Sharing something a little different today and, admittedly, a little out of my comfort zone. It’s also something I’ve been looking forward to talking about though, since I had such a good experience with it.
Last month, I got a note from Maggie at Mizuguchi Plastic Surgery asking if I’d be interested in trying out a new procedure/treatment they are offering called EMSCULPT. Since it is a relatively new treatment, I wasn’t familiar with the name so at first I was a little wary. But then I read the details. It’s basically a non-surgical treatment that helps you improve abdominal muscle strength and reduce fat around your belly and mid-section. Um, yes please.
Just so we clear things up in advance. I was not paid for this post but was gifted the EMSCULPT treatment. Dr. Mizuguchi’s office was really clear that they wanted me to share a super honest opinion of my experience.
Three C-Sections has taken a toll on my body. Right before I got the email from Maggie, I was watching CBS Sunday Morning and they were talking about the rise in c-sections across the world. A doctor came on and said that after your second c-section your abdominal muscles are basically like melted crayons. No, I’m not making that up (here’s the full story). Yes, that is the grossest metaphor ever. But it’s stuck with me, especially since I’ve had a tough time getting muscle tone back after having Blake. It’s been two years and it’s still a work in progress.
My interest had been piqued so I went in to meet with their team at Dr. Mizuguchi. Maggie gave me the low-down on the treatments, which are a series of four 30-minute sessions on the EMSCULPT machine over the course of two weeks or so. Here’s the medical speak before I give you all the lowdown. The non-invasive treatments use a HIFE (high-intensity focused electromagnetic) technology to force muscle contractions during the procedure. These contractions encourage the growth of new muscle fibers and protein strands, which decrease nearby fat cells.
The procedure isn’t recommended for people who are looking to lose lots of weight but rather those who are already living an active lifestyle, who work-out regularly but are having a tough time targeting that trouble area. It’s perfect for women who have had kids and experience some of that dreaded pouch area. After Reese, I was able to get my body back to a place I was really happy with but post Blake, it’s been so much tougher. That third c-section has left me with a box of melted crayons. I’ve also realized that my core is significantly weaker which has caused lower-back pain and posture issues. Dr. Mizuguchi really emphasized the treatments ability to improve your core muscle strength and I was down to try anything to help get things back on track.
What It’s Like During
When you go for the first session, they take your before photos. Um, as a side note – there is nothing more demoralizing than a before photo. I was feeling pretty good about myself and then I took those photos and immediately whipped out my phone to book some workout classes.
Anyways… you strip down to your skivvies and lay down flat on your back. Their nurs, Audrey, was with my for all my sessions and she is legitimately the best. She makes you feel so comfortable and at ease. I ended up looking forward to the sessions since I spent almost all of them just chit-chatting with her.
The machine is similar to a ultrasound machine, except instead of a roller, it’s more like a paddle. They strap it around your mid-section and then start with the pulsing. The machine forces your mid-section to contract and honestly, it really does feel like a contraction when you’re in labor. Audrey controlled the intensity but they don’t tell you where you are on the spectrum since everyone’s tolerance is different. For my first session I started at 40% and only made it up to 100% for about a minute at the end. By the last session, I was starting at 70 or 80% and spent the majority of the half hour at 100%.
There are four different types of pulses that you rotate through during the session. Some were a little more uncomfortable than others but none of it was painful. It’s just more of an uncomfortable feeling. But to put it in perspective, I was able to talk throughout.
Each session was a little easier and by the end, they seemed to pass really quickly. Since it’s only 30 minutes it’s not too much of a time commitment. They are also able to do two people at the same time, so if you wanted to do it with a friend – you can go together and catch up while you’re doing the treatment.
What it’s Like After
After the first session, I was sore. It felt like I’d done a really intense ab workout or gone for a five or six-mile run. It was the ‘hurt-so-good’ kind of feeling where you can tell whatever you were doing was really working. Dr. Mizuguchi said most people felt more sore the second day but I was pretty sore the following day and then it went way.
While you’re doing the treatments you don’t need to change any of your normal activities. One day I went straight from a session to Orange Theory. When we talked through the treatments, Dr. Mizuguchi talked about how people almost immediately notice a change in their core and I could tell by the second session that I was sitting up straighter and it made running easier. I didn’t feel like I was slouching over as much during my runs.
That’s honestly the biggest improvement I’ve taken away from the treatments. My before-and-after showed some improvement (I need to get them to send me the pictures and I’ll share them here) but I felt it way more in my abdominal muscles. They say on average there’s a 16% increase in muscle mass and it can also help restore some of the muscle separation that happens during childbirth and c-sections.
After a month, I can definitely tell a difference in the dreaded pouch region but honestly, the muscle strength has been the biggest benefit. I do feel stronger during ab workouts, depending way less on my lower back and engaging my muscles more effectively. I will say that it’s probably not something your friends are going to notice but I think anyone who does it will notice it – outwardly with the way their clothes fit and internally with the improvement in strength.
If you want to see some before and after shots, you can here.
My experience at Mizuguchi
A plastic surgeon’s office can be super intimidating. I imagined they would take one look at me and mentally be deciding all the things I need “done.” That was not the case at all. Everyone on staff is beyond welcoming and friendly (some people are nice but there’s a difference in being friendly and engaging, and they were both). I found myself hanging around to talk with the girls and Dr. Mizuguchi after almost every treatment. They were also really open to asking questions to learn more about the specific procedures without feeling pressured or judged.
Dr. Mizuguchi is not only knowledgeable and professional but he’s really funny and so nice. Again, I never felt like he was going to whip out a red marker and circle all the areas I could use some improvement. He is also upfront and totally realistic about the kind of results you can expect, which I really appreciated.
Overall, I couldn’t recommend the whole process more. It was quick – both in the session time and totally commitment – which was huge for me. And in terms of my experience, I really loved it.
If you’re interested in learning more about it, or any of their procedures, in a low-key, no pressure environment, Mizuguchi Plastic Surgery is hosting an all-day open house on Thursday, October 25th from 12- 8pm. It’s all day so you can swing by at any time to talk to the doctor and staff, learn more about what would work best for you, get special open house deals and enter their raffle for a gorgeous Louboutin bag. They are also going to be doing live EMSCULPT demonstrations so you can see first hand what it’s really like.
And if you have any specific questions, feel free to drop me a note. I am more than happy to give you even more details or specifics on my experience.