Non-surgical fat reduction treatments have exploded in popularity as people seek to correct bulges and stubborn fat pockets. EmSculpt goes one step further and helps build muscle as it kills targeted fat cells. The result is a leaner and more sculpted appearance, and at Radiant Skin Dermatology and Laser in New York, NY, we can attest to the great results patients see.
How Is an EmSculpt Session Performed?
This therapy uses High-Intensity Focused Electro-Magnetic (HIFEM) field technology that forces targeted muscles to contract. To deliver those contractions, a paddle attached to a belt gets strapped around the treatment area. Templates wired to the EmSculpt machine help direct the electromagnetic waves and are placed under that belt. The machine then emits potent pulses that reach through the paddle and templates and into your muscles.
All of this occurs while you’re lying down to ensure you remain comfortable throughout treatment. It is normally your body that prompts muscle movement by firing electrical impulses from the brain to your central nervous system (CNS). Electromagnetic waves work similarly with one exception: they force muscles to contract more deeply and with greater intensity than any gym workout could ever do.
Preparing for Treatment
The day before your session, we recommend you drink at least two liters of water. This will help your body prepare for the intense contractions caused by EmSculpt. Also, skip caffeine or alcohol that can dehydrate your body and thin blood.
On the day of, do not eat two hours before your scheduled appointment and wear comfortable clothing that will help you move into correct positioning throughout treatment. Also make sure clothes are free of metal snaps, buttons, and threads. In addition, you should:
- Remove any lotion from your skin or, better yet, apply none
- Shave body hair near and on the treatment area
- Leave metal accessories, such as jewelry, belts, and underwire bras, at home
- Place electronic devices like your phone and computer into a purse or bag
Your recovery, and subsequent results, start the moment treatment is complete. You should therefore plan to drink plenty of water to keep cells hydrated. Additionally, research proves that 25 to 35 grams of protein eaten within an hour of intense exercise supports muscle building. Having a protein bar or drink after treatment will help you meet this threshold.
In general, now is a great time to incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine. Fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods should be added to your diet, and it’s important to make time for regular exercise. Those who adopt these changes generally see the best results.
Additional Post-treatment Guidelines
Gently massaging your treatment site five times a day, five minutes each time, for five days after treatment can help the body continue to breakdown fat cells. Circular motions and vigorous kneading work best and have shown to improve results by at least 60 percent.
We also recommend you document your progress with photos. These will give you something to look back on as you’re trying to gauge results, especially because the effects of treatment take time to show. You can also compare before and after photos with each other to see all the ways in which your body has changed.
Studies show that after treatment, patients see an average of 23 percent less abdominal fat and an 18 percent increase in muscle mass. After three months, waist circumference reduces by an average of 2 inches. Additional findings include the following:
- An average increase in fat metabolism of 500 percent
- Visible lifting of the buttocks for 80 percent of patients
- Patient satisfaction of 96 percent, with most saying they feel pleased with their results
- No reported adverse effects or negative reactions
Number of Treatments
For best results, we recommend a minimum of four sessions, but this may change slightly depending on your treatment goals and BMI. Each session lasts 30 minutes, and subsequent treatments are separated by no less than two days. Results start to appear in as little as two weeks and will continue to develop over a span of three months.
Why Electromagnetic Waves?
Treatment engages your muscles in a more complete way than the body can do on its own. Consider this: one 30-minute treatment session induces 20,000 muscle contractions. To obtain the same effect outside of treatment, you would need to perform 20,000 situps or squats. These exercises only stimulate around 50 percent of muscles, whereas treatment engages 100 percent of the targeted muscles.
The movements stimulated by treatment are known as supramaximal contractions, which exceed the greatest level of tension your muscles can exert and hold under normal conditions. You need not stress your CNS or engage joints and tendons to achieve these contractions, and your body doesn’t know the difference between a contraction made voluntarily or stimulated electrically. It only recognizes a stimulus and responds accordingly.
These contractions force muscle tissue to deeply remodel its inner structure. In turn, the body burns fat and builds muscle. This two-fold impact helps separate EmSculpt from other treatments that similarly trim fat; this therapy, however, is singular in its ability to eliminate bulges while also toning and sculpting your muscles.
During normal movements, muscle fibers relax between each nerve prompt because the CNS cannot signal another impulse while the previous is still in action. Treatment overcomes this by providing stimuli that are independent of brain function, and the frequency is so rapid that it doesn’t permit for relaxation.
