I've always been completely honest, if there was a (safe) magic pill I could take to lose fat from my tummy area, without dieting and without exercise, I'd be first in the queue! I eat a fairly sensible balanced and healthy diet, I am quite petite and certainly not overweight, and I do love the post-workout feel good factor! But I lead a busy life and I don't love exercise enough to prioritise it consistently. But in the absence of a safe magic pill I was very intrigued when I started to read about the original EMSculpt and the latest EMSculpt NEO from BTL Aesthetics. Could these non-surgical treatments really work and provide us with an effective body contouring solution, a non-invasive treatment with no downtime? Are they worth the investment?
So I was very excited to be invited to experience and review a full course of EMSculpt NEO treatments myself at the multi-award winning, doctor led, medical aesthetic clinic, S-Thetics in Beaconsfield. S-Thetics specialise in the most up-to-date and scientifically based skin and non-surgical body treatments.
The S-Thetics Clinic was founded by surgeon and cosmetic doctor Miss Sherina Balaratnam. Miss Balaratnam has over 23 years medical experience, she trained as a plastic surgeon for 6 years is passionate about offering the most advanced skincare products and facial treatments as well as non-surgical skin rejuvenation and body contouring using the latest medical grade technology there is.
Having won 'Medical Aesthetic Practitioner of the Year' at the prestigious annual Aesthetics Awards in 2022, Miss Balaratnam is well-respected, highly trained and knowledgeable. She is a much sought after expert especially as the S-Thetics Clinic also won 'Best Clinic South England' in 2022 and Beaconsfield is such an easily accessible town to access from London and the whole of the South of England. I spent my teen years living in Beaconsfield and have loved going back to the Old Town to visit the clinic over the last few weeks. The fast trains from London Marylebone only take 20-25 minutes and the S-Thetics Clinic is a short taxi journey from the station.
This is a gifted blog post.
Miss Balaratnam is not only an exceptionally experienced medical expert, she is also passionate about her subject, clear in her ability to share her knowledge and dedicated to her field. She is sympathetic, welcoming, kind and supportive. She wants every single patient at her clinic to feel understood and leave with the absolute best outcome, with natural looking, effective results they love. I have learnt so much about the world of medical aesthetics from Miss Balaratnam and found it all fascinating! Miss Balaratnam only chooses the most advanced, scientifically proven technologies for her clinic and she works closely with many of the big aesthetic providers to ensure she is up-to-date and trains her staff to an exceptionally high standard. And she loves to use the technologies herself!
S-Thetics Clinic, Beaconsfield
Back in June 2022 I attended the S-Thetics 'Beyond Aesthetics' event at Hedsor House - and met Miss Balaratnam for the first time - it was so informative with many of the most respected and the leading aesthetic experts in attendance, there were presentations from the BTL Aesthetics (founders of EMSculpt and the Emsella Chair) and from Alice Hart Davis, Beauty Journalist and author of The Tweakments Guide as well as HydraFacial offering complimentary facials and a chance to try out some of the many advanced treatments available at S-Thetics including EMSculpt NEO, the Emsella Chair and Celluma Light Therapy. I tried out HydraFacial KERAVIVE for hair and scalp health, oh my goodness it is amazing!! This is one I will invest in again, my hair was so healthy afterwards!
In summary, if you are looking for cosmetic treatments then S-Thetics and Miss Balaratnam are up there with the best! S-Thetics is one of only a handful of clinics in the UK offering EMSculpt NEO and in December 2022 will be the first clinic outside of the USA to launch the new EMFACE, a needle-free facial treatment for wrinkles and lift.
My EMSculpt NEO consultation
But how did I get on and what is involved when you sign up for a course of EMSculpt NEO treatments at S-Thetics?
My initial consultation was with Miss Balaratnam, I arrived at S-Thetics, which is located in a period building in the centre of Beaconsfield Old Town, it is easy to find but discreet enough too, and I was greeted by a very efficient and welcoming reception team. I had a few medical forms to complete and then had a chat with Miss Balaratnam in the Consultation Suite to discuss my aesthetic goals and for her to explain how this non-invasive procedure works so I knew what to expect.
