I’m naturally sceptical of anything which promises rapid and targeted fat loss. In fact, I usually avoid covering anything weight loss related on my blog, as I prefer to focus on the other benefits that sport and fitness bring to my life.
However, there was something intriguing about Hypoxi therapy. I wanted to see if it actually delivers the results it promises. Despite training frequently and eating healthily, I am aware that I carry too much fat around my stomach, hips and thighs.
What is Hypoxi?
Hypoxi is a slimming method which uses vacuum therapy, compression therapy and fat burning exercise to specifically target stubborn areas of fat. The method has been around since 1998, so it’s well established although not widely known about.
Prior to my first treatment, I had a consultation with the owner of Hypoxi Knightsbridge, Dajana Jackson Prosnanova. My measurements were taken and I had a InBody scan to determine my body composition. My muscle mass measured at the higher end of the scale, however my body fat was well outside of the normal range.
The treatment starts with a stimulating massage from the Hypoxi-Dermology machine. You are zipped into a vacuum suit which contains 400 pressure chambers around the stomach, hips, thighs and buttocks. Working in a similar way to cupping therapy, the suit gets to work compressing and massaging the skin. It’s said to increase blood flow and aid in reducing cellulite.
It can feel a little claustrophobic at first, but I’m used to wearing a wetsuit so it didn’t bother me! It’s actually very relaxing to lay down and feeling the pressure and pulsing action. I’d compare it to the feeling of a TENS machine.
Next, you move onto either the Hypoxi S120 or L250 machines for the fat burning exercise. Your lower body is sealed into an airtight vacuum chamber whilst you pedal in either an upright position or laying down.
In the chamber, the pressure constantly alternates between high and low which stimulates blood flow. The theory is that fat burns more readily in areas where there is strong circulation. Many of us have lower circulation in our hips, stomachs, buttocks and thighs which is why fat tends to deposit in these areas. It becomes very warm in the chamber during the session, it reached 37 degrees during one session.
It feels quite counter-intuitive to be working at such low intensity. I was instructed to keep my RPM at 65-75, my heart rate stayed at 80-90BPM and my wattage was around 75-80. I’d usually be cycling slightly more vigorously than that!
I must admit I found the exercise a little boring. I love to be outdoors, enjoying fresh air and training with my friends. Hypoxi is the antithesis of that- it’s exercise purely for the purpose of weight loss.
There are a few guidelines to get the most benefits from Hypoxi.
It’s recommended to eat complex carbohydrates 1-4 hours before treatment to provide fuel for the body.
However, after treatment you must not eat for 2 hours, then you must only eat meals made up of protein and green vegetables/salad. No alcohol is to be consumed on Hypoxi days and it must be kept to a minimum for the rest of the time. Drinking plenty of water also helps to maximise results. I generally had my treatments around 6-7pm, then went home and ate a dinner of chicken or fish with vegetables for dinner around 9pm.
Also, it’s not advisable to do any other form of exercise on Hypoxi days. This was the guideline which I found most challenging as I am generally very active. It took some restructuring of my training week to fit in Hypoxi treatments so that they had the maximum benefits.
Does Hypoxi work?
I completed 6 Hypoxi sessions over a 3 week period. I honestly couldn’t see or feel any change in my body, so I felt that the treatment hadn’t been a success. However, the measurements proved me wrong!
According to the InBody scan machine, I lost 1.7kg of fat and gained 0.7kg muscle. I’m never sure how accurate these readings are so I was more interested in what the tape measure had to say:
Breasts: 0.5cm lost
Waist: 1.5cm lost
Stomach: 1.5cm lost
Hips: 2cm lost
Buttocks: 3cm lost
Both legs together: 2cm lost
Thigh relaxed: 1cm lost
Thigh contracted: 2cm lost
Knee: No change
Ankle: No change
A total of 13.5cm lost- I was surprised at such a dramatic reduction in my measurements in just 3 weeks. Dajana advised that the results are long-lasting providing I stick to a healthy diet. It is also possible to go onto a maintenance plan for top-up Hypoxi sessions.
Hypoxi is not an inexpensive weight loss method. A 12 session course combining the Hypoxi-Dermology with the S120 and L250 bikes costs £1000, so approximately £83 per session. If you have the budget and time to dedicate to regular sessions, then I would recommend this as an effective fat loss method.
Sessions at Hypoxi Knightsbridge were provided for review, but all opinions my own.
Have you ever heard of Hypoxi?