As a result of more than a month of inactivity, I’ve put on a little weight and my tummy area (my stubborn spot) looks flabby and bloated. So I thought that doing a few sessions of the Emsculpt Neo treatment would give me the motivation to jump back into my exercise routine.
1. It builds muscle and melts away fat – quickly
You may have heard of Emsulpt. Well, the Neo is its improved, more effective upgrade. Dr Rohan Mendis, founder of Mendis Aesthetics, whose clinic is the first in Asia to offer the non-invasive body-contouring treatment, explains that to look svelte, you need to both build muscle and get rid of the layer of fat that lies on top of your muscles.
The Emsculpt Neo does both, using high-intensity focused electromagnetic (Hifem) and radio-frequency energy. The former triggers involuntary contractions in your muscles (the equivalent of 20,000 crunches in a 30-min session), contracting the muscles much more intensively, beyond what’s achievable during a regular workout. The stress, Dr Mendis says, results in the growth of more muscle fibres and cells. At the same time, radio-frequency energy gradually heats the area to 42 deg C, the ideal temperature to melt fat.
The result: a more sculpted, stronger and slimmer target area.
2. The results are clinically proven
Clinical studies show that the treatment can help you gain 25 per cent more muscle, plus a 30 per cent reduction in subcutaneous fat. “It achieves results far superior to what any manual exercise regime could ever achieve,” Dr Mendis says. And depending on how motivated you are in maintaining your newer physique (with a healthy diet and regular exercise), the results could really last.
3. It works on a variety of problem areas – and in four weeks
The abdomen, buttocks, thighs, calves, flanks and arms can all be treated. Four weekly sessions are recommended, with an interval of five to seven days in between.
My first Emsculpt Neo session at Mendis Aesthetics takes just 30 minutes and is fuss-free – the hardest part, really, is climbing up onto the high treatment bed. All I’m required to do after that is lie down and allow the machine to do its work. Torn between a flatter and tighter tummy versus a slimmer butt, I decide to go for the former.
Two large applicators are strapped snugly to my abdomen and my therapist, Tracy, starts the programme. The sensation is a little unusual – I feel fast taps, slow taps, buzzing and prickling sensations, warmth, and of course, involuntary contractions.
Dr Mendis explains later that the mix of long and short contractions mimics HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training where short, very intense exercise is alternated with recovery time), while the firm taps are designed to release lactic acid build-up, which happens during strenuous exercise.
Over the course of the session, both the heat and the intensity of the contractions slowly increase, with the aim of reaching the 100 per cent mark in order to reap the full benefits of the treatment. How fast one can get up to 100 per cent during the session depends on individual tolerance, and this too, improves with successive sessions.
Tracy tells me that I should let her know if the sensations become very uncomfortable. It takes some getting used to, she tells me. I brace myself to feel childbirth-like contractions but the sensations are much milder than that – and there is no pain, even though the longer contractions towards the end are more intense.
Different people process the sensations differently. One patient I spoke to told me that her first two sessions were both uncomfortable and discomforting but that she fell asleep during her third session.
Post-session, I’m told to expect some redness immediately after, as well as muscle soreness the next day (as though one had truly done a great many crunches). The redness is mild and disappears in a few hours. And I wake up feeling fine. What I do see, and happily, is that my obliques are more defined. My tummy also looks flatter and the skin, visibly tighter, the result of the Emsculpt Neo’s dual technologies.
My second session, done a week later, is also a breeze. Tracy gets me to 100 per cent in a faster time and again, there is no discomfort. And in a quick 30 minutes, I’m done. Both times, I leave the clinic and go about the rest of my day.
Dr Mendis tells me that, similar to how patients process the sensations differently, they also feel the effects in different ways. Some feel sore the next day. Some perspire a lot during the session. Some need more time to get up to full intensity. It all depends on the state and strength of your muscles, as well as your tolerance for discomfort.
After the two sessions, my tummy looks firmer and my waist is smaller and more well-defined too.
I’d recommend the Emsculpt Neo as a core (no pun intended) treatment to have in an aesthetics/beauty regime. For one, it’s effective when it comes to shifting stubborn fat pockets that prevent from you from looking more toned. For another, if you’ve let your exercise routine lapse for a few months, doing these treatments will motivate you to get back to a workout schedule, to maintain the results. It’s a great way to kickstart the process.
It costs $1,200 for a single Emsculpt Neo session, while a four-session package costs $4,000. You can also do monthly follow-up sessions for overall maintenance.