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How Effective is Emsculpt?

Oct 07, 2019
How Effective is Emsculpt?
Millions of people are familiar with the struggle against stubborn fat deposits. Sometimes, no matter how many situps or lunges you do or carbs you cut, there are areas that just don’t respond.

Millions of people are familiar with the struggle against stubborn fat deposits. Sometimes, no matter how many situps or lunges you do or carbs you cut, there are areas that just don’t respond. That’s why non-invasive body sculpting techniques have been getting so popular in recent years. One such technique, called Emsculpt, builds muscle in addition to melting away fat. We offer emsculpt treatment at Aesthetic Surgery & Dermatology of Cherry Creek in Denver, CO. But how effective is Emsculpt?

What Is Emsculpt?

This body sculpting treatment is a relatively new concept that uses High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic Energy (or HIFEM) to cause extreme contractions in the muscles of the treated area. Right now, it’s used on the abdominal muscles (belly), gluteals (butt), arms, calves, and thighs. It’s particularly effective at treating women’s saggy triceps (lower arms).

These contractions mimic those that muscles undergo during a strenuous workout but are in fact more intense than even the best personal trainer could coax out of someone. Each half-hour treatment provides a whopping 20,000 contractions. Imagine doing that many high-quality crunches in about thirty minutes and you’re somewhere in the ballpark of what Emsculpt can do.

This FDA-approved, non-invasive treatment will have you back on your feet immediately after it’s finished. Doctors usually recommend four treatments for optimal results, but those results are impressive. On average, people who undergo all four rounds of this treatment see a 20% reduction in fat in the treated area as well as up to a 16% boost in muscle fibers. In other words, a flatter, more toned belly or firmer, more shapely rear end.

Why Is It So Effective?

One reason people have stubborn fat deposits is the nature of fat itself. Fat cells are extremely tough to get rid of once they have wedged themselves into place. They largely develop over childhood and early adulthood, and the number in the body tends to stay at roughly the same level unless you work out with regularity. When people gain weight, these fat cells expand as the body stores nutrients in them. When we lose weight, the cells contract as the body uses up those nutrients.

We can get rid of these fat cells in a few ways, and Emsculpt treatments harness one of those methods and supercharge it, resulting in rapid loss of fat while also toning muscle much faster than previously possible.

1. It Works Out the Muscles

As mentioned above, undergoing one of these treatments is the equivalent of doing 20,000 crunches or situps. When the muscles are working that hard, they signal fat cells to release fatty free acids. Because the muscles are being worked much harder than would otherwise be possible, the amount of fatty acids released is far above the norm.

This causes the fat cells themselves to malfunction and die. This effect can happen over time with traditional exercise, but Emsculpt greatly accelerates the process, breaking down fat over the course of four treatments spread over a two-week period. With those fat cells finally gone, the stubborn fat deposits in the treated area melt away.

2. It Builds Muscle Fibers

This is where Emsculpt improves upon other body sculpting treatments: it not only breaks down fat, but strengthens and builds muscle in the process. People who undergo this treatment can expect not just flatter stomachs and/or rounder behinds, but stronger ones, too.

You may even see some definition appear in your abs over time. The one-two punch of melting away fat and building muscle makes this treatment particularly effective for those who want to see not only less fat, but better muscle definition, too.

All About Emsculpt

Now you know why it works so well, but you might be wondering what the treatment itself is like. In this section, we’ll answer a handful of frequently asked questions about this popular body sculpting treatment.

1. What Is the Treatment Like?

The Emsculpt device uses paddles to painlessly direct the HIFEM pulses into the area to be treated. If you’re receiving the treatment on your belly, you’ll lie on your back. If you want your backside toned, you’ll lie on your stomach. Once the paddles are in place, the device will only be turned up as high as you are comfortable with. Obviously, the higher it goes, the better your results will be.

The device will initiate contractions in three phases. The first is a cycle of three seconds of contractions followed by three seconds of rest. Next, there will be five seconds of contractions followed by five seconds of rest. The third and final phase has the device emitting a tapping sensation.

These three phases repeat over the thirty-minute duration of the treatment. Each person’s tolerance for the sensation the treatment provides is different, but generally, those who undergo it find it’s not painful so much as odd. Your muscles may be a bit sore the next day, but no more so than if you’d done a strenuous workout.

