Gain muscle without working out
Aesthetic clinic first to bring in machine that thins out fat layer while building muscle mass
A fat-burning treatment that builds muscle mass at the same time?
It sounds too good to be true, but according to Dr Calvin Chan, medical director of Calvin Chan Aesthetic & Laser Clinic, the newly launched EmSculpt purports to do just that. It is the first outside of the US.
According to Dr Chan, the machine - the most expensive one purchased by his clinic, which opened in 2006 - is a "real game changer" in the aesthetic body sculpting space.
He told The New Paper: "Prior to this, we had many technologies to destroy fat and tighten skin. But we have never before had anything that can treat muscle - which makes up 35 per cent of the body - at the same time as thinning out the fat layer and yielding inch loss."
Based on stringent Food and Drug Administration approval, extensive research and clinical data backing the science behind EmSculpt, a 30-minute session is reportedly equivalent to 20,000 sit-ups or squats.
Dr Chan, 43, said: "Basically, the magnetic energy triggers 11 pulses per second in the treated area to give approximately 20,000 pulses in 30 minutes.
"The EmSculpt helps the body to achieve these 'supramaximal' contractions that we would not be able to achieve on our own through exercise."
He added: "As the involuntary contractions occur, your muscles are being worked as if you are really exercising and your body will respond to the stimulation and wear and tear to repair, rebuild and reinforce the muscle tissue, resulting in stronger, thicker muscle fibres."
Your body will respond to the stimulation and wear and tear to repair, rebuild and reinforce the muscle tissue, resulting in stronger, thicker muscle fibres.Dr Calvin Chan on the EmSculpt machine
Dr Chan stressed that EmSculpt will not strengthen cardiovascular health and as such, does not replace exercise.
He said: "At present, it can help build your abs as well as enhance and lift your buttocks. This can strengthen your core, allowing you to improve your experience in the gym and in sports such as golf, riding, skiing, pilates and yoga - basically any exercise that benefits from stronger abdominal muscles."
Dr Chan was so convinced by the technology, he wanted to be the first patient.
He admitted that he and his wife are "prime examples" of the target demographic, as they work late into the evening and tend to have a late dinner after a long day, with a tendency to indulge in a big meal before bedtime.
With two young kids and a busy work schedule, they find it hard to squeeze in any sort of exercise routine.
Dr Chan said: "When I first came across EmSculpt, my first thought was that it would save me from growing middle-aged spread.
"It could also help my wife strengthen her abs and core, which were pretty much destroyed by two C-sections."
EmSculpt is most suitable for people with a lower body mass index and smaller amounts of fat and who were previously not candidates for fat-freezing treatments like CoolSculpting, and new mothers who have weakened, loose abdominal walls post-partum.
Gym bunnies can also benefit by gaining strength to take their workouts up a notch, and see their six-pack pop just a little more with enhanced definition.
Each EmSculpt treatment session costs $900, and four sessions are recommended twice weekly for best results.
Dr Chan said it is costly due to the "non-invasive, cutting-edge nature and uniqueness of the technology".
He added that there are six patents on the device and two more pending.