What is Emsculpt?
Emsculpt is a nonsurgical procedure that creates muscle definition and burns fat in your butt and around your abs and obliques. It also recently gained approval for treating biceps, triceps, thighs, and calves.
How does Emsculpt work?
Using high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy (HIFEM), the Emsculpt device delivers electromagnetic pulses to the muscles and creates supramaximal muscle contractions, activating more muscle fibres than do the contractions you would achieve through normal exercise.
A 30-minute session produces nearly 20,000 muscle contractions. Contracting repeatedly without rest stresses the muscles, triggering rapid changes at the cellular level that make them grow bigger and stronger.
To supply energy for so many muscle contractions, neighbouring fat cells break down, via a process called lipolysis, and release fatty acids. Fat cells are damaged to the point where they die, and the body naturally eliminates them.
The result of the combined action of muscle tightening and fat-cell destruction is stronger, more defined muscles.
What happens during an Emsculpt treatment?
The client will lie on the doctor’s table, and the paddle-like applicator attached to the Emsculpt machine will be strapped onto the target area. The treatment lasts about 30 minutes.
If it’s your first time getting Emsculpt, your doctor will start the device on its lowest setting. As it begins sending high-intensity electromagnetic energy to the target muscles, you’ll feel them contract powerfully. The feeling can be strange—like you are in the middle of an intense workout, though your body isn’t actually doing anything—but it shouldn’t hurt. In fact, some people find the feeling so unusual that they start to laugh.
The intensity will gradually increase as much as you can tolerate, your doctor will ask you if you are comfortable as it ramps up. Most people studied were able to endure close to the maximum level of intensity by the end of their first session, which doctors encourage for best results. Over time, you may be able to start your treatments at higher settings.
The contractions will cycle through different phases. Some will be rapid and light, and some will be slower and more powerful. The Emsculpt machine will contract your muscles hundreds or thousands of times, in just a few seconds. During the last phase of treatment, the muscle contractions will be slow but powerful, to flush out any toxins or lactic acid released during the procedure and help reduce soreness.
“Each treatment offers the equivalence of 20,000 crunches or squats in a 30-minute period. That’s going to save you a great deal of time.”
How many Emsculpt sessions are recommended?
Four sessions are recommended, typically spaced two to five days apart, over a two-week period.
Additional sessions beyond that won’t hurt, but they may not improve results either. “Current studies have shown that results tend to plateau after four sessions,” says Dr. Nicole Hayre, a dermatologic surgeon in McLean, Virginia, in a RealSelf Q&A. “Therefore, extra sessions will likely not increase the benefits of the treatment.”
Follow-up sessions every six months, paired with regular exercise, can help to maintain results.
Will you be sore after an Emsculpt treatment?
You won’t need recovery time, but don’t be surprised if you feel sore—like you pushed yourself through a tough workout. The soreness should improve within one or two days, according to a study by a medical advisor to BTL.
You can resume regular activity—including exercise—right away, though you may want to rest if your muscles feel fatigued.