2. Are the Results Immediate?

Just like with exercise, you won’t see immediate results with these treatments. Instead, the results will reveal themselves over the course of two months or so. The reason for this, like the results themselves, is twofold.

The Nature of Fat Cells

When fat cells break down, they don’t suddenly disappear. The body will flush them out over the course of days and weeks, so you will see the treated fat deposits shrink over time. The dead fat cells are excreted by the body as water after being metabolized.

The Nature of Muscle Fibers

It takes muscle fibers time to grow. They will grow a bit faster than the fat cells will disappear, so as those cells are sent on their way, they will reveal your newly toned zone. The muscles themselves are even thought to undergo cellular change, becoming thicker and stronger over time. The resulting change is akin to a half year’s worth of a strict diet and exercise regimen, at least cosmetically speaking.

In fact, this treatment’s ability to strengthen the abdominal muscles can have a few beneficial side effects. Stronger abs stabilize your torso and can help improve posture, and improved posture can in turn help ward off back and neck pain. This treatment isn’t guaranteed to provide effects like these, but if you continue to work on your core muscles after your treatment cycle is complete, you may see benefits beyond the cosmetic.

3. Is the Change Permanent?

While the effect of this treatment is undeniable and noticeable, it is not any more permanent than any other kind of exercise. If you do pushups every day for a year and then suddenly stop, you’ll lose some of that muscle tone. The same goes for this treatment. If you undergo it and continue to work out the treated area regularly, you’re far more likely to see your results stick. Otherwise, we recommend coming in once every few months for another treatment to maintain your results over time.

Who Is This Treatment for?

While body sculpting treatments like this one can work cosmetic wonders, they do not necessarily improve overall health. For that reason, Emsculpt might not be the solution for every person looking to lose fat from their belly or their behind. Here’s who it’s likely right for:

1. People in Overall Good Health

It’s important to remember that while this treatment can get rid of stubborn fat deposits and tone muscle, it is not a substitute for diet and exercise. It’s a body sculpting technique meant to help people achieve the look they want, not a method for medical weight loss. That’s why the best candidates for it are those who already have good eating habits and exercise regularly but just can’t seem to get the tone they want or get rid of that last little bit of fat.

For some people, pairing this treatment with another fat reduction strategy or therapy will be necessary. We at Aesthetic Surgery and Dermatology of Cherry Creek can consult with you and help to design an individualized plan to ensure you get the results you’re looking for.

2. People Who Want to Get Rid of Fat in Various Areas

Unlike some other body sculpting treatments, this treatment has the ability to address numerous areas. If you are looking to get rid of stubborn fat from multiple areas of the body, you can consult with us at Aesthetic Surgery & Dermatology of Cherry Creek to learn more about how this incredible treatment can help.

3. People Who Are Willing to Work to Maintain Their Results

As mentioned above, many people choose to return for a fresh treatment every several months to maintain the look their initial treatments provided. Still, it’s important to keep up a healthy fitness regimen and work out the treated area in order to maintain the muscle gain and fat loss this treatment provides.

If you’re truly looking for a quick fix but don’t want to start a fitness regimen, a different type of body sculpting treatment might be the right choice for you.

4. People Who Have Ruled Out Surgical Options

Most people would much rather go through a non-invasive treatment than a surgical cosmetic procedure. While liposuction and other more invasive procedures can produce more immediate results, body sculpting treatments are far less painful and time-consuming.

With this treatment, you can walk into our office, lie down for thirty minutes, and walk right back out. There’s no downtime before or after and no preparation needed on your part. It’s so quick and easy that you could do it on your lunch break and head right back to work. Most would agree that waiting a few weeks to see the final results of your treatment is worth the tradeoff in comfort and downtime.

This treatment is FDA-approved, and clinical trials show no adverse effects outside of the same mild muscle soreness you’d get after a great workout at your local gym.


By now, it should be obvious why body sculpting treatments like this are becoming increasingly popular. They’re non-invasive, quick, all but painless, and provide proven results. While CoolSculpting, Kybella, and other treatments work to melt away fat, Emsculpt is the only one that also builds muscle in the process. Keep in mind, however, that these can make great complementary procedures for a comprehensive body contouring treatment plan.

Are you ready to achieve the body of your dreams? If you’re interested and feel that you’re a good candidate for this treatment, call the Aesthetic Surgery & Dermatology of Cherry Creek in Denver, CO to set up a consultation today.