A study published in 2021 examined how effective the non-invasive Emsculpt technology is, specifically when targeting the stomach and buttocks. Emsculpt has been one of the most-requested treatments at Palo Alto Laser and Skin Care since it arrived, with countless patients taking advantage of high-intensity focused electromagnetic field (HIFEM) energy to both build muscle and reduce fat at various target sites. Emsculpt can be used virtually anywhere you want to achieve these goals, but the abs and glutes have long been two of the most popular sites. The study included 14 patients, 23 – 49 years old, who received four treatments on the stomach and/or buttocks for 30 minutes at a time. Approximately 4 – 6 sessions are the average number of sessions needed for optimal results.
In order to gauge effectiveness, ultrasound images were taken before and immediately after treatments. Additional imaging was taken eight weeks after the last treatment, since building muscle and reducing fat does not happen right away with Emsculpt (or any treatment). Thickness of the rectus abdominus muscles and subcutaneous fat was measured via ultrasound. This was supported by measuring waist circumference, taking progress photos, and collecting patient ratings. Digital image improvement was evaluated by both patients and researchers. Two months after the final treatment, ultrasound images revealed an average 15.7 percent reduction in subcutaneous adipose tissue (fat) and a thickening of the ab muscles by 26.1 percent.
The circumference of the waist decreased by an average of 2.84 centimeters. Immediately following the last session, patients rated their satisfaction at 87.5 percent. Eight weeks after that session, the satisfaction rating was at 100 percent. While looking at digital images of themselves, 25 percent of patients said their appearance had improved while 66.7 percent said it had “significantly improved” and 8.3 percent said it “greatly improved.” Practitioners who rated the images with the Global Aesthetic Improvement scale marked all patients as “100 percent improved.” There were no side effects reported during treatment.
Researchers concluded that the data gathered during this study are in keeping with Emsculpt’s clinical studies. “The treatment achieved high doctor and patient satisfaction,” says the research team.
Why Emsculpt, Why Now?
According to the researchers, an increased focus on appearance partially stems from social media. However, wanting to look and feel your best is certainly not a new phenomenon. Still, there has been an increase in body sculpting treatments in recent years, such as CoolSculpting, and it’s important to be able to trust that the technology and treatment you are considering will be effective. Emsculpt’s maker, BTL, has shared numerous clinical studies publicly, each touting just how well it works.
The science behind Emsculpt is fairly simple. Muscles get bigger, stronger, and more toned when they experience what is called supramaximal contractions. These are the kind of muscular contractions achieved when lifting weights or during manual labor. Obviously, there are risks to these kinds of contractions in such conditions, such as severe muscle or ligament tears. Such risks are not present with Emsculpt, which pushes only the targeted muscles into 20,000 supramaximal contractions. Your muscles do not know or “care” how these contractions occur, whether from the gym or Emsculpt. They will respond as they should to these “good” micro-tears by creating more muscle fibers or “gains.”
Who is Emsculpt For?
Emsculpt can be helpful for everyone in terms of muscle strength, but if you are interested in Emsculpt for aesthetic, researchers note that it is best for those with lower BMIs. However, during the study, those with a BMI up to 32.8 reported being satisfied with the results. Researchers suggest a combination therapy using other fat-reducing treatments for the most effective approach.
The researchers say, “The results of our study suggest that the HIFEM procedure is a safe and effective option for noninvasive body shaping.” However, they urge more studies with more patients to take place in the future, possibly splitting groups into different cohorts arranged by BMI. If you are interested in Emsculpt, starting right now will ensure you can enjoy your full results in time for swimsuit season. Also remember that Emsculpt is not a replacement for healthy diet and exercise, but a way to supplement and support these habits. Some people also use Emsculpt as a means of establishing a good foundation for returning to or starting a workout regimen. To find out more about Emsculpt or schedule your appointment, get in touch with us today. Call Palo Alto Laser and Skin Care or complete the online contact form now.