As many people have now heard, Drew Barrymore used Emsculpt to lose weight and strengthen her ab muscles after giving birth to two children. Meanwhile, a licensed dermatologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology described Emsculpt as nothing less than “an advancement for the body contouring world.”
But what is Emscuplt, exactly, and more importantly perhaps, does Emsculpt work to really produce the results it claims to or is it just the latest in a string of fad fitness scams? Read on to find out!
What is Emsculpt?
As distinct from other fat-burning or muscle-building technologies like lasers and ultrasound, Emsculpt is an electromagnetic procedure used to tighten muscles and get rid of fat cells on your rear end and abs. It is non-invasive and FDA approved.
How it works is simple: your dermatologist hooks you up to a machine while you lie down and relax. More specifically, a plastic paddle is strapped around your bare waist between your hip bone and ribs. Though your belly must be exposed for the procedure, you remain clothed throughout.
As you lie there, the machine releases electromagnetic pulses that serve to burn away excess fat while strengthening your muscle fibers. That’s all there is to it.
The procedure is so simple. In fact, it’s natural to wonder whether it’s honestly too good to be true. So is it, or can Emsculpt actually help you to tone down and tone up in all the right ways?
What Does Emsculpt Feel Like?
When undergoing an Emsculpt treatment, you can lie down on your front or back. Once the machine is turned on, the sensations alternate between periods of buzzing and tapping. Neither one is painful, or even uncomfortable to most patients.
The procedure is not invasive and does not require ingesting or injecting any substances. Typically, a doctor will start off the procedure at a lower setting with milder and slower impulses, gradually increasing to maximum power over the course of the session.
The makers of Emsculpt describe the experience as feeling like an intensive workout without the exhaustion. In fact, quite the opposite, it’s designed entirely to encourage your mind to relax while your muscles do all the work.
Are There Side Effects of Emsculpt?
After an Emsculpt session, there is generally no redness or soreness.
Does Emsculpt Work?
People primarily use Emsculpt for a pair of goals: to trim their stomachs and produce firmer, rounder rear ends. Emsculpt helps to achieve these dual results by simultaneously burning fat and building muscle. In that way, it’s like performing cardiovascular and strength training exercises at once, only without the sweat.
The way Emscuplt works to produce these effects is by triggering the muscles to contract on their own far more rapidly than you could ever contract them. Described by at least one dermatologist as a miniature MRI machine, the Emsculpt unit exerts high-intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM) pulses that spur your muscles to contract involuntarily at a much more vigorous pace than you could ever achieve with voluntary contractions, such as from physical exercise.
When performing a stomach crunch or a leg squat, for example, you activate approximately half the muscles in your body every few seconds. With Emsculpt, you activate all of your muscles at once, and you do it 20,000 times over 30 minutes. These rapid contractions produce two results at the same time: strengthening muscle fibers while causing them to release certain chemicals that trigger the breaking down of fat cells.
The alternating tapping and buzzing sensations serve a similarly valuable purpose. When you exercise your muscles, they release lactic acid which can produce unwanted side effects like stomachaches, muscle aches, rapid breathing, burning sensation, and nausea if it’s not properly and adequately broken down.
In an Emsculpt treatment, the buzzing sensations contract the muscles similarly to how they do during exercise, similarly releasing lactic acid. The tapping sensations then help break that lactic acid apart so it doesn’t cause any unwanted side effects.
So effective has Emsculpt proved to be for reducing belly fat and strengthening abdominal muscles that the company reports plans to produce new Emsculpt machines targeting other parts of the body, such as the inner thighs and upper arms perhaps. In the meantime, dermatologists can use small attachments to extend the uses of Emsculpt to sculpt the thighs, arms, and calves.
Emsculpt works just as effectively for both women and men.
How Long Does Emsculpt Take to Work?
According to the inventors of Emsculpt, the standard recommended Emsculpt treatment is four sessions of 30 minutes each over a period of two weeks. They say that you can typically expect to see results from Emsculpt after about three months of treatment. Those improvements will then progressively improve for up to six months following treatment.
Studies on the Efficacy of Emsculpt
In one study of whether and how much Emsculpt works, 22 subjects experienced an average increase of 15% in the thickness of their abdominal muscles two months after Emsculpt treatment. Another study found that muscles had increased by 19% between six and nine months after treatment. In yet another study, 19 subjects experienced a 1.7-inch waist size reduction only three months after treatment. Emsculpt itself sponsored its own study of 33 individuals that found an average subcutaneous abdominal fat reduction of 19% one month following treatment and a reduction of 23% three months after treatment.
As of the middle of 2019, approximately 400 dermatologists around the US had Emsculpt machines in their practices, and that number seems only poised to grow as customer satisfaction goes through the roof.
One doctor reports seeing five patients for Emsculpt sessions daily and has experienced no complaints, with 50% of patients noticing effects immediately following treatment, 84% noticing effects a month after treatment and 90% noticing effects three months following treatment.
Benefits of Emsculpt
It should now be clear how Emsculpt works to effectively reduce belly fat and firm up abdominal muscles. This, in turn, can improve your physical appearance and boost your self-confidence. Those aren’t all the benefits, however, of reducing belly fat and firming abdominal muscles. In fact, these results have far more benefits for your health and well-being.
Reducing excess abdominal fat can help, in turn, to reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Strengthening your core, in the meantime, can help you to improve your posture and balance, run and lift better and reduce and prevent knee, back and neck pain.
Do I Still Need to Diet and Exercise with Emsculpt?
While Emsculpt works with or without exercise, even Emsculpt’s own makers assert that it should not be used in place of exercise and that the two together can work better than either one alone, as the benefits of Emsculpt can help you to perform exercises more intensely.
Similarly, eating healthy is essential to keep off unwanted fat in your belly and everywhere else in your body. Moreover, the belly is often the last place to lose belly fat from exercise, even though it’s often the first to gain it. In these ways, a healthy diet and Emsculpt treatments also support each other in working more effectively.
Forget about extreme, invasive and potentially dangerous options like plastic surgery to reduce unwanted belly fat and firm up stubborn ab muscles. If you’re as conscious about your health and fitness as you are about your physical appearance, then you sound like a prime candidate for an Emsculpt treatment.