gym classes tend to involve a lot of sweat and effort.

Nutritionists and health experts have long recommended a balanced diet and a healthy dose of exercise as the best way of getting into shape.

Even if you do not attend a regular class, walking up a flight of stairs at work instead of taking the lift, or getting off the bus one stop early are recommended as simple ways of working exercise into your lifestyle.

But beauty clinics and fitness centres have a bevy of other options available.


[ image: Magic mud wrap]
Magic mud wrap
The contour body wrap method involves using sea clay and bandages to draw out toxins from the body.

Converts say it is a totally natural way to rejuvenate the skin, leaving it feeling smoother and firmer.

Best of all, some say that after two hours fully-clad in mud-filled cloths could see you emerge 10-14 inches smaller.


[ image: The muscle machine that does all the work]
The muscle machine that does all the work
Other devices which are attached to the body stimulate muscles to contract and relax and consequently tone up.

Known as the cheats way of working out, a tingling sensation or slight pins and needles are the only side-effects of an hour-long session.

But a new weight-loss technique promises to melt away an entire clothes size at the press of a remote control.


[ image: All at the touch of a button]
All at the touch of a button
The "Gaia Form" is similar to other gadgets in that it is hooked up to the body, and volunteers lie back and wait for the weight to disappear.

But this method works on fat cells rather than muscles.

When a weak electric current is passed directly through fat cells they can be broken down from the solid fat into free fatty acids.


Dr Brian Newman from Medical Innovations explains how Gaia Form works (18")
The cell membrane can be weakened sufficiently for the fat to pass into the lymphatic system and out of the body as water in the usual way.

However even clinics that offer the treatment say it does not signal the time to throw away your gym shoes for ever.

Pat Turley, who has been treating people with Gaia Form for a month said it is good for those who want to give a boost to their system.

"You still have to regularly exercise and you still have to have a healthy diet - this doesn't replace that at all but in terms of putting people on the right path this is quite useful," he said.


[ image: Gaia Form works on fat not muscle]
Gaia Form works on fat not muscle
Mr Turley has an 80% success rate with people seeking the treatment for £35 per session.

Professor Robert Pickard from the British Nutrition Foundation warned that such methods do not deal with the underlying imbalance a person has between their food intake and exercise.

"When you eat a healthy diet and you exercise you're improving your heart and your cardio-vascular system generally, you're improving your lungs and the health of your body as a whole and your nervous system and your brain when you're actually moving," he said.






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