This week’s Tweak of the Week is Emsculpt, an extraordinary new technology for body shaping, which promises to build muscle and reduce fat at the same time. How could I resist the chance to try it out at the Dr Rita Rakus Clinic in Knightsbridge? This machine, from BTL Aesthetic, uses high intensity focused
electromagnetic energy to make the abdominal muscles contact - 20,000 times. These 'supramaximal' contractions should give you a six-pack within six sessions, and it is as popular with super-fit personal trainers as it is with couch potatoes. What's it like? Quite intense! Watch the video to see what I mean. Also, it made me helpless with laughter. I don't know why, but it just did. There's a transcript of the video, below.
AHD: Now Emsculpt is focused high intensity electro magnetic technology, which is going to put a massive amount of energy into my abs, it’s going to make them contract up to twenty thousand times in the next half hour, so wish me luck.
I'm here at the Dr Rita Rakus clinic in Knightsbridge, with Dr Rita herself, who is the global ambassador of Emsculpt, this amazing new machine which I'm going to get to try, and with Dr Galyna Selezneva, who’s actually going to do the treatment for me.
I wanted to ask you Dr Rakus, about this technology - it’s a whole new way of approaching body contouring, isn't it?
Dr Rakus: Exactly, it’s based on MRI technology, you know when you go into an MRI scanner, and it does the same thing, it does 20,000 supramaximal contractions, on your tummy or bottom.
AHD: 20,000 in half an hour, that’s more than is possible, surely?
Dr Rakus: This is why it works so well, and you can get a six-pack within six sessions. It’s amazing, within two weeks you can get a six pack, it is the only body sculpting machine that will build muscle and burn fat at the same time, it has revolutionised body contouring. Dr Galyna is our body expert but we still do combine it with other treatments for example, if you want the love handles done we have eight different machines at the clinic that can be used on the body, but this is our new superstar.
AHD: Okay, and is there one kind of person that it works for better than others?
Dr Rakus: Well it works best when you haven’t got a lot of fat, if you’ve got more then 7cm of fat, sometimes we need to 'debulk' you a little bit, we need to get the fat down to at least 7cm, because the energy has to get through the fat to build the muscle, so if you are seriously overweight we might have to do some fat freezing or skin tightening as well. Or if you are too thin, it can also be a little tricky because if you are very fit it can be a bit intense, but we just treat you on it slowly until you get used to it.
AHD: Well I'm moderately fit and I’ve not got too much fat on me, but I'm really keen to try it.
Dr Rakus: You will be perfect; can I just pinch you here?
AHD: Go for it.
Dr Rakus: There’s a roll! We can work on that.
AHD: And this all sounds too good to be true but there’s a lot of data behind this product, I understand…
Dr Rakus: Yes, they’ve got many papers and they’ve been researching it for many years and as we know, MRI machines have been around for a long time and this company is the biggest machine company in the world and they’ve had a lot of medical machines previously, so it’s not just something that’s come out of nowhere, they’ve been working with MRI technology for many years, and this is the latest adaptation and there’s a lot of data patents and trials.
AHD: Okay and this is an expensive thing to do, is it a popular thing to do?
Dr Rakus: We have two machines going 24/7. Because it does things that you can’t do yourself,
AHD: So how much is a session or a course maybe that’s a better way of asking?
Dr Rakus: A course of six is £3,000, but we guarantee the results.
AHD: Wow that’s quite an offer.
Dr Rakus: Yes, but what it does you can’t do yourself. Even if you're very fit, 50 per cent of our patients are sportsmen, they come in, they're really fit but they want to go to the next level, it also helps a lot with your back, so a lot of our patients with back pain here and there will help. It is very valuable to people who can’t exercise so much, if they have back problems or bad knees, it is excellent for that.
[cut to AHD on the treatment couch, talking with Dr Galyna]
Dr Galyna: Now breathe out, and relax, so the importance is on trying not to fight the contraction.
AHD: So, this treatment paddle is reaching all the way from my hips up to my rib cage?
Dr Galyna: Yes, your abdominal muscles reach right down to your pubis area. These muscles are all interlinked or interconnected into your external obliques.
AHD: Is this treatment in any way like Slendertone?
Dr Galyna: Think about Slendertone on steroids....
AHD: The energy is going into the muscles and it feels like…
Dr Galyna: Like a wave.
AHD: Okay its strong but it’s not, it’s not exactly painful. So here I am mid-way through the Emsculpt treatment which is putting an enormous amount of high intensity focused magnetic waves into my abs, in order to give me the effects of doing the equivalent of 20,000 crunches in half an hour. And it feels completely peculiar. It’s like a wave of energy, this tapping bit is the relaxing mode, you can see the whole thing is juddering around like I'm a nodding dog on a dashboard or something.
So, it’s been giving me the giggles which is why I appear to be crying it’s not the pain, I’ve been taking these procedures hugely seriously in the aesthetics world for 20 years and nothing has made me laugh before, but I’ve just been in helpless giggles. But it’s a very serious procedure, and what Dr Galyna was just saying is that because muscles have memory, my muscles will accommodate and adapt to what they've just been through, so all that giggling has enabled me to relax into the next wave of treatment. I’m not totally relaxed but that is because my stomach is working overtime, but you know, I thought it would be a lot worse let’s put it that way.
AHD: That felt quite extraordinary, it feels different, but it doesn’t look any different in the mirror, but I wasn't expecting to see a change after just one session.
Dr Galyna: Probably not yet after the first session, because we were quite slow when increasing your intensity, somebody like you who is very slim and fit, I would probably expect more definition after two or three.
AHD: It felt like a lot of work, I mean towards the end, particularly the upper bit of my abs had really had enough. And what I wanted to ask was how is it burning fat?
Dr Galyna: Emsculpt has two protocols, one protocol is usually for the abdomen area, is the fat burning protocol, and what does is makes your muscles contract so much that you get a supramaximal contraction because it is exercising your muscle beyond your ability, a chemical reaction occurs, that basically in simple words, the muscle needs food, and it gets that energy from the fat cells that are near to them, so everything that sits on the abdominal recti and external oblique muscles just gets burned.
AHD: And this is localised fat?
Dr Galyna: Absolutely. It’s nice deep localised fat, and the protocol for the buttocks, the bum lift, does not have that extra push, so what that does, is exercise the muscles without burning the fat, because you don’t want to lose the fat. We want a nice, round, perky peachy bum, so what it does is lift the buttocks without burning the fat.
This video is sponsored by the Dr Rita Rakus Clinic