My bespoke 'Core to Floor' programme
It was agreed that we would be treating my 'Core to Floor' using a fully bespoke programme to target those stubborn areas of fat that seem to be elusive to normal exercise. Miss Balaratnam explained I was an ideal candidate for treatment of abdominals and glutes using the EMSculpt NEO and that we would also be adding in a full course of the Emsella Chair for pelvic floor health (which I will share more about on a separate blog post - but please do look at my Instagram highlights in the meantime).
I am a good candidate because I am close to my ideal weight, I (mostly) eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, I am active and work out regularly and the areas of my body that concern me have about the right amount of fat to respond well to the procedure.
I am hoping for a flatter tummy, no muffin top and less body fat! I'd also like tighter, more toned glutes, basically to maintain the shape of my bum! I've never had abs but my bum is probably one of my better assets even though my age has meant a few changes!
Before and after images of EMSculpt NEO
I was then photographed and important stats taken. S-Thetics have a very clever Vectra machine that creates a 3D image of the treatment area of your body, this means that it is easy to compare before and after photos. I will be able to compare my starting image with my 4 week result and then my 90 day result. Miss Balaratnam explained that she is expecting to see 'a lengthening of my posture, my front abdominal wall coming in a little bit, where my abdominals have weakened due to natural ageing and pregnancy.'
Build muscle and lose fat with EMSculpt NEO
Build muscle ... launched in 2018, the original EMSculpt is a non-invasive body contouring treatment that builds muscle and sculpts the body and is approved for use on the stubborn areas of our bodies that are so difficult to tackle with exercise alone - abs, love handles, bottom and thighs for example. No amount of exercise will allow us to spot reduce. EMSculpt uses HIFEM technology (High Intensity Focused Electromagnetic) to stimulate the muscles - it triggers 20,000 muscle contractions in just one half hour treatment session on the chosen area of the body.
Lose fat ... then in 2020, the technology was updated and NEO introduced and now includes two treatments in one! As well as HIFEM, NEO adds in Radio Frequency (RF) technology to heat the muscles and destroy fat cells, plus the upgraded EMSculpt NEO increases those muscle contractions to 24,000! Miss Balaratnam explained it is the equivalent of doing 12 weeks of regular HIIT training! The EMSculpt NEO is like lifting weights and doing intense cardio and you could never manage the same amount of sit-ups, ever! It just isn't physically possible even with our best efforts!
The RF technology targets the subcutaneous fat cells, breaks them down and literally melts the fat so it is flushed out by the body’s lymphatic system in the following 90 days. The HIFEM technology meanwhile is stimulating the muscles to build new fibres and tone the body. On average, EMSculpt NEO can give a 30% reduction in subcutaneous fat and a 25% increase in muscle mass.
What does EMSculpt NEO feel like?
EMSculpt NEO is pain-free and there are no side effects although you might feel like you have done a workout after your sessions but this clever device creates short episodes of 'tapping' which allows the lactic acid to be released from your muscles so you won't actually get the post-exercise soreness (DOMS) often felt after an intense workout.
It is hard to describe what it feels like, it certainly isn't painful, but it is an intense sensation, you know you are exercising but you are laid comfortably on a treatment bed, relaxing and chatting, you can feel the applicators activating your muscles. My abs have never done so much work!
Your therapist will start the treatment off gently and only increase the strength as and when you are happy to do so. You can also adjust the position of the applicators slightly if you feel there is any discomfort and your therapist will assist you to make sure the position is absolutely right.
Each sessions lasts 30 minutes and you will need 4 sessions initially, one a week, over a 4 week period then you have a follow-up session for a top-up after 90 days and when you go back to discuss your results.
After each session the treated area will look a little red where it has been heated up, you will probably be quite wet with sweat and you will be able to feel the depth of the heat if you press down, your muscles will also feel harder, I felt that my core got stronger with every session, I could sense that I was holding myself better, my posture was improved. There is no recovery time, I was able to continue my day to day life as usual after each session. I always followed up with a workout session, either on the same day or the next day.
