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Emsculpt vs. CoolSculpting: Which Non-Surgical Body Contouring Is Right For You?

Female shaping circle with hands on her stomach. Isolated on white

We all have a naturally sculpted physique lying underneath our layers of fat and loose skin. The challenge lies in how to reveal it. Sometimes, nutritional diets and regular exercise are not enough as they have varying levels of effect on different people. But thanks to technological innovations, there are other ways to show or accentuate your body’s curves. Take body contouring treatments for instance.

Body contouring, otherwise known as body sculpting, is a non-surgical and minimally invasive treatment that can help us trim layers of fat painlessly to tone our body. Furthermore, the advanced cosmetic technology it uses also helps to improve the overall appearance of our skin. Some of the most sought-after treatments under this category are Emsculpt (also stylized as EMSculpt) and CoolSculpting.

Does this sound good to you? Continue reading to learn more about Emsculpt, how it’s different from CoolSculpting, and all the benefits you can enjoy from this minimally invasive body contouring treatment. You can also get in touch with our team of expert practitioners for more information about non-surgical body sculpting.

What is Emsculpt?

Emsculpt is an FDA-approved treatment device designed to give us a more desirable body shape without going under the knife. It targets any unwanted or stubborn fat cells in the middle section of our body, an area that’s notorious for being hard to tone. It can also help you firm your glutes, arms, and legs.

Using high-intensity magnetic energy, Emsculpt induces thousands of supramaximal contractions. It is perfect for muscle toning since the treatment can make our muscles fire up to 20,000 times per half an hour. That’s a lot of activity for a short amount of time. For the best results, it’s highly recommended to take four half-hour sessions within two weeks. When done right and regularly, it can show noticeable results just a month after the treatment.

Electromagnetic energy waves are generally safe to use on the body for various medical purposes. With Emsculpt, the device uses them to build muscle volume and muscle fibers. According to different medical reports, it can guarantee a 16% gain in muscle mass.

Although Emsculpt shows maximum effect in toning the muscle, it can also eliminate fat layers. Around three months after treatment, we can already see a 19% fat reduction.

Many clients extend a high satisfaction rate towards Emsculpt because of the quick and excellent results. Best of all, this body contouring treatment has low risk and no downtime. The majority of Emsculpt patients also say that they experienced no discomfort when they had the treatment.

All about CoolSculpting

Another body contouring treatment that many people embrace is CoolSculpting. Just like Emsculpt, it utilizes advanced cosmetic technology to give us a more proportionate body and better skin. It is a fat reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn cells that nutritional diet and exercise cannot remove. You might have heard of this treatment by its other name: cryolipolysis.

At present, CoolSculpting is considered the most popular non-surgical fat reduction treatment mostly because it’s been around the longest. Millions of Coolsculpting procedures are performed in different clinics around the globe. One of the reasons why many people are inclined to try the treatment is because of its long-lasting effects. Several scientific studies have suggested that CoolSculpting can help us achieve a 25% fat reduction just after the first session.

So, how does CoolSculpting work? What happens is that isolated fat deposits are exposed to low temperatures that freeze them off. Once the fat layers are frozen, the natural cell destruction process happens. Afterwhich, apoptosis begins for full removal of the cells beyond repair. The immune system then gathers these dead fat cells and excrete them from the body. When all these cells are gone, it guarantees a long term result since they cannot grow back anymore.

Cryolipolysis. Hardware cosmetology.

How is Emsculpt different from CoolSculpting?

Although the two procedures are somewhat similar, Emsculpt and CoolSculpting are ultimately two very distinct body contouring treatments. We should always remember that most scientific interventions are only effective if we choose the right procedure for our specific needs. Here are some more pieces of information that you can use to decide what treatment will work best for you.

Emsculpt is for toning and firming your abdominal muscles

The main difference between the two cosmetic procedures is their primary purpose.

Although Emsculpt reduces fat in the abdominal area, it is more useful in building, toning, and strengthening the abdominal muscles. If it were a type of exercise, it would be like ab crunches and other core conditioning workouts. This body sculpting procedure can surprisingly make your clothes feel tighter as it induces muscle toning and thickening.

On the other hand, CoolSculpting is a perfect choice for those who wish to spot-reduce stubborn fat on the hips, abs, thighs, upper arms, under the butt, and under the chin. CoolSculpt aids in removing fat, but doesn’t increase muscle.

