After having my third child almost 6 years ago, I decided that if I wanted to stop myself from going completely insane (the third can do that to you), I needed to do something that would be beneficial to my mental health. And so I joined a gym. The benefits of which have been twofold.
Firstly, as stated before, it saved my mental health. I firmly believe the rush of endorphins released after each workout enabled me to return home after the gym in great form, ready to face the long day of parenting three small children. But secondly, and as a lovely by-product of my regular early morning workouts, my body became stronger and leaner than it had ever been. Until recently, that is. Maybe it’s because I’m now in my fourth decade on this planet, or life has been a little crazy these days, but my weight has been slowly creeping up while my muscle tone has been on the decline. Whatever the reason for my general body softening, I decided I needed a little helping hand getting back to tight and toned.
Having tried freezing fat off years ago, I wasn't keen to try that particular mode of treatment again for various reasons - the results were minimal, and it wasn't really fat loss that I was looking for (although, who wouldn't mind losing a little in the process). After a little research, I came across Emsculpt. What sets Emsculpt apart from other non-invasive fat-reducing therapies is its duality. Not only does it burn fat cells (by up to 15% after 4 treatments), it simultaneously builds muscle fibre (by up to 16% for more defined abs and a rounder rear-end). It sounded, in theory, exactly what I needed to get my body back on the straight and narrow. And so I contacted Therapie Clinic in Dundrum, which offers the treatment. Hopeful, I met with the lovely Janis, who, before strapping me in for a road test, gave me the low-down on the tech. “Emsculpt essentially causes 20,000 muscle contractions in 30 minutes. It works the muscle far beyond what you could achieve with any normal sit-up or squat whilst targeting fat loss,” she explains. “The intense pulses make the muscles release chemicals that are basically saying, why are you working us so hard? As a result, they signal fat cells to break down in the area, which is released as free fatty acids which are then metabolised by the body and excreted as waste.”
I opted to target my derrière as gravity has been a little unkind in that area, but the Emsculpt can target most areas of the body, including the arms, thighs, calves and abdomen. Tech aside, what we all really want to know is, how does it feel? Well, like an intense workout, except not, as you get to lie down and aren't perspiring or panting through a sweaty gym sesh! It does feel a little peculiar, though; there’s something slightly unnatural about your muscles contracting a few hundred times a second. The pulsing sensation is intense, and the tapping program, which is to release the lactic acid in your muscles so as not to get delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS), feels like you're hitting a funny bone. However, it was painless, if a little uncomfortable but had zero downtime, which is always a bonus with any beauty treatment.
Ideally, four sessions (€249 when purchased as a course of 4) are recommended a few days apart, but even after a single visit (€495 per session), you’ll notice the changes after a day or two. Am I happy with the results? Yes, I am. Would I get it done again? Absolutely. A bit of advice, though, this is not a magic bullet to get you into shape; rather, it is intended to act as a supplement to an active, healthy lifestyle, not a substitute for mindful eating or regular exercise.
- Kellie Billings