You may have heard of body scanning, or DEXA Body Composition scans; also known as a Fat Scan. It is able to measure bone mineral density, total muscle mass, total body fat, visceral (harmful) fat and total body fat percentage, providing data to give you a better idea of where your body is storing fat and what you might need to work on to lose weight, build muscle or address health concerns.
DEXA stands for Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, and works similarly to an X-ray by passing two low dose x-ray beams at different energy levels through the body. Fat, muscle and bone have different densities and thus have differing levels of absorption allowing practitioners to accurately calculate percentages or levels of fat, muscle and bone density.
Accurate to the gram, the scan takes only five to ten minutes, and involves laying flat while the machine passes over your body. If you are trying to lose weight, whether you want a starting point or want to track your progress step by step, the DEXA Body Scan is definitely a great tool to help you along the way.
One of the medical centres offering this amazing technology is Azure Medical in Cottlesloe, Western Australia. We asked Dr Richard Newton how they use this machine to better assist their patients in their weight loss journeys.
“We really got interested in DEXA scanning as Nikki, my wife, was using DEXA in her role as a research physiotherapist at a local university. As a GP I’m very aware of the ever-growing health problems associated with being overweight. In addition, in understanding where the body stores fat, it allows the practitioners to determine risk factors for cardiovascular related diseases such as: high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, and colorectal cancers. We realised that making DEXA scans easily available and affordable in our new medical clinic might help to boost our patients’ ability to really see where they stood, and to motivate them to make some effective diet, exercise and lifestyle changes backed up by supportive clinicians. Combining the scan with a visit to our dietitian Lizzie will give you lots of great information, advice, tools and motivation to set you on the right path.
Since opening three months ago we have been delighted with the response that we have had. Some clients are using the DEXA to map their progress before and after “12 week body transformation programs”, or similar, and some are already fit and healthy athletes just looking to fine tune their training regimes. For example we recently had a client who was one of the country’s top powerlifters – the challenge was fitting him on the machine, but we got there! The most fulfilling clients are those who have struggled with health issues, obesity or diabetes and have made a commitment to address these concerns by asking for this hard and unforgiving data, which for some can be a shocking reality check, and hopefully a change for the better”.
If you are interested in finding out more about the DEXA Scanning Machine see Azure’s listing here, with a link to their website and contact details.