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Muscle sculpting and all that you need to know about it!

Muscle Sculpting

What is Muscle Sculpting?

Toning, trimming and sculpting are all synonymous in the health and fitness field.
In general, body sculpting involves dieting, specific supplements intake and exercising which includes but not limited to weight training, resistance training or strength training. Body sculpting can help you get in shape, tone your body and lose weight. Body sculpting is for people who desire a more pleasant body shape but may not necessarily be for added bulk, strength or endurance.
Muscle sculpting, on the other hand, are associated with actions and activities that stresses specific muscles to induce growth and muscle strength.

In medical aesthetic world, body sculpting are correlated to specific procedures like CoolSculpting, SculpSure and truSculpt® iD/truSculpt® 3D which lead to fat loss and offers minimal skin tightening effects.
Muscle sculpting, in contrast, is a recent development that uses technology to work the muscles without strenuous exercises.

Muscle sculpting and body sculpting are two highly in-demand procedures currently for effective overall body shaping.

How does muscle sculpting work?

Procedures like EMSculpt® and truSculpt® flex has the capability to address both muscle and fat at the same time.

While both truSculpt® flex and EMSculpt® shares similar mechanism of action where both technologies involves the production of muscle contractions through external stimulation, EMSculpt® employs electromagnetic stimulation (High Intensity Focused Electro Magnetic (HIFEM)) to induce muscle contractions, whereas truSculpt flex utilises electrical stimulation.
As of 2019, both EMSculpt® and truSculpt® flex are the only FDA-approved, non-invasive body toning and sculpting treatment that promises to build muscle without exercise.

CoolTone, the latest Allergan offering which operates using the same principles as EMSculpt® had laid claims to be 50 percent stronger. However, CoolTone has not cleared FDA approval.

Types of muscle sculpting treatments available

EMSculpt®

EMSculpt® is designed to help build new muscle fibers and tone existing fibers for better-sculpted muscles. It’s currently indicated to treat the abs, buttocks, thighs, and upper arms. The machine causes muscles in a selected body area to make tens of thousands of contractions during the treatment, mimicking the actions of an impossibly large numbers of crunches or squats in a short period of time.

Since EMSculpt® imitates the effects of exercising and thus potentially help a patient “slim down,” the procedure induces muscles grow, which leads to the thickening and toning of muscles so clothes might fit tighter instead.
Recommended number of treatments start from 4 consecutive sessions, each a week apart.

There has been some residual fat reduction as a result; though fat reduction is not the main goal with EMSculpt®. A patient with a moderate fat layer over his/her muscles might not be able to fully enjoy the results of EMSculpt®. In fact, many doctors recommend starting off with CoolSculpting followed by EMSculpt as a subsequent treatment to refine the results.

truSculpt® flex

Following their successful truSculpt® iD and truSculpt® 3D fat loss procedures, Cutera launched truSculpt® flex which boosts of a proprietary Multi-Directional Stimulation (MDS) technology to stimulate muscle growth.
Treatment of up to 8 areas can be done simultaneously, and this has anchored truSculpt® flex as the muscle sculpting procedure with ‘the largest treatment area in a single session’ within the body sculpting industry. The proprietary handpieces, consisting of 8 pairs adhere to the skin using truGel which facilitates the delivery of direct electrical muscle stimulation to specific muscle groups in a safe and energy-efficient manner.

Another unique selling point of truSculpt® flex lies in its adaptability for customised treatments. The three different treatment modes are designed to simulate crunches, twists, and squats and the doctor or body sculpting specialist can tune the intensity accordingly to fit a patient’s fitness level, shape and goals.
Patient are encouraged to undergo a minimum of 4 sessions of 45 minutes each with treatments spaced 48 hours apart each session.

Prep Mode: Creates a twisting motion to warm up, stretch the muscles and slowly build a tolerance to muscle contractions.
Tone Mode: Contracts the muscles, holds it to the point of exhaustion, and then relaxes it to increase strength and enhance endurance.
Sculpt Mode: Fast, deep, sequential contractions of the muscles to build muscle mass and increase basal metabolic rate (BMR).

This non-invasive muscle stimulation treatment gives you that extra edge to strengthen, firm, and tone your body. truSculpt® flex is clinically proven to tone or build muscles in 45-minutes with visible results in as little as four treatments.

Similarly to EMSculpt, truSculpt® flex treatment is straightforward with no downtime associated. The muscle tone and contour continues to improve over the course of weeks with many seeing continued improvement for months.

Surgery

There is no known surgery procedure for muscle sculpting.

