Everyone knows that it takes effort to look fit and toned. Sure, some people are blessed with higher metabolism rates and more even fat distribution than others, but then again, being slim and lean are two different body types entirely. The latter requires a good diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep and a healthy lifestyle to maintain.
What if there was a device to help you build lean muscles and doesn’t involve a workout? It may sound like one of those things that’s too good to be true, but hear us out.
Clique Clinic recently announced the launch of the EMSculpt NEO by BTL, the world’s major manufacturer of medical equipment, which is the first non-invasive body enhancement solution of its kind in Malaysia. Unlike other cosmetic procedures like liposuction or abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), the technology behind this new equipment boasts zero downtime while offering a combination of fat reduction, skin tightening and muscle growth.
FirstClasse was invited for a one session review to learn all about the technology and experience it for ourselves. Read on to learn more about how it works, what it feels like and whether you should try it out.
What is EMSculpt NEO?
Building on the innovation of its predecessor, EMSculpt, the EMSculpt NEO uses synchronised radiofrequency (RF) and high intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM+) energies to simultaneously target muscle stimulation and fat elimination.
RF heating raises the temperature of fat cells under the skin to induce apoptosis, which is the natural process of cell death and elimination. Meanwhile, HIFEM+ energy contracts the muscles at high intensities that are not achievable through exercise. These supramaximal contractions cause the strained muscle fibres to initiate a growth process in both size and number.
After treatment, the fat cells will be slowly removed by the body and the targeted muscles will grow at the same time. Each treatment takes only 30 minutes, with a recommended minimum of 4 treatments scheduled once a week to see visible results. As the EMSculpt NEO is non-invasive, it requires no recovery time or pre-treatment preparations.
Based on clinical studies, the device has shown an average of 30% fat reduction and 25% increase in muscle volume. At Clique Clinic, the machine is used specifically on the stomach area to target the core.
“What we’re doing here is basically to fight the aging of the body by tightening the skin, building the muscles, burning the fat. It’s also preventive in such a way that when your core muscles are strong, it protects your spine and it gives you a good posture, which saves you from spending on spinal surgery or injuries in years to come,” explains Dr Tingsong Lim, Medical Director of Clique Clinic.
Who is it for?
Dr Lim says that everybody can benefit from the treatment, but one group that will benefit most is post-pregnancy mothers, as it helps to reduce muscle separation in the abs – a common occurrence during pregnancy. Those with higher BMIs also stand to have significant body changes, thanks to the device’s combined technology.
However, he’s quick to point out that the entire process takes time. Depending on the individual, results may be visible right after treatment, but in most cases, positive results are usually reported two to four weeks after the last session and will continue to improve thereafter.
“People are still in that mindset of ‘if I’m paying this amount of money, I want to see good results immediately.’ But when you’re only working on muscles, you won’t see a huge difference because it’s covered by a layer of fat,” Dr Lim says.
“Another thing is that the thicker the layer of fats, the harder it is for the machine to work on the muscles underneath, so we realised that we needed something that works on both the muscle and the fat at the same time. When you build muscle, your metabolism will increase and this will help you to burn fat easier.”
Why should you try it?
Even if you’re neither overweight nor struggling with a belly pooch, the EMSculpt NEO helps to give you a boost of confidence to get into shape. After all, it’s completely normal to lose muscle with age, which can lead to lower stamina, mobility and joint injuries. Think of it as a booster to help you work on your health goals.
“A lot of times when we talk about devices like this, people think that it’s just for vanity. But when you look at people with a lean body, immediately in your mind, you feel that this person is very healthy. We are genetically wired to like something that looks healthy, so it all links back to health,” Dr Lim reasons.
“Initially, it was for mating purposes, but now it has become a psychosocial thing where you tend to want to hang out with people who are healthier because you feel that you can get a positive energy from them,” he goes on.
The bottom line is this: “We want to reduce fat because the more fat we have, the more inflamed the body is and the more wear and tear the body will face. But when you have muscles, it means that your body won’t become frail easily and it’s healthier for you in the long run.”
What does it feel like?
After changing into loose, comfortable clothing provided by the clinic and removing all metal or electronic items near the waist (as this can interfere with the device’s magnetic waves), my doctor straps the machine on my abdomen area and the procedure begins.
It starts with a heating sensation and moderately-intense vibrations that leave me feeling as if I’m doing sit-ups when in reality, I’m lying down flat – confused and amused at the same time. In fact, I find myself laughing at the thought of how my next ab workout will never feel the same again. Thankfully, I’m reassured that my reaction is quite natural.
The doctor checks in on how I’m doing from time to time, gradually increasing the intensity every five minutes or so. After every few rounds of contractions, the machine will switch to a tapping motion to help break up the lactic acid that’s being released by my muscles. This helps to prevent any muscle pain or fatigue.
About 20 minutes into the session, the contractions get really intense. “What’s the current level of intensity?” I ask the doctor, to which he replies, “It’s 90%. Just a little bit more to go.” At this point, it can get rather uncomfortable. My casual conversation with him grows quieter as I mentally prepare to squeeze my abs with every contraction, albeit more involuntarily than a typical workout rep.
The last five minutes is the most intense part of it, but once it’s over, there’s no pain whatsoever. Some amount of perspiration and/or redness from the heat is normal, both of which I experienced. The former is easily resolved with a few wipes during or after treatment, and the latter subsided with no trace within the hour in my case.
All in all, the entire process is relatively fast, painless and hassle-free. It’s hard to tell the difference from just one session, especially for someone who does regularly exercise (one plus of the MCO), but one week on, my obliques do appear more chiseled and my waistline slightly more defined than before.
Is it worth going for another session? Yes. It doesn’t replace the need for exercise nor is it the miracle to looking lean, but it’s effective enough to spark confidence and set (or reset) you on the path to a healthier lifestyle.
For more information or to book an appointment, log on to the Clique Clinic website here.