What areas of the body can be treated with EMSculpt NEO?
EMSculpt NEO has four hand held applicators to treat several different areas of the body. The large applicator is used to treat the abdomen, the glutes, the front of the thighs and the back of the legs. The smaller applicator is for the upper arms (biceps, triceps) and calves as well as the outer thigh (saddlebags). Finally the new flank applicator (for love handles) wraps around you like a warm hug and is very successful at treating these problem areas. All the applicators are FDA approved as a fat eliminating and muscle building treatment for the target area.
How can you maximise the results from EMSculpt NEO?
There are things you can and should do to achieve optimal results from EMSculpt NEO though. This is not simply a do and run treatment! Miss Balaratnam explained to me that to get the best results I would need to follow a healthy lifestyle including:
Maintaining a healthy diet with less carbs and more protein.
Establishing a regular workout routine, ideally strength based.
Cut out alcohol or at least swap to 'cleaner' options like a Gin & Slimline Tonic rather than high sugar/high calorie wine.
Drink plenty of water to keep muscles hydrated.
Practice regular body brushing to help eliminate dead fat cells by increasing lymphatic drainage.
The fat that is lost with EMSculpt NEO is gone permanently but you can still gain new fat through poor diet and lack of exercise. The muscle gained can be maintained with regular, ongoing workouts.
Snackable workouts with Michelle from Anytime Personal Trainer
As part of my 'Core to Floor' programme Miss Balaratnam encouraged me to up my workouts and introduced me to Michelle Coates from Anytime Personal Trainer. Michelle created the concept of Snackable Workouts (these were featured in the Tatler Gym Awards). That is my type of fitness! Workouts I can slot into my day, nothing too long or boring. I have had three online zoom PT sessions with Michelle and really enjoyed the 25 minute sessions. I now have access to custom workouts via her My PT Hub app. Michelle makes sure the snackable workouts are achievable and uses gym equipment I already have. Michelle also chatted to me about diet and made a few suggestions to help me make better choices. I really like Michelle and her approach to exercise! She has been super encouraging and very happy to support my need for accountability.
EMSculpt NEO results after 4 treatments
I had 4 sessions of EMSculpt NEO. on my abdominals and my glutes. Each session lasts 30 minutes so for two areas I was being treated for an hour in total. I visited the clinic once a week over a 4 week period.
After my fourth treatment, I returned to the clinic for a consultation with Miss Balaratnam.
My initial feedback ...
I feel stronger, and my posture is improving, I can see that my tummy is reducing and my bum is lifting. I also feel that my workouts are more efficient, I am able to cope with increased reps, heavier weights and workout intensity. But we are so self-critical, it is difficult to acknowledge the improvements just by looking in the mirror.
But when my 'before and after' images were placed side by side and with Miss Balaratnam's expert eye and opinion, I was able to clearly see the improvements to my physique and I am absolutely delighted!
Miss Balaratnam explained she can see on my abdominals 'that there is a pinching in of the waist, I am standing longer and taller, and looking more elevated and sculpted, a more obvious hourglass shape' and on my glutes 'they are now curvier, with a higher take-off, more pulled-up, more peachy!''
I have chosen not to share my images yet - I am still a bit shy about such raw photos, no fancy lighting or flattering poses - I feel a bit exposed (even though I happily pose in underwear) but as I see more changes then I will consider being braver!
It is important to add a reminder - whilst you will see some changes after 4 weeks, most of the body contouring/muscle building/fat loss magic happens after your initial 4 treatments and over the course of the following 90 days. Once the fat cells have been destroyed using the heat from the RF (Radio Frequency) your body needs to eliminate and dispose of these unwanted fat cells and it also needs to be given time to utilise the HIFEM technology and build new muscle fibres. This does not happen overnight - be patient!
