Last year, I tried a fat burning procedure called Cool Sculpting; I know it worked because the sides of my thighs were flatter — I could see it, and feel the difference when I pulled my jeans on. But the first 10 minutes of the procedure was torturous; I was essentially getting an extreme ice burn. Well, you know what they say… no pain, no gain (I really don’t like that saying).
So when “Emsculpt” popped into my inbox last week, I approached it with a lot of caution. It claims to tone muscles and build abs by giving your mid section (or butt) a workout. The machine does all the work while you just lie there. Logically, it should work, because your muscles are being exercised; but just like exercise, you don’t get results overnight. You need to commit to a series of at least three to four sessions to see results; but before any of that, the burning question is… does it hurt?
No. Well, it didn’t for me.
I had my fair share of anxiety just before the procedure (I was expecting some level of pain or discomfort). And to be honest, it was the whole “reassuring” talk by the clinic staff that made me more worried than I needed to be. It’s not their fault though; they were trying to put my mind at ease.
So this is what happens when you do Emsculpt:
1. You sign a few forms with disclaimers.
2. Lie on the bed and have a paddle strapped to your tummy.
3. Do nothing for 30 minutes while the paddle vibrates.
The paddle is placed over the tummy and you just lie down for 30 minutes.
The sensation of the vibrating paddle feels like that period pain-killer, Livia, which is essentially a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine. And by the way, Livia really does work to “switch off” menstrual cramps. So imagine the Emsculpt paddle as a much larger TENS unit (which again, doesn’t hurt).
I like that the procedure only takes 30 minutes. I don’t like that I can’t use my phone while doing it — metal devices may interfere with the machine, so I’m told. I like that because it’s a non-invasive procedure, there’s no downtime at all. I don’t like that I couldn’t see a difference after that first session.
The Emsculpt treatment claims that each 30-minute session is the equivalent of 20,000 sit-ups or 20,000 squats.
That’s a very bold claim and I personally don’t believe it. I imagine I would feel horrible after doing 20,000 sit-ups (is that even possible?), and after my one Emsculpt session, I barely felt any ache. But I like it enough to want to go back and complete a four-session cycle. It felt good (psychologically) doing it, and because I did experience a slight (very slight) muscle ache that night (the kind of ache you get after exercising), I do believe something’s happening to my body.
The Emsculpt machine
Note that the treatment is very new (it launched in the US just six months ago), so don’t expect to find many reviews online. So right now, this is one of those procedures that you have to try for yourself. As I write this, I’m going for my second session this afternoon, and I’ll update this space again with my results when the full cycle is complete.
UPDATE : I completed four sessions over a period of three weeks. The last session made all the difference; my stomach muscles had the familiar ache from doing sit-ups, and I felt exhausted that entire day. I’d like to say that my stomach is flatter, but it’s not. I believe it’ll be another two weeks or so before I see a more toned mid-section. Hopefully, I can update this page again with good news.
Emsculpt is exclusive to Calvin Chan Aesthetic & Laser Clinic. One 30-minute treatment costs $900. If you’re doing the tummy treatment, bring a friend along, because there are two paddles and the stomach area only uses one. It’ll cost the same flat rate so you can share the session (and cost) with a friend.
More Info: www.nylon.com.sg