There’s no better time than now to pay close attention to your body – how it feels, how it looks, how it functions in just day to day life activities. So, as a man of science, former track & field athlete and a guy that just wants the best for his body, I looked into the newly opened Bucky Body Center– located in the Rittenhouse section of Philly.
Founded by Philadelphia’s premiere plastic surgeon, Louis P. Bucky, MD FACS, this state-of-the-art body-focused facility is built on three pillars - Reshape, Refine, Restore – that feature treatments ranging from non-invasive to minimally-invasive and aim to optimize your body’s appearance, performance and wellness. With a menu of services that can be used individually but are encouraged to be used in conjunction with one another, the Bucky Body Center uses clinically proven procedures to help you look and feel your best – all from the comfort of a well-designed and private room. It may have been founded by a medical professional, but it definitely feels more clubhouse than doctor’s office.
I had the opportunity to spend some time with Dr. Bucky over Zoom, where he gave me an in-depth breakdown of all the treatments available at the BBC. We focused on what my body needed most and put together a 2-day treatment plan (you can also do this safely in-person at the BBC). With a few days of mental prepping and learning everything about my body, I made my way to the Bucky Body Center to get ready to explore treatments that would help me understand the state of my body, work on my fitness health, detox and even tone up a bit.
My first day was set to include a mix of treatments from the RESTORE category (wellness-focused) and the REFINE category (targets and corrects specific body concerns like fat and muscle tone non-surgically). The best thing about the Bucky Body Center is that it’s a completely individualized experience so in today’s world, it felt super safe. Upon arrival, I was greeted by their team wearing proper PPE and the space is a mix of natural wood and, polished concrete – it’s soothing and zen and modern. The center provided an all-around relaxed vibe that was extremely inviting and comfortable.
First up was the DEXA Scan Body Analysis, which Dr. Bucky and his associate surgeon, Dr. Smartt, recommend that all people start with so that you can really understand your body and create the right treatment plan (fun fact: this technology is only found in hospitals or professional sports facilities!). This service made me regret not working out much over the last few weeks…The DEXA Scan gives you a comprehensive snapshot of your current body composition – lean mass, body fat, visceral fat, bone density, alignment and more. After a quick 8-minute scan (you just lay on an open “bed”and let the scanner go to work), you get a longevity score and a body score that also uploads automatically to your phone. Surprisingly, I ended up with a B+, and I learned that there were a few things I need to do to correct some sloping on the left side of my body – who knew?! The best part about DEXA is that you can really track your body’s progress over time to see if what you’re doing – diet, exercise – is giving you the results you want.
I was excited to move on to the second treatment of the day: Functional Patterns Training. It was here where I could show off my track and field skills to determine my physical health and start to work on correcting that sloping! This isn’t your typical physical fitness training – it’s laser-focused on making sure your body is aligned properly and your muscles are working correctly. It feels like a mix between physical therapy and private training.
After sprinting on the AIRRUNNER and having my stride recorded, I learned how my body shifts and turns slightly as my right foot hits the ground. Andrew Krewatch, the Director of Functional Patterns Training, explained that with a bit of correctional movements and training, we can easily release tension in my back. Definitely something to consider.
Following the training, I moved on to EVOLVE Tone from the REFINE category – this electromagnetic-powered “belt” promises to create more muscle definition and strength through consistent muscle contraction and release. You simply lay down on the chair, strap on the belt, and then your body goes to work – to the tune of 30K crunches in 30 minutes! I was thrilled to be able to do this many sit-ups without actually having to sit up and I can say without a doubt that my abs were TIGHT after one session. It’s definitely a great treatment to add on to your normal exercise routine, especially right now when getting to the gym isn’t so easy…
To complete the day on a super-relaxing note, I then headed to Compression Therapy to try a treatment loved by famous athletes like NFL players Terrell Owens and Deandre Hopkins – the BallancerPro Compression Therapy Suit. Bucky Body Center is the FIRST in Philadelphia to have this technology so I was really excited to slip on what felt like the bottoms of a space suit and experience the massage-like movements on my legs. BallancerPRO Compression Therapy will relax sore muscles, detoxify my body, drain unwanted and unnecessary fluids, and promote overall wellbeing. The compression was light and relaxing; like continuously receiving small hugs all over my body--cue a 40-minute nap that left me refreshed, slimmer, and ready to go.
Day 2 at the Bucky Body Center was all focused on RESTORE treatments to detoxify, reduce inflammation, boost circulation, and ease any soreness or discomfort. These services are intended to really help the body feel great and optimize performance and recovery so that you can go through life feeling great – plus, there are a few added appearance benefits.
We started with a visit to the Red Lightstim bed where bright red lights help to restore collagen, destress, and reduce inflammation. With the look of a tanning bed--without the tanning aspect--the Red Lightstim was the one of my favorite treatments of the whole visit. I was super relaxed and felt amazing – could do this all the time (which you medically are allowed - and encouraged! - to do.)
Now that I was feeling super relaxed and my body at ease, I then went on to experience the “Active Body Restoration” program which includes manual lymphatic drainage massage and medi-cupping, followed by cryotherapy. This program is great for people who workout regularly or have just experienced an intense workout and want to restore muscles (my abs definitely could use this after my Evolve Tone treatment!)
This was my first Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage. My specialist, Sheila was a magician. She focused on gently massaging my lymph nodes to help move fluid throughout the body. The massage session ended with cupping suction – I’m hooked. In addition to feeling great, my body was visibly slimmer and more contoured.
Lasty, all I can say is CRYOTHERAPY. It was my first time in the CryoScience Arctic Chamber (which is the world’s safest and most effective cryotherapy treatment!), and I was excited and nervous. My goal was to last without jumping out the chamber at the intermediate level with temperatures around -140 degrees. Being able to blast music in the chamber and dance the whole time help the session pass quickly and I walked out feeling accomplished, invigorated and totally refreshed.
In the end, after two days of treatments to restore and refine my body, I personally felt like I knew my body better and hadn’t felt this well in a long time. I saw an immediate difference in reducing inflammation in my torso from my Active Body Restoration package, plus, my quads & knees felt a whole lot better (probably because of the compression therapy, red light and cryo).
From the initial Zoom call to the second day of treatments, the level of attention and detail the Bucky Body Center gave to my whole wellbeing was tangible. I left the experience knowing my body better, feeling better and with a clearly outlined gameplan to do better. I even learned there are memberships (which actually make the cost per treatment much lower) and give you priority access and an easy commitment to your wellness year round. Not a bad deal!
Photography by: Sabir Peele