Emsculpt and CoolSculpting use different technologies

Emsculpt uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM) waves to induce rapid muscle contractions that voluntary workouts cannot generate. These are called supramaximal contractions, and they help tone muscles faster than exercise can. The technology does not directly destroy stubborn fat cells, but some reports say that one of the side effects of this treatment is minor fat reduction. It’s non-invasive with minimal downtime and no side effects, save for some soreness just as you would experience after an intense workout.

Meanwhile, CoolSculpting employs a fat-freezing technology otherwise known as cryolipolysis. Fatty tissues are suctioned into the cooling cups, where they are exposed to a specific temperature that can freeze and destroy fat cells. And as mentioned earlier, your body will naturally excrete the dead fat cells. This technology can induce several negative side effects. If you’re looking for a more natural treatment, Emsculpt is the obvious better choice.

The time it takes to see results varies per treatment

Whenever we are presented with incredible opportunities, we often get too excited. And so, sometimes, we fail to evaluate how these windows can specifically benefit us. Not all treatments work the same for all people. Knowing what result to expect is important to see if a procedure is worth doing.

Emsculpt offers visible enhancements in our muscle tone that simple workouts cannot give. These improvements are usually seen four weeks after the procedure. According to some patients who have undergone body sculpting, the area feels a lot firmer and tighter after Emsculpt treatment.

Some patients report immediate results through Emsculpt, but the best results are seen weeks later. We recommend just four 30-minute sessions for optimal results.

Muscle tone also changes over time. We either use it or lose it. If you want to prolong the effects of Emsculpt, it is highly recommended to pair it with regular exercise and a diet that considers your body type and nutritional needs.

In terms of CoolSculpting, we can get better results if we are on our desired weight since the procedure is not a weight-loss treatment. What is astounding about this type of sculpting is its reliance on the natural processes of our body. The procedure maximizes our body to fully flush out the cells that are beyond repair after freezing.

It takes several weeks before we can see full results after a CoolSculpting procedure, which is similar to Emsculpt. Patients report that the wait is worth it for both procedures, though.

Weight gain can erase the results you’ve achieved from CoolSculpting. Nothing is “permanent.” In this regard, CoolSculpting is the same as Emsculpt: it should be maintained with a proper diet and exercise to enjoy long-term effects.

Emsculpt is a newer procedure

One of the reasons why many people support CoolSculpting is because of its long track record in terms of efficacy and safety. It was cleared by FDA in 2010 and has since been performed about six million times worldwide. That is a whopping 823 percent increase from the first time CoolSculpting was introduced.

Generally described as comfortable by most of its patients, CoolSculpting is done by placing a roll of fat in between two panels that help freeze the fat stores in the target areas. It usually takes an hour to treat an area, but it may require more time if treating larger body parts. The side effects of CoolSculpting include soreness, mild swelling, and temporary numbness.

Most people are given the greenlight to sign up for CoolSculpting, but if you have cold agglutinin disease, cryoglobulinemia, and paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria, it would be best to seek other forms of body sculpting treatments.

It was only in 2018 when Emsculpt started making the rounds in the medical and cosmetic community. Around that time, Emsculpt was cleared by the FDA to strengthen and tone abdominal muscles, thighs, and buttocks. The technology started to trend by 2019, marketed as a newer alternative to CoolSculpting and the best way to have toned abs and rounder backsides with minimal effort.

Emsculpt works by placing a rubber pad that releases high-intensity electromagnetic waves on your target area. These trigger supramaximal contractions have a domino effect which ultimately result in strengthened and toned muscles. Unlike CoolSculpting, however, Emsculpt is not considered a fat-loss treatment. You may, however, lose some in the process.

In terms of who can receive the treatment, Emsculpt is unsafe for people with electronic or metallic implants. The procedure uses high-intensity electromagnetic waves so such materials may interfere with the process.

Cropped shot of a sporty young woman making a heart with her hands on her stomach

Emsculpt vs. CoolSculpting: Which is better for you?

It ultimately depends on the results you want to achieve. If fat loss is your goal, CoolSculpting may be the better option. But if you want a toned and strengthened mid-section, not to mention a rounder butt as well as toned arms and legs, Emsculpt is a body contouring device and procedure worth trying, with the added benefits of fat loss.

