I've been in denial about cellulite. To be fair, I don't have too much of it, though there is enough dimpling to warrant upping my exercise routine. But what if the nirvana of all cellulite sufferers could be attained: results without going to the gym? My esthetician, Ildi Pekar, promised just that with a device called B.E.A.M, which is like a microcurrent treatment on steroids.

Ildi, who is Hungarian and frequently scours Europe for new (but never gimmicky) treatments, has just introduced B.E.A.M to her New York salon. An electrical muscle stimulator, B.E.A.M. stands for Bio Electrical Acceleration Management. The system works by imitating the "body's natural bio-electric processes by sending customized electrical pulses through the nervous system via a set of electrodes".

Actually, this is pretty much what microcurrent machines do (I am convinced that my monthly microcurrent facials are the best antedote to sagging jowls). The difference with B.E.A.M is that it is controllable by the esthetician (microcurrent machines usually come with pre-programmed settings) so that the treatment can be completely customized to stimulate or control contraction of different groups of muscles.

I must admit that it feels a bit wierd. Rather like have crabs crawling over you and nipping you with their pincers. It isn't painful, but its certainly intense.

All this muscle stimulation results in lymphatic drainage, skin tightening and muscle firming. The results are most definitely visible. After a 30 minute treatment, my thighs and just under my butt looked and felt firmer. In fact, I would say the results were even more noticeable the next day.

I'm not giving up on the rowing machine, but BEAM will definitely be augmenting my workouts between now and my winter-in-the-sun beach vacation.