Emsculpt, a new non-invasive, FDA-approved, way to lose weight
when I heard about Emsculpt, a new non-invasive, FDA-approved, risk-free treatment that promises to strengthen abdominal muscles and help flatten the tummy, it sounded like the miracle I've been waiting for.I'd be lying if I said aesthetics weren't the original temptation.
For as long as I can remember, I've had a two-inch pinch ring around my belly button, which I affectionately call "my doughnut."It's a stubborn little thing that doesn't change even with weight loss, a clean diet, or exercise five times a week.
So when I heard about Emsculpt, a new non-invasive, FDA-approved, risk-free treatment that promises to strengthen abdominal muscles and help flatten the tummy, it sounded like the miracle I've been waiting for.I'd be lying if I said aesthetics weren't the original temptation.
But as a highly active, health-conscious person, he knows the downsides of belly fat (increased risk of heart disease) and the benefits of a strong core (improved running and weightlifting, better balance and posture, and reduced back, neck, and back pain) and knee pain) I was even more attracted.Perhaps the best part: all it needs is to lie flat on a table, hooked up to a sleek machine.
Most body sculpting treatments are aimed at removing fat or tightening the skin using lasers or ultrasound, but Emsculpt's sole purpose is to firm a specific area - currently the abs or buttocks - by increasing muscle mass.(Clinical studies have shown an average increase of 19 percent in muscle thickness six to nine months after treatment.)
To achieve this, the machine sends out high-intensity electromagnetic pulses to force muscle contractions -- the equivalent of doing 20,000 sit-ups in 30 minutes -- to strengthen muscle fibers in a time previously impossible.Losing fat -- 19 percent less -- is really just a welcome (and proven) side effect that can have legitimate effects on your heart health.
It turns out I'm the ideal candidate: fit but not super fit, with a few pounds (not 20+) of extra fat, and no internal metal devices (like an IUD) that interfere with magnetic waves.
"In my 10 years in private practice, it's the coolest device we've ever owned," said Arash Akhavan, a dermatologist at the Manhattan Dermatology and Laser Group Clinic, whose technique straps a plastic paddle to my bare skin. of my waist, covering the area between my ribs and hip bones."A treatment that builds muscle without introducing any artificial substances into the body...it's truly unique."
It's definitely a feeling: the vibrations from the paddle alternate between rounds of humming (some so strong I think they might lift me off the table) and pounding thumps that feel like someone Was knocking a glass on my stomach.
Neither is painful, just uncomfortable.After 30 minutes, I get dressed and go back to work.No soreness, no redness, no dullness - we had 3 more visits over the next week and a half.
The lack of downtime has made Emsculpt so popular that dermatologists scramble to find one in their offices (400 people nationwide have it so far).According to the doctors I interviewed, it can be used for a full day, although the total cost of four sessions is about $4,000.
"Patient satisfaction is so high," Dr. Akhavan said, "that some people come back every month for maintenance therapy."
New York City dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum, MD, agrees: "I see about five patients a day and no one has any complaints," she says."Half saw results immediately after one treatment, but 84% reported a significant difference one month after completing the series; 90%, three months later."
An Emsculpt representative told me that's normal -- anyone who's ever strength-trained knows that our muscles take time to adapt to the pressure we put on them.
Emsculpt's offerings are also expanding: While there are currently treatments for the abs and buttocks, a rep confirmed it will soon be used on two other body parts (which and when, to be determined, but Dr. Akhavan speculates on the upper arms and thighs inside).
My stomach didn't look much different after the first treatment, but it felt harder when I poked it.In the gym after my second treatment, I swear my torso is stronger on the rows and lunges.After the third visit, I could last two minutes straight.
Now, a month after my last stitches, I'm noticing a slightly slimmer waist and tiny lines starting to appear around my abs.My doughnuts, while still there, don't look as noticeable, especially from the side.I'm nowhere near six pack, but I'm not disappointed.
I'm more confident than ever, and it's not just because I'm wearing a smaller top.I love how strong I feel during my run and workout - it's the strongest I've ever felt.This is the real miracle.Machine made or not.
A version of this article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of Women's Health.For more information on how to live a happier, healthier life, get the issue on newsstands today.
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