The Beauty Balance Podcast - Episode 02 Transcript:
“You’re listening to The Beauty Balance podcast hosted by Dr. Usha Rajagopal, a San Francisco board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience. We cover a range of highly requested aesthetics and skincare topics, and chat with influential, talented women who truly encompass grace, beauty, and brains – plus, you get an inside scoop on what it’s really like to be a plastic surgeon.”
What is Emsculpt?
Emsculpt is a way to contour your body and improve muscle definition without surgery. Emsculpt works on the principle of HIFEM (High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic) technology. It’s the same technology that an MRI machine would work on. Emsculpt has more to do with magnetic energy and not radiation. This energy is focused into FDA-approved targeted areas such as the six pack muscle and the gluteus muscle.
How can Emsculpt help diastasis recti/muscle separation?
The Emsculpt helps with diastasis recti, which is a common occurrence after pregnancy. When the womb stretches and the baby grows, the abdominal muscles want to accommodate the growth of the baby so the six pack muscles separates. When that happens, it’s great for accommodating the baby, but after the baby is born the muscles may not necessarily come back together. A lot of women could have a little pooch which may not be fat at all -- it’s just muscle that’s weak and could not come back together. Muscles need to work symmetrically in concert to be most effective. Some women could have issues with back pain and not enough core strength, and Emsculpt can also help with that.
How does Emsculpt work?
A lot of our patients are young men and women who really want to improve their appearance. They are very athletic, go to the gym, and they want to take it step further and get this sculpted look. Because of this high focused supra maximal contraction of the muscles, the muscle does hypertrophy (thickens) and you also reduce the overlying fat.
It works in two ways: you get less fat sitting above the muscle and the muscle gets bigger and stronger resulting in a more defined core. When you go through the Emsculpt treatments, the contractions are so strong that you start to notice changes in both your six pack forming and your oblique muscles coming inwards. When you look at patients who had the Emsculpt treatment, not only do they have a good six pack, the entire abdominal wall (six pack and obliques) are much tighter and they have a smaller and more defined waist. In the buttock area, we have a lot of patients who want more fullness to the buttock. It will also improve and strengthen the buttock muscle but when we do the buttock treatment, we use a different protocol since we don't want a lot of fat loss because most men and women are looking for more fullness. This is much more than what you can achieve by doing squats at the gym.
How often should patients come in for their treatments?
With Emsculpt, we are treating active tissue in the body (remember our body is alive and dynamic), so like every other muscle in our body it needs constant stimulation. Once the treatments are done we usually recommend 4 treatments approximately once a week for 4 consecutive weeks. They will notice the best improvement in about 6 weeks to 2 months. Once the treatment is done, to maintain their results and defined musculature, we recommend 2-3 times a year.
Does Emsculpt hurt?
It doesn’t hurt but it does feel like a workout. I personally did the Emsculpt treatment up to maximum strength both in the abdominal and buttock area. The contractions are extremely strong and it does take a while for you to get used to the feeling. Our office staff is very friendly and have all gone through these treatments so they will be there encouraging you as your Emsculpt coaches. We want you to have the best results so our team will be there to cheer you on and get you up to 100% so you get the best results with each session.
How does the Emsculpt compare to Coolsculpting?
Coolsculpting is also a non-surgical treatment and primarily for fat reduction. If you have a little bulge that you want to reduce, or can’t get rid of small budges, Coolsculpting works the best for stubborn fat but it doesn’t work on the muscle at all. Whereas Emsculpt works in the muscle primarily and a little in the fat. We offer a dynamic duo where we recommend the Coolsculpting treatment first, then in about 3 months, when the Coolsculpt has reached its final result then we will recommend the Emsculpt. They work hand in hand to give you your best body.
Who are good candidates for the Emsculpt treatment?
The Emsculpt is a great treatment for different kinds of people. Obviously, it’s ideal for a young, athletic person who is interested in gaining muscle definition. Emsculpt is also used to improve function of the body. When someone has diastasis recti it will bring that in together and provide more core strength. I have some patients with chronic back pain who come in for their Emsculpt. These patients with back issues just want to improve their core strength. When you strengthen your core, your abdominal, rectus, and oblique muscles, you will notice that you have less back pain. Lastly, I have patients who have issues with either their lower back or hip. Strengthening your buttock muscles can help with these issues. We have patients who have very functional issues that have been treated by the Emsculpt. I have a patient who had a hip replacement last year, but felt like she wasn't her optimal self. We ended up doing the Emsculpt treating both on the abdominal and buttocks. I was so surprised at her last visit to the office. She looked like a new person. She appeared to be at least 20 years younger. The first time I saw her she came in hunched back walking with a cane. And now she walks in full of life and energy, plus she’s taking salsa dance classes! It really can change someone’s life especially with these functional issues.