This Lymphatic-Drainage Treatment Finally Helped Get Rid of My Chronic Bloat
- Lymphatic-drainage massage can help with everything from reducing bloating to improving circulation to contouring the body.
- The latest innovation in lymphatic massage is the Icoone device.
- Keep reading for one editor's experience getting the Icoone treatment.
I have always struggled with bloating — no mater what I eat, how much yoga I do, or what medications I use to treat it, water retention is something I'm always dealing with. Many people have suggested different lymphatic drainage techniques and tools like dry brushing or self-massage to help get rid of the stubborn bloating. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I am not a fan of dry brushing (can we all agree that it hurts?!) and have never really seen any results from it other than irritated skin. And let's be real: I don't have the patience to do a full-body self-massage on the regular.
So when I heard about the Icoone device — an all-natural, noninvasive method of performing an antiaging, silhouette-remodeling, lymphatic-drainage treatment — I was certainly intrigued. I was even more interested when I watched videos of the device in action (see one below, and turn the sound on). Posetta Koujou, the founder of LA-based Tonic Wellness Boutique and Spa, says, "It's a great choice for people who need body shaping, skin rejuvenation, and lymphatic drainage all in one session."
Because I wanted to know more about the science behind the Icoone (as well as try it for myself), I spoke to Stan Kapica, the president of Skin Science Solutions (the exclusive US distributor of the Icoone), to get into the details about how it works and what to expect from the treatments.
Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of lymphatic drainage, what the Icoone can do, and my experience with the treatment.
What Is Lymphatic-Drainage Massage?
The lymphatic system — a network consisting of vessels and organs under your skin — is all about eliminating waste from the body. It's basically what helps protect our bodies from getting infections. The lymphatic system doesn't have any kind of pump to move the fluid (aka the lymph) from your tissues to the lymph nodes (where the lymph is collected so it can be transported back to the veins that carry blood toward the heart), so it essentially relies on muscle movement to keep everything flowing.
Lymphatic massage is meant to energize that process, helping the excess lymph move toward the lymph nodes, which get rid of any toxins or bacteria. "A balanced lymphatic system is a proactive path to wellness," Kapica says. "When the lymphatic system is optimized, the immune system is boosted, inflammation is reduced, toxins are expelled, skin radiance is improved, and circulation is stimulated."
What Is the Icoone Device, and How Does It Work?
The Icoone is a multifunctional device that uses Multi Micro Alveolar Stimulation (MMAS) — it's actually the only device in the world with this tech — to perform a deep lymphatic massage on the entire body. Rollers use gentle suction to stimulate the tissue and underlying circulation, and the addition of LED and laser light tightens the skin.
Now let's get into the nitty gritty of how the Icoone works. "The patented Roboderm technology works differently from any other technology and device present in the market today, thanks to the microstimulators," Kapica says. "The microstimulators rotate forward, backward, inward, and outward to release multiple skin stimulations, according to the desired goals. The micro hole matrixes designed on the surface of the microstimulators stimulate the subcutaneous tissue, and the connective tissue fibers that delimit microvacuoles transmit this stimulation to deeper tissues. This specific action is called Multi Micro Alveolar Stimulation (MMAS) and delivers a more efficient action in a gentler way for the client." Basically, it's a super-fast massage that penetrates much deeper than hands ever could.
The Icoone has two models: Beauty and Medical. If you're going to a medspa in the United States, you're likely only going to encounter the Beauty model. The Beauty version has eight base programs and 16 focus programs with five body and six facial attachments, some of which are small enough to reduce puffiness around the eyes.
What Can the Icoone Treat?
Cellulite. The micromassage stimulation allows for mobilizing the skin and subcutaneous tissue down to the deepest layers. Blood flow increases and connective tissue fibers become more flexible, so metabolic exchanges are promoted, tension on adipose tissue is reduced, drainage and blood circulation improve and, with them, the appearance and quality of cellulite skin.
Body contouring. The mechanical rollers combined with suction perform lipolysis, where the fat is sucked out of the fat cells. "After just a few treatments, clients can feel and see a visible difference in their silhouette," Kapica says. "Treatments can be performed daily, so if someone is going on a vacation or has a special event, daily Icoone treatments can quickly make a marked improvement in their appearance."
