Nonsurgical body contouring has become one of the most requested cosmetic procedures in recent years. There are now many devices on the market, all of which make appealing claims about their safety, efficacy and convenience. The two most popular treatments for shaping the body are Emsculpt and CoolSculpting.

These devices address some of the same issues, but there are significant differences between them. The Aesthetic Envy team stays up-to-date with the latest body contouring technologies, and we are more than happy to help you understand the options you’re likely to come across. Let’s take a closer look at how Emsculpt and CoolSculpting compare.

Emsculpt vs. CoolSculpting: Purpose

Emsculpt is the first device developed for fat reduction and muscle growth. It works by stimulating muscle contractions, causing your body to build muscle in the same way it does after working out. The contractions triggered by Emsculpt are more intense than what can be achieved in the gym — so intense, in fact, that one Emsculpt session can be the equivalent of thousands of sit-ups or squats.

CoolSculpting is a popular fat reduction procedure. Using proprietary technology, CoolSculpting selectively targets unwanted fat cells without harming the surrounding tissues. The fat cells are damaged permanently and your body slowly metabolizes them, leading to a gradual slimming of the treated area. CoolSculpting does not build or tone muscle; it is only designed for fat reduction.

Emsculpt vs. CoolSculpting: Mechanism of Action

Emsculpt targets muscles with HIFEM — high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy. The device focuses the energy on muscles in areas you’ve struggled to tone with exercise and induces thousands of supramaximal contractions. Your muscle fibers are forced to adapt to these extreme conditions, growing stronger, larger and more visible. The magnetic energy can also trigger fat reduction, giving you a combination of improvements where you want it most.

CoolSculpting takes a different approach to body contouring. The CoolSculpting system uses controlled cooling to freeze away fat bulges that resist diet and exercise. The process, called cryolipolysis, lowers the treatment area’s temperature until it is cold enough to initiate fat cell death, but not cold enough to harm muscle, skin or nerve tissue. Your body’s natural processes then break down and flush out the affected fat cells.

Emsculpt vs CoolSculpting: Comfort & Safety

Emsculpt is newer than CoolSculpting, but it has a good safety record thus far. Because it is an electromagnetic treatment, it should not be performed on anyone with metallic or electronic implants, such as a pacemaker or an artificial joint. The Emsculpt panels do not use suction or extreme temperatures, making the treatment very comfortable. You can feel your muscles contracting, which can feel unusual at first, but it is not a painful sensation.

CoolSculpting has been available longer than Emsculpt and has a proven track record of safety. During a CoolSculpting treatment, you may experience sensations of tugging, pulling, pinching, tingling, stinging, cramping, aching and intense cold. These feelings subside as the cooling mechanism numbs the area. Although most patients find CoolSculpting tolerable, it can be a more uncomfortable experience than Emsculpt.

Emsculpt vs. CoolSculpting: Convenience

Emsculpt treatments are performed in-office and last approximately 30 minutes per area. The recommended Emsculpt protocol is a series of four sessions scheduled two to three days apart.

CoolSculpting procedures are performed in-office and last 35-60 minutes, depending on the extent of the treatment. Optimal results typically require two to six treatments, spaced four two six weeks apart.

There is no downtime, preparation or anesthesia required for either treatment.

Emsculpt vs CoolSculpting: Downtime & Side Effects

Emsculpt has no downtime requirements. After a treatment session, you can return to work, school, errands or social activities without any restrictions. You may notice that your muscles feel sore, as though you recently completed an intense workout. This muscle soreness is typically mild and lasts only a few days. Serious adverse reactions to Emsculpt have not been reported.

CoolSculpting is also a no-downtime treatment. You can immediately resume your normal activities, although you may have some mild after-effects. Some patients experience redness, bruising, blanching, firmness, tingling, tenderness, aching, itching or numbing after CoolSculpting. These effects can persist for a few hours or a couple of weeks.

Emsculpt vs. CoolSculpting: Expected Results

Emsculpt’s primary goal is to build your muscles for a more toned or “shredded” look, with the additional benefit of some fat reduction. Fat removal alone cannot achieve these improvements in body shape. Within days of an Emsculpt session, many patients say they feel the treated area is firmer and tighter. However, the most significant results occur two to four weeks after the last session, and they can continue to improve for several more weeks.

CoolSculpting relies on your body’s natural waste elimination system to get rid of the treated fat cells. This means that you won’t see results right away. Most patients start to notice improvements after a couple of weeks, and it takes several weeks for full results to develop. A successful treatment will give you visible improvements in body contour by smoothing unsightly bulges and reducing pockets of “pinchable” fat.

Emsculpt vs. CoolSculpting: Maintaining Results

Muscles built with Emsculpt are no different than muscles honed in the gym: you use it or lose it. To maintain your defined abs or firm buttocks, you must keep working. You should continue workout out regularly and may choose to repeat Emsculpt treatments at regular intervals to maintain your results. Emsculpt is not a substitute for exercise.

Fat cells treated with CoolSculpting are gone for good. They cannot grow back once they are removed from your body. However, CoolSculpting does not remove all fat cells from an area, and those that remain can expand if you gain weight. You must maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a sensible diet, to sustain your results indefinitely.

Emsculpt vs. CoolSculpting: The Bottom Line

People have gotten great results with both of these treatments, but based on our personal experiences with body contouring, we’ve chosen to offer Emsculpt at Aesthetic Envy. Many patients find it more comfortable, and since it essentially mimics the results of intense exercise, it’s a much more natural procedure. Additionally, Emsculpt patients often see results more quickly and their results are more comprehensive. Emsculpt may help you build muscle and lose fat, while CoolSculpting can only help with fat reduction. We believe these advantages make Emsculpt worth considering as your first choice for nonsurgical body contouring.

Improve Your Look and Your Life With Body Contouring at Aesthetic Envy

If you’re looking for personalized care with cutting-edge technology, visit the experienced professionals at Aesthetic Envy. Our aesthetics team can design a customized plan to help you achieve the body you want. Please contact Aesthetic Envy in Sacramento at 916-333-4906 to schedule an Emsculpt consultation. We look forward to seeing you!

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