Below, we’ve laid out the advantages and disadvantages of both Emsculpt and CoolSculpting so you can weigh your options thoroughly.

Emsculpt Pros

  • The treatment has no downtime. With Emsculpt, there’s no need to recover. You can go back to your usual schedule immediately, as if nothing happened. That said, if you do feel some mild discomfort after the treatment, listen to your body.
  • Emsculpt can be done in short sessions. Although we would need to go back a few times for the treatment, the sessions are relatively short. One session typically lasts about half an hour.
  • The treatment can reduce diastasis recti. One of the few bonuses of undergoing the Emsculpt procedure is the possible reduction of diastasis recti. This is a condition wherein the right and left abdominal walls create a gap in between, giving the illusion of a bigger and bulging belly. Diastasis recti is common among women during pregnancy and after birth. About 10% of patients who have tried Emsculpt experienced diastasis recti reduction.
  • Emsculpt can build and tone muscles. This kind of treatment can be good for our health since patients usually end up stronger after the procedure. Emsculpt focuses on toning the muscles, unlike other treatments that concentrate on removing fat.
  • Emsculpt can also burn fat. The treatment results in a fat reduction of around 19% or up to 1.5 inches off the waistline.
  • The treatment is a good option for those who cannot get liposuction. Liposuction is another method of body contouring. This treatment, however, requires you to go under the knife. Not everyone is considered a good candidate for liposuction, too. So if you prefer a non-invasive alternative to liposuction that is also generally safe for everyone, Emsculpt is a great option.
  • The treatment is safe. Emsculpt is FDA-approved and studies have shown no safety issues.

Emsculpt Cons

  • It takes four sessions to get the full results. Although each Emsculpt session only takes about half an hour, you’ll need two sessions a week for two weeks. Furthermore, it’s quite an expensive treatment. One session costs about $750. That’s a total of $3,000 for four sessions.

    Fortunately, Whole Body Solutions offers an Emsculpt package. You can book four sessions with us for only $1,800. Learn more about our Emsculpt treatment pricing here.

CoolSculpting Pros

  • Coolsculpting is not typically painful. You might feel a sucking sensation at the start of the procedure as well as some cold, but that’s about it. You can get rid of those stubborn fat bulges painlessly.
  • The treatment is safe. Medical professionals use controlled cooling and precision in their techniques so there is nothing to be worried about. Only the fat cells die along the process while the overlying skin remains in good condition. There are, of course, negative side effects.

Coolsculpting Cons

  • CoolSculpting is not for everyone. If you have underlying health issues, it might be a wiser edition to skip CoolSculpting.
  • You might experience side effects. The list of negative side effects caused by CoolSculpting is rather long. Included is skin sensitivity, pain or stinging sensation in the treatment area, temporary redness, swelling, bruising, even diarrhea. If you had your chin or neck area treated, your throat might feel tight or full.
  • CoolSculpting can only treat small stores of extra fat and doesn’t build muscle. CoolSculpting is not the treatment if you want to achieve a total body transformation. If you have more than enough excess fat stores or considered obese, it would be best to explore other options.
  • You might get the opposite effect. CoolSculpting may be for targeted fat loss, but a small percentage of patients have reported experiencing the complete opposite. According to a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 1 out of 138 patients ran into the complication called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH). Instead of freezing and killing fat cells, the treatment makes fat grow and firm up.

    Although CoolSculpting is still considered a safe procedure, it’s unclear why PAH can occur or what triggers it.

  • The price. CoolSculpting can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000, depending on the healthcare professional providing it and the area you want to treat. Your target area might also require more sessions to get the full results, driving the total cost even further.

Final thoughts

In this day and age where appearances are always scrutinized, we’re always under pressure to look good. If body contouring treatments can help you feel better by bringing you closer to your body goals, we highly recommend exploring all of your options. Find one that suits your lifestyle, your overall health, and your goals.

But don’t rely on body sculpting procedures. Pair your preferred treatment with a healthy diet that works for you, regular exercise (even walking can do wonders to your health and wellness), at least eight hours of sleep, and natural supplements that can help you meet your nutritional needs.

Wholebody Solutions offers Emsculpt packages so you can tone and strengthen your abdominal muscles. Get in touch with our team today at 617.328.6300 or schedule a consultation with Dr. Ann to learn more about Emsculpt and the treatment plan that works best for you.