Water retention and bloating. The Icoone stimulates the lymphatic system, encouraging the return of lymph to the bloodstream and draining fluids. This is especially good for pregnant people — the Icoone can be performed on the extremities (and only after the third month of pregnancy) to help relax, soothe sore joints, and get rid of water retention.
Improved circulation. The Icoone performs a deep massage that facilitates the drainage of liquids and the return of blood to the heart. At the same time, the stimulation of all skin and subcutaneous layers also increases blood flow to the tissues, improving oxygenation.
Muscle and joint recovery, plus pain management and inflammation. "The Icoone Roboderm technology . . . delivers a deep and effective stimulation of the microvacuoles in the connective tissue," Kapica says. "With Icoone, it's possible to relieve muscular pain, awaken the neurosensory system, reoxygenate muscular tissue, support the athletic activity, and decongest traumatic and nontraumatic inflammation of the aponeuroses and tendons."
Skin tightening. The improvement of cutaneous microcirculation stimulates the production of elastin and collagen by the fibroblasts, the connective tissue cells that build the skin framework.
What Is an Appointment For the Icoone Like?
First things first: your practitioner will give you a full bodysuit to put on (yes, you might look a little funny!). It is very lightweight and can stretch to fit pretty much anyone. This is used mainly for hygienic purposes — the Icoone uses suction, meaning if it was just on bare skin, it could pick up skin particles and grime.
Your practitioner will then chat with you about the different areas you'd like to focus on — I chose stomach and inner thighs. They'll then do a once-over of your entire body with the Icoone before getting into the focus areas. You can expect them to go over your arms (and armpits!), chest, back, butt, legs, and feet. The entire appointment is pretty long if you're doing your entire body — I was there for about an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half each time.
How Much Does an Icoone Treatment Cost?
Each session costs around $200 to $300, depending on how many areas of the body you want to treat (i.e., body or both face and body).
Does the Icoone Treatment Hurt?
I've never felt anything like it, but it shouldn't hurt. Think of it like the inverse of a massage — instead of downward pressure, it's upward pressure (aka suction). It's certainly weird, but after the first few seconds of acclimating to it, it feels very good and soothing. In fact, there were several times when I nearly fell asleep during my sessions.
Depending on the area you're treating, the suction will be on different settings. For example, when going over my arms and feet, the suction was pulsing a bit slower and more methodically; over my stomach, it was continuous suction; and over my inner thighs, it was a fast, rhythmic pulse. Your practitioner will decide on the intensity of the suction, but you can always tell them if it's feeling a bit too much or pinching at all (I never had this problem).
I should also note that you're able to use the Icoone on your face, but I didn't do this since I had recently gotten dermal fillers.
Is There Anyone Who Shouldn't Use the Icoone?
Tell your practitioner if you have any underlying health issues, if you're pregnant, or if you've just had surgery. If you've had any fillers or Botox recently, you likely want to stay away from getting the Icoone on your face. Otherwise, the Icoone is generally safe for anyone.
How Many Sessions of the Icoone Should You Do?
According to Kapica, you should feel results after one session. However, generally five to ten sessions spaced out at twice a week is ideal. And then the recommended maintenance is once per month. I did five sessions over the course of two weeks and could definitely feel a difference after all five more than I could after just one session.
What Is the Icoone Aftercare?
For optimal results, my practitioner advised me to stay away from anything inflammatory for at least for 24 hours after my treatment. Basically, don't drink alcohol or eat salty and/or fried food. Beyond that, you'll want to drink lots of water. She also said it's possible to have some slight bruising afterward, but this really depends on the person — I never bruised after any of my sessions, and I asked for a pretty high-intensity setting on the Icoone.
What Are the Results of the Icoone?
For me at least, the biggest difference I saw was a reduction of overall bloating. My stomach felt much flatter, and my inner thighs also looked a bit slimmer. To be honest, I just felt better — I can't really explain it, but after my Icoone sessions, I felt like my digestion was more regular, I didn't have as much acid reflux, and my joints didn't feel as sore after tough workouts. Keep in mind, this is just my personal feeling after it — everyone's body is and will feel different depending on the areas you focus on during your Icoone sessions. Bottom line: if there's an Icoone provider in your area, I highly recommend giving it a go.