EMSculpt Review, My Experience, Cost, Treatment and Risks
Before and afters
- Uses electromagnetic
pulsations, FDA approved, to treat the abdominal muscles (or buttocks muscles for a butt lift)
- Replicates the fatigue felt by muscle contractions at 20,000 reps in 30 minutes without downtime
- Can offer up to 19% fat reduction and 16% muscle building in the area(s) treated
- Requires at least 2 sessions per week separated by a 24-48 hour break between treatments for 2 weeks
- Costs between $700-$1,000 per session with a total treatment price of up to $4,000
As a mom of 2 beautiful, fully-grown girls who has spent countless hours at the gym with little impact on my abdominal muscles, core, and flattening my belly for a better profile, not a soul could tell. Having kids was the best thing that ever happened to me, but the change my body had after the fact has been rough to accept.
When I decided that I had done all I could at the gym and was within a few pounds of my goal weight, I spoke with my husband about going for a more drastic treatment. I started my search with a tummy tuck - definitely not for me. A tummy tuck would involve fluid drains and 4-6 weeks of downtime along with unpredictable scar recovery. I was not willing to spend a month or more in pain/recovery with scars and potential risks, so I opted to continue searching for a non-surgical body contouring/fat burning/skin tightening procedure. I honestly didn't know what I wanted, but I knew I wanted NOTHING to do with surgery right now - I didn't see myself as that desperate yet!
CoolSculpting sounded like a viable option, but the fact that it wouldn't impact tightening my abdomen as it relates to the muscles I was trying to build, it still wasn't right for me. Not to mention I read a few posts online about people having severe pain or numbness after their CoolSculpting that may never resolve - no thank you!
Exilis could help tighten my skin and help with some fat reduction, but again wouldn't strengthen my core or tighten the diastasis recti I developed after my children.
Lastly, I came upon EMSculpt, of course from an unlikely source, my mother. She mentioned to me one night after I told her my tale of a tummy gone wrong, and said she saw a brochure for it at her dermatologist when she went for her annual skin check up. According to what she read (of course she didn't bring the brochure home!), it was a procedure that both claimed to reduce fat cells and improve muscle strength and muscle tone. That was all she gave me, but it was enough to start Googling for more info. Thanks Mom!
I found a local dermatologist who was promoting their new EMSculpt machine on their website, and decided to give the consult a whirl. The appointment took me through the highlights and then the cost. Before I knew it, I was getting the procedure done that day, learning the treatment plan, and scheduling for my next 3 appointments!
EMSculpt Treatment Experience
I was shuffled into a separate exam room with the robot-looking machine with a fresh, shiny tough screen greeting me. I read and signed my consent form and before I knew it was given paper shorts and a gown to remove all metal from my body. Even my underwire bra had to be removed (depending on the provider, the MA told me, any metal in or on your body has to be removed or you cannot undergo the procedure...my mother with her pacemaker was clearly not a good candidate).
The medical assistant tapped a few areas on the screen of the machine and placed a velcro belt around my belly. The belt was used to secure the paddle against my middle abdominal area and she told me that I could ask her to adjust it if I felt like it wasn't hitting my "troubling" areas enough. Here we go!
She started up the machine for a full 30 minute treatment session where I would undergo 20,000 pulsations of electromagnetic pulses - I don't even remember Britney Spears doing that much (from memory I think she claimed to do 1,000 crunches/day in her hay day before she went all nuts, cut her hair, and then became a Vegas performer).
The treatment felt weird but pretty much painless - almost like a contraction I would feel in labor but less deep in my belly. The high-intensity focused electromagnetic pulses caused "supramaximal muscle contractions" that ticked consecutively like a wave that would ebb and flow, all while I could see my abdominal muscles contracting before my eyes - it was crazy (I knew I had to have created some muscle after all those hours at the gym!). The pulsations rotated between rapid succession like an automatic rifle of pulses to a slower, more deliberate set of ticks. The slower ticks, I was told, were meant to clear the lactic acid (byproduct of working out) from my muscles so that I could handle the next set of rapid pulses. As I became more familiar with the sensation, she continued to increase the intensity of the pulsations until I was able to reach the machine's maximal intensity - I was proud I could reach it!
That first session I left feeling good, slightly sore as if I had some sort of breaking up of the scar tissues, or something like that, from having kids and honestly felt like my belly was flatter. I never felt more please with my belly than the last few vacations I could remember with my husband before having kids.
After 2 days I went back for my second session, this time feeling more comfortable with what to expect and was ready for another "work out" with my new favorite abdominal routine. The time flew by as I talked about my girls and focused on my muscle contractions with the medical assistant. She also mentioned some great results she was seeing with the buttocks application and of course started convincing me to lift my mom butt closer to the sun once again (how could you beat 20,000 squats in 30 min?).
After my 4 sessions over 2 weeks I was ecstatic with my results. I felt that I not only burned fat, tightened my core, but could feel my posture was slightly better and I could handle being on my feet more at home. I guess I was doing core work at the gym wrong this whole time?
I would highly recommend this procedure for mom's trying to tighten their post-baby bellies that want nothing to do with freezing, cutting, or heating their bodies up with god-only-knows what. You really feel this machine working when you physically sense the contractions happening and see your muscles tightening with each pulse. I definitely see my results, as does my husband, in both flabbiness of my mid section and improved muscle definition/tightening of my abdomen.
EMSculpt Side Effects/Risks
After the procedure I had only a slight amount of soreness when standing in certain positions - but had zero "pain" per say. And after the required 2-day downtime, I was ready to go for my next session where I jumped to the highest intensity after only a few minutes. The medical assistant said that most people do get stronger after the first session and can absolutely handle the highest intensity after only a couple of minutes compared to their first session. I would imagine that those with less workout experience could feel more sore after the procedure, but was assured that the likelihood of that occurring was low after my extensive gym history (despite my lack of visible results).
As a smaller-framed woman I was told that I had the advantage of a lower price than those who are wider. Wider patients would need two paddles applied to the abdomen to cover the muscle areas needing treatment, while smaller frames wouldn't. As a single-paddle patient I was charged $750/session for a total of $3,000 without a bit of downtime, not a single scar, and no lingering pain or discomfort - and I'd say it was overwhelmingly worth it (and may honestly go back for a refresher session in a few months to tighten back up before the holidays).
For those people who cannot have EMSculpt, I'm sorry! It definitely is an awesome technology that I would recommend to any of my friends. According to what I remember from the consent, you can't have any implanted metal devices, especially pacemakers and/or defibrillators, if you want to have the procedure done. I also wasn't allowed to have my phone on me or in my hands (scrolling through Instagram or perusing the sales pumping through my emails all day was a no-no) during the procedure.
Other uses of EMSculpt
The word on the street is that the buttocks treatment acts like a sort of non-surgical butt lift, and there's a possibility of a different attachment doctors could get in the future that would treat arm flabbiness - yes! I've also heard of it being used as a quad/hamstring muscle treatment, at lower intensities, to improve leg contouring.
Stay tuned for more EMSculpt results because I would seriously buy one for my house if I could afford it!