By Becky Bracken
Shape up while lying down. It’s not just a pipe dream, according to Julie Brassfield, owner and operator of Onyx Body Shaping & Slim Spa. She’s determined to show people she can help them lose weight and improve their health, all while they lie comfortably in one of her aromatherapy-scented treatment rooms.
It’s called electro-slim technology, and in order to demonstrate its power, Brassfield hooks me up to her Madame Et Monsieur machine and shows me the process.
What is this machine, you ask? In short, it’s the conductor of electro-slim, a software program that emits pulse waves through skin-contact electrodes that cause muscles to contract, with the purported benefit of building muscle and reducing fat.
The first Madame Et Monsieur Electro Body-Sculpting salon was started in South Africa by Ria and Robey Taute. The couple eventually expanded their business to the United States. Onyx, Brassfield says, is the only salon in Scottsdale that offers the Madame Et Monsieur technology, which promises, according to the company’s website, to help users “get a firmer, smoother, toned body in a fast, effective and healthy way with no harmful side effects.”
Brassfield got to know the Tautes, who now live in Las Vegas, and studied their approach. She hopes she, and her salon, can capture some of the growing popularity of electro body-sculpting, which has been featured on national TV shows and magazines, including an endorsement by the high priestess of wellness herself, Oprah.
“This first 20 minutes is to improve circulation,” Brassfield says as she sticks electrode pads on my shoulders, where I told her I have the most tension, since I’m a bona fide desk jockey. “It’s like a deep massage.”
She continues to apply electrodes to several other spots — lower back, love handles, tummy and thighs. She explains the idea is to place the electro pads on the spots you’re looking to firm up and work out.
Once she turns on the machine, ten electro pads start flexing and relaxing muscles I had, frankly, forgotten were there. Think deep core muscles and mid-to-lower back areas, which aren’t always easy to work out with typical exercise and everyday activity.
This kind of passive exercise doesn’t just have benefits for the gym-averse set; it can also provide critical support for those with limited mobility, or even those who want to supplement their existing exercise and wellness regimen, according to Brassfield. She says almost anyone could benefit from electro-slim treatment. Many of her clients are professional women who use their lunch hours to get a treatment and work on specific areas of concern.
“They lay here with their phones or laptops and answer emails,” she says.
Then it’s time for the second phase of the treatment, a 20-minute detoxification. “You know how certain high-pitched tones can shatter glass?” Brassfield asks. “Well, this protocol acts the same way on the walls of your fat cells; it breaks them apart.”
Perfect, I think. Crank it up.
The sensation under the electro-slim pads moves from muscle flexing into waves cascading through my body. I lie there, in the dimly lit room imagining all of the toxins being driven from my body by the pulses of electricity. It was truly pleasant and relaxing.
At this point, Brassfield starts massaging my feet with essential oils she selected to help me with focus. She also talks about her approach to overall wellness, which is a little sprinkle of woo-woo on top of a whole lot of sensible, practical advice your mom would dispense: Drink water, eat right, get enough sleep, take care of yourself. But she also extols the virtues of natural healing at length. Her attitude toward the benefits of essential oils for all kinds of ailments and maladies is a simple approach: “Why not try it and see if it works?”
Finally, Brassfield sets the machine for 20 minutes on the muscle rehab setting. This is the part of the treatment that is supposed to build strength in targeted muscles, toning and firming, even improving posture.
When the full, hour-long treatment is finished, Brassfield peels off the electrodes, gives me a big glass of fruit water and asks me how I feel. I was a little sore, particularly in my core, but refreshed.
Brassfield says in order to achieve real, lasting results, you would need several treatments over a period of time. Onyx offers unlimited subscription plans that let you visit as often as you like. Brassfield adds there’s really no limit to how many, or how frequently, treatments can be administered.
She also argues the results are preferable to cool sculpting, because electro-slim, she says, builds up muscle in addition to getting rid of fat.
I have no way of knowing whether several more treatments like the one I received would drastically change my appearance or health. But I can report the experience was lovely and Brassfield is someone anyone would definitely want in their corner in their fight for improved wellness.
Maybe shaping up while lying down really is the wave of the future. And Onyx and Brassfield want to use their technology to help North Scottsdale shape up and firm up. No sweat required.
For more information, call 480-652-3322 or visit onyxbody.com