Do slimming programmes promote healthy, long-term weight loss or are they simply a quick fix? Cathy Lee, training manager at Institut Clarins, says a good slimming programme should boost inner and outer beauty and promote a sense of well-being. 'Lifestyle improvements have become a necessity in modern living.' she says. With the various unconventional slimming methods adopted by spas and slimming centres, how do we know which are safe, effective and suitable? Here are a list of techniques recommended by some of Hong Kong's top spas and slimming centres Institut Clarins Clarins offers a unique and effective 'Clarins Touch' massage developed by its physiotherapist, founder and president, Jacques Courtin-Clarins. 'This massage technique stimulates the lymphatic system, increases metabolism, promotes better circulation and eliminates toxins,' says training manager Cathy Lee. The programme is most effective to one's health when used in conjunction with sensible eating habits. The Clarins Proactive Body Treatment - The Redefining Slimming Treatment, costs $830 a session. Call 2810 9938. Elemis Day Spa Ionithermie is a firming and toning treatment created in France almost 30 years ago. Elemis Day Spa's Biocell programme uses Ionithermie technology to reduce cellulite and fatty deposits. Biocell works on the whole body or can be used to target problem areas. It aims to tighten muscle tissue and redefine the body's shape safely and effectively. The Biocell Slimming System costs $620. Call 2521 6660. Body Contour by Skin Survival House Body Contour has programmes for both general slimming and targeted action. The centre adopts methods that encourage lymphatic drainage, cellulite reduction, muscle toning and skin firming. It is offering a first-trial slimming programme of three treatments for $688. Call 2311 6665. Phillip Wain International Phillip Wain International's most updated slimming technology, the exclusive Dibibody Tri-Formula Ultimate, targets fat cells and cellulite. The Ultimate is further empowered by a new range of treatments to help slim down stubborn areas. These treatments are used in conjunction with three machines, each equipped with different slimming actions. The treatments are available for women, as well as men at Inspire for Men by Phillip Wain. The Dibibody Tri-Formula Ultimate for women costs $588 a session for first-time customers and $688 for first-time male customers. Call 2808 4889. Marie France Bodyline Slimming treatments can be used as a supplementary part of a healthy, guided weight-loss plan. This is the case at Marie France Bodyline, a professional slimming centre that provides not only slimming treatments but a complete weight-loss plan. The centre provides tailor-made treatments under professional medical advice and supervision. Book an appointment for a weight-loss consultation to discover your individual needs. Call 2525 6525. Oasis Spa Oasis Spa's slimming programme offers a range of options from acupuncture and nutritional advice to targeted slimming techniques. The new Slimlight 6.9 method combines the emission of low-level laser LED light with the Vacuum Rolling-Folder Technique. Slimlight helps drain excess water and toxins, stimulate circulation, firm up body contours, tighten skin and re-establish skin elasticity. The treatment is among one of the options at Oasis Spa's 2005 Slim Package promotion and costs $298. Call 2970 3328. MTM Launched last month, the spa has introduced the MV Lymph-Detox treatment just in time for summer. Based on the premise of stimulating the lymphatic system to help cleanse the body and eliminate toxins, the 21/2-hour treatment is also about pampering the body. A foot bath is followed by a one-hour lymphatic massage - which has the double advantage of boosting the body's immune system and easing tension. After the massage, MVL is used to stimulate the abdomen area. Blood circulation is boosted though the machine, which performs a suction-like action on the skin to help filter toxins from the body. It has a firming effect. The treatment ends with a red wine bath - the antioxidants in the wine acting as a stimulant for the skin's natural collagen, which aids the reduction of swelling. The treatment costs $1,680. Call 2923 7888.