Normal Muscle Conditions
The greatest tension muscles can maintain under normal conditions is maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), held only for a split second. Contractions delivered by treatment, however, can be held for multiple seconds to substantially increase the physiological stress placed on muscles. And these effects are highly selective, activating only motor neurons while surrounding tissues and neurons remain unaffected.
When exposed to supramaximal contractions, muscle tissues respond by creating new fibers and protein strands. These effects increase muscle density and volume, which is reflected in more visible tone and definition.
Fatty Tissue Response
Keep in mind that treatment stimulates more than muscles. During muscle contractions, whether physical or electrical, the brain receives signals indicating more energy is needed to support those movements. The energy comes from several different sources, including the breakdown of lipids into free fatty acids (FFAs). This means local fat stores get used because the calories they contain are needed to fuel muscles.
It’s true that FFAs boost the body’s metabolism, but they serve a second purpose as well, and that is cell death. While this phenomenon may sound a little unlikely, it has been well-documented in many research studies. Essentially, we’re saying that treatment can kill selected fat cells. This means EmSculpt goes beyond building muscles that remain hidden by a layer of fat and helps shed unwanted bulges so you look both trimmer and more sculpted.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ll start by addressing the most commonly asked question: which areas can be treated? This therapy is FDA-approved for targeting muscle groups in the abdomen, buttocks, upper legs, calves, and upper arms.
Does Treatment Hurt?
No, this therapy is pain-free, which makes it preferable to many other fat loss treatments. You can expect to feel intense muscle contractions, not unlike what you might experience during a rigorous workout. But it’s worth noting the treatment machine allows for three different phases of contractions with intensity levels that can be adjusted to meet each patient’s comfort needs.
In addition, the third phase of treatment is intended to reduce any muscle soreness that may develop as a result of the contractions. It does this by flushing lactic acid out of the body, thereby mitigating the potential for discomfort. You can therefore rest assured you will not feel pain.
Are There Really No Side Effects?
It may be somewhat hard to believe because most cosmetic therapies cause side effects like redness, numbing, bruising, and swelling. But this treatment does not. Your muscles may feel somewhat fatigued upon completion of your session, but this is no different than that caused by exercise. You’ll be able to return to work, sit by the pool, or wear tight clothing immediately after treatment.
How Long Do Results Last?
Much of this depends on you, such as the diet you choose and the active lifestyle you commit to. Just like traditional exercise, this treatment builds muscles that last. And fat cells, once they are dead and expelled from the body, remain permanently gone. This doesn’t mean you can’t still gain weight, because you can, but this likely won’t happen in the area you had treatment because of the fewer fat cells that now exist there.
So, the best answer we can provide is this: results are meant to be long-term. Patients have reported more energy, better posture, and increased muscle tone after treatment. The cumulative effect is feeling stronger and more confident, which will help you make healthy choices that benefit your mind and body.
Does Treatment Help Diastasis Recti?
This condition, in which the abdominal muscles separate because of childbirth or significant weight changes, often produces a bulge in the belly. EmSculpt can reduce these separations by up to 11 percent, thereby eliminating bulges and improving abdominal muscle strength and integrity.
Is Treatment Safe?
Unlike liposuction, which is not suitable for everyone, most patients can safely have this treatment. The caveat is that you should be within 30 pounds of your target weight, as this therapy is not intended to help you drop pounds, and you should not hope to use it in place of healthy habits.
Having said that, some should refrain from this therapy, including women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an implanted metal IUD. It is additionally not safe for patients with implanted electronic devices, including pacemakers, metal pieces like rods or plates, and artificial joints.
Deciding If Therapy Is Right for You
If you are a man or woman who already enjoys a healthy lifestyle and wants to kickstart a new fitness routine or eliminate stubborn fat pockets, this treatment can be especially beneficial for you. It’s also ideal for those who want to strengthen their muscles but are having a hard time doing so on their own. Although not a replacement for physical activity, the therapy can help you exercise to better effect.
It can also prevent injury if you’re just getting back into exercise, whatever your reason for having taken a break. Treatment helps give strength to core muscle groups, including the abdomen, that are necessary for stability whether you’re a runner, weightlifter, or yoga instructor. And if you want a butt lift or to tone and tighten muscles but don’t want the scars of surgery, this non-invasive treatment should be your first go-to.
A Safe and Convenient Therapy
EmSculpt is proven to be effective, does not require downtime, and can rejuvenate your appearance. It’s also pain-free and non-invasive so that most patients can benefit from its results. To schedule your consultation today, call the team at Radiant Skin Dermatology and Laser in New York, NY.