Acoustic Wave Therapy: An Effective Treatment for Cellulite, Wrinkles & Scars

By Unpain Clinic on November 26, 2019
Acoustic Wave Therapy & Flashwave ASM for Cellulite, Wrinkles, Scars and Body Contouring

Skip the Scalpel

No freezing.  No heat.  No side effects.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sound wave technology for the treatment of scars, cellulite and wrinkles is one of the best non-invasive options available to stimulate change at the cellular level; at the same time avoiding damage to healthy tissues1,8

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is a medical condition that develops as fat cells fill beneath the skin and elasticity decreases.  This presents as mild to severe dimpling at the surface of the skin.  Cellulite becomes increasingly visible as it advances and can progress at varying rates.  Severe forms of cellulite can cause more significant health complications. 

Pressure from enlarged fat cells causes a decrease in microcirculation as well as impairing lipolysis (your body’s ability to break down fat).  This exacerbates the condition and can contribute to poor circulation, local inflammation and pain as it worsens7.

The Anatomy of Wrinkles & Scars

In this case, it is helpful to think of your skin as a mattress.  The top layer of fabric are your skin cells.  Next is the padding, which are your fat cells.  Next are the springs – these are your collagen.  As a mattress ages, the fabric becomes weathered, the padding thin and uneven and the springs begin to sag – much like the components in our skin. 

Scars on the other hand, are most often the result of trauma, surgical or otherwise.  When our body is injured, it is not uncommon to sustain damage to multiple layers of tissue.  Upon healing, these layers can fuse together and create uncomfortable adhesions and pulling.  Scar tissue build-up in the injury site can reduce blood flow, range of motion and cause pain.  Most importantly, a scar can leave a muscle disengaged, requiring compensation from another to function. 

The Sound of the Future

Almost two decades ago, European dermatologists incorporated the same sound wave technology used in the treatment of kidney stones to treat skin conditions.  It had been clinically proven as an effective urological, cardiac and orthopedic treatment and showed great potential in the treatment of dermatological conditions.  These can be complex medical conditions, so treating with a well-established, advanced medical technology makes a lot of sense.  Studies have shown that sound wave technology produces better long-term results than botox injections or liposuction – without any of the unpleasant side effects associated with invasive cosmetic procedures8.

How the Technology Works

Sound waves penetrate several centimeters into your body, targeting not only the skin but the layers of fascia and muscle beneath.  It stimulates lymph drainage, fat break down and the formation of new blood vessels2.  This promotes better circulation and tissue health, stimulates collagen and elastin production and reduces subcutaneous fat thickness1,4.  The result is a smoother, revitalized complexion that is evolved from several layers beneath the skin.  Treatments often produce significant improvement in smoothness, reduction in circumferences, reduced appearance of scars, cellulite and wrinkles and improved lymph drainage1,

Interestingly, studies have shown promising results in the treatment of earlier stage cellulite with sound waves for the long-term prevention of the condition. Essentially, the sooner you treat it, even if it is in early stages, the better your long-term ability to prevent its severe development3

Although preventative measures are beneficial, they are not essential to results.  Ideal candidates for the treatment fall between the ages of 35-55 with statistically significant improvement observed in all.  In one study published in 2017, 90% of subjects would undergo treatment again and 89% were satisfied with their results4.

AWT® versus Flashwave® ASM

At Unpain Clinic (and Remedial Wellness), all sound wave aesthetic treatments use either Acoustic Wave Therapy (AWT®) or Flashwave® Therapy for Aesthetics & Skin Management (ASM). How are they different?

Simply, AWT® is not a true shockwave – it is a pressure wave – and it is an older technology than the ASM device. Flashwave® ASM is a true extracorporeal shockwave and is indicated for more complex conditions. Both technologies will treat cellulite and wrinkles; however, Flashwave® ASM protocols often require fewer, less painful treatments and deliver almost 300x the energy of AWT®. As an added benefit, Flashwave® ASM stimulates stem cell activation and new muscle growth which promotes overall skin health while also improving body shape and tone beneath the skin. The simplified table below gives an excellent summary of the scientific differences between the two technologies.

AWT vs ASM technological comparison

Still unsure about which treatment is best for you? The experienced therapists at Unpain are trained to assess your condition and make the most suitable recommendation based on your needs. Book a treatment today at:

Results More than Skin Deep

A picture is worth a thousand words and Flashwave® Therapy has proven itself beyond what was expected. Such profound changes are occurring beneath the skin that clients are regaining the face shape of their youth through muscle activation. While the skin health and wrinkle depth is significantly improved, clinicians are also observing improvements in posture and eye clarity. This technology is knocking our socks off.

Want a sneak peak of what happens during treatment? Watch this Flashwave ASM facial demo, performed by Alana Wilkie of Esteem Treatments in Victoria, BC.

Before and After Flashwave ASM Treatment
Before and After Flashwave ASM Treatment
Before and After Flashwave ASM Treatment


  1. Adatto, M. A., Adatto-Neilson, R., Novak, P., Krotz, A., & Haller, G. (2011). Body shaping with acoustic wave therapy AWT®/EPAT®: Randomized, controlled study on 14 subjects. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, 13(6), 291-296. doi:10.3109/14764172.2011.630089

  2. Huxley, D. (2018). Acoustic Wave Therapy (AWT) – Lipotripsy For Cellulite Treatment. Retrieved December 28, 2018, from
  3. Translation of German article „Energiereiche Schallwellen glätten Cellulite-Haut“ published in “Der Deutsche Dermatologe”, 9-2010, pp. 586 – 588
  4. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2017 Jun;19(3):165-173. doi: 10.1080/14764172.2016.1269928. Epub 2017 Feb 2.
  5. Débora A. Oliveira Modena, Caroline Nogueira da Silva, Clovis Grecco, Renata Michelini Guidi, Renata Gomes Moreira, Andresa A. Coelho, Estela Sant’Ana, José Ricardo de Souza.
    (2017) Extracorporeal shockwave: mechanisms of action and physiological aspects for cellulite, body shaping, and localized fat—Systematic review. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy 19:6, pages 314-319.
  6. Doris Hexsel, Fernanda Oliveira Camozzato, Aline Flor Silva, Carolina Siega. (2017) Acoustic wave therapy for cellulite, body shaping and fat reduction. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy 19:3, pages 165-173.
  7. Sattler, D. (2010, September). Acoustic Wave Therapy (AWT®) Cellulite – Sound waves for smoother skin (Translation: Energiereiche Schallwellen glätten Cellulite-Haut). Der Deutsch Dermatologe, 586-588. Retrieved December 28, 2018
  8. American Academy of Dermatology. (2018). Cellulite treatments: What really works? Retrieved from AAD