Tatler Tries: The Chelsea Clinic Emsculpt Ab And Glute Sculpting Treatment
Let's face it. We all want fit and toned bodies, but few of us really enjoy spending hours in the gym trying to get those rock-hard abs. If you are one of the rare birds that do, congratulations on your discipline and devotion to the temples of sweat. The rest of us potatoes salute you from the comfort of our couches.
But what if there was a way to get those defined abdominals and perky glutes without spending a single second in the gym? That there exists a non-invasive treatment that can both build muscle and burn fat at the same time? If it sounds too good to be true, then you're too cynical—because that treatment really exists. I took one for the team (and by team, I mean my nonexistent six pack) and tried out The Chelsea Clinic's new Emsculpt treatment, which could be just the thing you need to cancel your gym membership. (I'm kidding. Exercise is really good for your health; don't stop doing it.)
1/4 The Welcome
The Chelsea Clinic was established in 2000 by Dr. Ewen Chee, who has been practicing aesthetic medicine before the term even became common parlance. He was one of the first in Singapore to use Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and high-tech machines like Liposonix and Thermage for body contouring, and is a regional trainer for PDO threadlifts and Happy Lift.
The Chelsea Clinic uses a holistic approach to a person’s well-being, through medical aesthetics and personalised health care. Its main branch at Wheelock Place is bright and welcoming, with minimalist decor that manages to be warm and inviting. There is a second branch of the clinic at Rochester Mall.
2/4 The Treatment
Emsculpt is the treatment that any body-conscious human being has been waiting for. It is the world's first and only non-invasive body shaping procedure that can simultaneously burn fat and build muscle, and can be used for both men and women, of all ages and fitness levels. It also has the stamp of approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.
It uses High-Intensity Focused Electro-Magnetic (HIFEM®) field technology that penetrates through the skin to target both fat and muscle tissue. The energy induces powerful muscular contractions—supramaximal contractions, to be exact. Supramaximal muscle contractions are defined to be stronger than any voluntary muscular contractions, which means that they are more intensive than anything achievable through exercise. According to Dr. Chee, each Emsculpt treatment is roughly equivalent to doing 20,000 sit-ups. Naturally, this means that the muscles in the treated area would begin to grow. A secondary benefit is that the fat cells surrounding the treated area are also affected and destroyed by the Emsculpt treatment. According to Emsculpt, patients typically experience a 19% average reduction of fat after four sessions, and studies show an average 16% increase in muscle mass. This combination of muscle growth and fat reduction is what gives the treated areas a more toned appearance.
Emsculpt has been approved for use on both the abdominal and glute area, which means that sculpted abs and a perky bottom are literally just a few 30-minute sessions away. There is zero downtime.
3/4 The Technique
Each Emsculpt treatment begins with a consultation with Dr. Chee, who examines the desired treatment area and patiently explains exactly what it entails. He will also mark out the exact area of treatment to guide the nurse that will be carrying it out.
At the beginning of the Emsculpt session, the nurse will apply the treatment paddle to the appropriate area—whether it be the abdominal or glutes—and strap it close to the body to ensure good contact throughout the muscular contractions. Once the machine is turned on, you can immediately feel the contractions begin. The nurse is the one controlling the strength of the electromagnetic stimulation being delivered, and will usually start at a lower level to ensure the patient's comfort, before slowly increasing the stimulation to 100 per cent to ensure that you can get the most out of the treatment. Should the patient not be comfortable with stronger stimulation, however, then it is certainly possible to remain at a lower level. Most patients will, however, be able to tolerate maximal stimulus, especially after the first session. During our treatments, the nurse mentioned that some patients who are used to the stimulus request for the Emsculpt machine to be cranked to maximum strength right from the beginning.
The treatment is relatively comfortable—if I were to describe it, it would be as though you were doing the most intensive sit-ups or crunches of your life. The machine works in long and short pulses, contracting the treated muscles and allowing them to relax periodically. It is not painful by any means, but some people might feel discomfort if they are not used to using the muscles in those areas. After the first session, some very mild muscle soreness may be experienced by some patients, but this disappears after the next few sessions.
4/4 The Weeks After
I had four treatments done over the course of four weeks, and the results were immediately visible after the last treatment on the fourth week. Not only was the area visibly smaller, I could also clearly see the lines of definition in the abdominal area, which had been faint (if not nonexistent) before the treatment started.
Even more impressive, the effects of the treatment actually improve and become more visible over the weeks after. According to Dr. Chee, Emsculpt patients see maximum effects about 4 to 8 weeks after the last treatment. This is partially because the destroyed fat cells are flushed out using the body's natural detoxification processes, which take time to happen. The effects can also be enhanced by regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet.
Eight weeks after the treatment, my abdominal area was very clearly defined and the stomach area was much flatter and less flabby than before. The Emsculpt treatment did everything it promised, and the effects were actually even more impressive than I had first expected. I am very impressed, and would absolutely recommend it to anyone, couch potato or not. Even if you go to the gym regularly, it might be worth trying Emsculpt out during the summer season just to get that extra-lean definition. I certainly would.
(Related: Get Fresh-Faced This Festive Season At Freia Aesthetics)