Machine

Machines like EMSculpt® and truSculpt® flex apply varying technologies in the muscle sculpting process. The former uses High Intensity Focused Electro Magnetic (HIFEM) energy and while latter is based on electrical currents. Both aim to achieve firmer, stronger and toner muscles for defined abs, thighs and buttocks.

Massage

Massages are excellent for increasing blood flow and oxygen in the muscles and to decrease the lactic acid build-up that leads to muscle soreness. A general massage focuses on relaxation while a good deep tissue massage by a trained masseur can help to treat muscle pain, improve stiffness and reduce recovery period after a tough workouts.
However, massages does not directly impact muscle growth.

Non-surgical muscle sculpting

EMSculpt® and truSculpt® flex are the only known non-surgical and FDA approved muscle sculpting technologies available now.

How long does it take to get a sculpted body?

Results for EMSculpt® procedures can be expected after a minimum of 2 months from the last session . Repetitive treatments are necessary to achieve better results. In general, the recommended frequency of EMSculpt® treatment is at least 4 sessions per body part.

For truSculpt® flex, it has been clinically proven that patients have shown an average of 33% increase in muscle mass after 4-6 weekly treatments. Muscles will continue to develop in the weeks after treatment, with optimal results visible approximately 12 weeks after the last treatment.

Things to consider for muscle sculpting

Generally everyone can benefit from muscle sculpting although muscle sculpting treatments are designed for regular gym-goers with minimal extra weight.
Those unfit will experience increase in muscle endurance since treatments such as EMSculpt® and truSculpt® flex works the muscles as hard as any workout, if not more. But those who are fit will see the visible results faster since both EMSculpt® and truSculpt® flex enhances muscle growth and definition.
Post-procedure, patients may notice tingling in the areas treated for up to a few hours and/or slight muscle soreness or tenderness for 24-72 hours.

Surgical vs non-invasive

Both EMSculpt® and truSculpt® flex are non-invasive. There is no known surgery procedure for muscle sculpting.

Workout plans

If you do not maintain a healthy diet and exercise regime, you will lose muscle strength and definition as you age. This applies to any muscular benefits which are gleaned from EMSculpt® and truSculpt® flex. So it is essential to cultivate a balanced diet and lifestyle to stay on track. In conclusion, if you are in good general health and you would like to tone, strengthen, and firm your abs, thighs, or buttocks, then both EMSculpt® and truSculpt® flex would be ideal for you.

Risks

There are little to no risks associated with muscle sculpting, and almost all side effects encountered vanish within two weeks. However, your practitioner will advise you on the risk factors based on your specific lifestyle, diet and other underlying factors.

Medical considerations

Although there are few medical considerations, it is is important to alert your practitioner to any medical conditions you have before proceeding with any treatment plans to ascertain if there might be any adverse reactions and side effects, because muscle sculpting is a highly personalised treatment.
Post-procedure, patients may notice tingling in the areas treated for up to a few hours and/or slight muscle soreness or tenderness for 24-72 hours.

Outlook and Prognosis

The muscle sculpting and body sculpting outlook is positive, especially since more and more individuals find it challenging to exercise.
Although there is an ever-increasing awareness of the necessity of maintaining a healthy diet and exercising, many adults fail to meet the weekly recommendation of strength and cardio training. And among those who exercise regularly, many are unable to attain their ideal body shape.
Current muscle sculpting and body sculpting treatments offers no downtime so patients are able to resume daily activities almost immediately post-treatment. This is highly convenient since there are little to no extended period of recuperation. Besides, when adopted with a healthy lifestyle, both muscle sculpting and body sculpting treatments can provide a more streamlined approach to long term muscle toning and body shaping efforts.

Choosing a reliable provider

Certifications

It is important that your clinic of choice bears all the correct certificates be it from CoolSculpting, SculpSure, EMSculpt®, truSculpt® flex from Cutera or any of the other treatment brands. Check that only authentic medical devices from the brands involved are used on you and and all procedures are administered strictly by a licensed doctor or trained specialist to avoid any misinformation or oversight.

This is necessary to avoid any complications or accidents that may occur, and leave permanent scars.

Cost of treatment

The cost of treatment varies per body area. It is important to work out a payment plan beforehand as many people often require multiple treatments to achieve favourable and long-term results.

Conclusion/Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, muscle sculpting is a safe, effective and easy way to firm and tone specific body parts. When managed in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, it can offer tremendous improvements on total well-being. Coupled with its non-invasive nature, it the perfect choice for those with truly busy schedules.

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