This week’s Tweak of The Week is all about body contouring. I went to the Victoria Street, London branch of Thérapie Clinic – a fast-growing chain of aesthetic medical clinics that are big on body contouring and have multiple top-end technologies available to firm and sculpt wobbly bits.
Price:£249 per session
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This video is sponsored by Thérapie Clinic.
Our TOTW focuses on EMSCULPT® – probably the most popular body-contouring machine that uses HIFEM (high-intensity focused electro-magnetic) technology, the one that puts all the electromagnetic contractions into your muscles to stimulate and firm them up. I offered up my abs to test it out and show you what it’s like. My therapist explains the EMSCULPT® process before we get going: ‘So, there’s three phases. You will feel contractions – the aim is to go to 100% [intensity], but we don’t have to do that in the first session. If we can at least take you to 80%, this is a good thing. The first phase is targeting intramuscular fat, so it burns that fat, the second phase is just muscle toning, and the third phase is breaking down the lactic acid so you are not sore.’
Basically, what EMSCULPT® does is channel those high-intensity focused electro-magnetic frequencies into the muscles to give them a proverbial kick up the backside because it’s working them out in a way that is impossible to achieve through exercise. My therapist explains: ‘An average person is able to work around 30-40% of their muscles in the gym, naturally, while professional athletes are able to work around 60% of their muscles, while [EMSCULPT®] would work in the 100%.’ This means that half an hour, I was going to get 20,000 contractions in my abs. Blimey.
Thankfully, my therapist didn’t drop me straight in at the deep end, starting instead at 30% intensity to slowly warm up the muscles and allow me to get used to the sensation. And I could certainly feel it – in all my stomach muscles at once, right from the hip bones up to the ribs. Some focused deep breathing was required, but it wasn’t that bad. Anyone considering EMSCULPT® will be pleased to know that the discomfort gets easier as you complete your sessions because the muscles are getting increasingly stronger.
Who is EMSCULPT® for?
‘It’s ideal for people who are very active in the gym and have a healthy lifestyle, mainly for people who work out and want that extra help with training,’ says my therapist. ‘So, for example, if certain exercises you can only do for, let’s say two minutes, this will increase your time.’ And what about if you’re a couch potato and you’ve never really got back into exercise after lockdown? ‘It does help,’ says my therapist. ‘It does help with fat reduction and bloating, and it changes posture as well, by strengthening your core muscles.’
Can it be combined with other treatments?
Thérapie Clinics also have the BTL Exilis radiofrequency device, something my therapist says works well in combination with EMSCULPT®. ‘EMSCULPT® is really good to combine with Exilis because it helps with lax skin, fat reduction and cellulite. If you have loose skin – like after having a baby – that one’s really good to do, and then you can combine it with this.’
How long to see results?
At least four 30-minute sessions are generally needed to see a result, though of course, this depends on your fitness levels and what sort of shape you’re in to start with. My therapist says two sessions per week is equivalent to a ‘12-week intense gym transformation’, which can build muscle by up to 20% (EMSCULPT® manufacturer BTL has done a lot of clinical studies). And in terms of fat-busting, that’s where the intramuscular bit comes in. ‘Intramuscular fat is the fat between your organs and your muscle,’ says my therapist. ‘You can get rid of it with diet, but obviously, this gives you a little help.’ Best results are seen at around six weeks after the last treatment.
With 10 minutes to go before the end of the treatment, I asked my therapist to increase the intensity to 90%, only to be told she was already on 91%, even though at the beginning I thought there was no way I’d manage past 50% – suggesting that my muscles can be whipped into submission surprisingly quickly.
I’ll have three more treatments over the two weeks following my first session and will report back on results about six weeks after that. So, for the sake of speed, the before-and-after images included in the TOTW video are from other people so you can see the kind of results that real people get over time and what you might have to achieve with the course of EMSCULPT®.
This video is sponsored by Thérapie Clinic.
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