I still have work to do, I need to keep exercising, keep eating well, continue with body brushing and adding in some massage will be really positive too. I also have the iS Clinical Youth Body Serum to use, this innovative product will provide my skin with hydration and nourishment and support my EMSculpt NEO results.
Are the results from EMSculpt NEO permanent?
If you want the body of your dreams, you will still need to eat well and continue with your workouts, but there is no doubt that EMSculpt NEO can help you on your way. If you view it as a super charge for your existing routine and understand that it works alongside the hard work you are already putting it, then EMSculpt NEO can really speed things up!
But if you complete a course of EMSculpt NEO, get the results, then go back to no exercise and a poor diet, you cannot expect to maintain the muscle definition and fat loss.
EMSculpt NEO will make a massive contribution to future-proofing your health and strength. As we age, we lose between 3% and 5% of muscle per decade after the age of 30, and the decline is even greater after the age of 60. This muscle decline is a significant factor in mobility issues for older people as well as adding to an increased risk of falls and fractures. It therefore makes complete sense to maintain and build our muscle strength.
I am a big fan of strength training in midlife for this very reason and adding in the muscle building benefits of EMSculpt NEO can really contribute to a stronger body and a healthy physique.
Final results from EMSculpt NEO
My final results ... I will be back to update this blog post in 90 days. At the end of February I will return to the S-Thetics Clinic to have a top-up EMSculpt NEO treatment on my abs and glutes, I will then have final images taken and will share a full before and after update here on my blog and on my Instagram.
Update - my 90 day post EMSculpt NEO results
I am very excited to share this update on my blog! I went back to S-Thetics on Monday 27th February for a top-up EMSculpt NEO treatment on my abdominals and glutes and to have my after images taken so we can compare with my before images!
And OMG I am delighted! My initial x 4 treatments took place in November 2019 so 3 months/90 days later, I have gone from a measurement of 88 cm to 82.5 cm across my mid-section, a loss of 5.5 cm which is an average loss for clients having a full course of EMSculpt NEO. But more importantly I can see the results from the 3D Vectra images (below). I feel more confident, my clothes are looser and fit better, I feel stronger and leaner and I am no longer worrying about what my tummy looks like in dresses! Plus I am future-proofing my strength, building muscle as I head towards my 60s.
I do feel a bit self-conscious sharing such raw photos but I think it is important to be honest as if you are reading this you might be considering investing in a body contouring treatment yourself.
And a few words on managing expectations, it would unrealistic to do a course of EMSculpt NEO and walk out of the clinic and not put any further effort into your health and fitness. This treatment works extremely effectively if you are also eating a healthy diet, probably low carb and in a calorie deficit and completing regular strength based workouts. Because I had my treatments in November, I had to get through Christmas and I am absolutely sure that my results could have been better had I been even more on it with my diet. Having Michelle from Anytime Personal Trainer support me with weekly Zoom workouts made a huge difference to my accountability. Most weeks I made sure I completed at least two 'snackable workouts' and added in some walking too. But life has to be about balance and for me, the diet and fitness I chose to do worked with my lifestyle and still meant I could socialise. It was an 80/20 approach (over Christmas more 70/30) but for me that is realistic and it means I have more chance of maintaining my results.
I will be interested to see any further improvement in another 90 days and I hope to pop back to S-Thetics to have another set of after images taken!
Do I need maintenance treatments?
You don't have to but if you are really keen to maintain your results then a top-up treatment every 2-3 months is recommended explained Miss Balatratnam. I agree that this would also motivate me to keep up with my workouts, for me accountability is key and I know that if I am being monitored and paying a significant amount of money to look after my body shape then I am more likely to stick with the healthy diet and regular exercise.
In conclusion, I am beyond delighted and I feel amazing. And don't miss my blog post on my Emsella (pelvic floor) results either because, that really is a life changing treatment too!
A massive thank you to Miss Sherina for gifting me this incredible opportunity and for sharing your passion for medical aesthetics with me and my readers.
If you'd like to find out more about EMSculpt NEO and everything that Miss Balaratnam offers at S-Thetics please do follow them on Instagram or give the clinic a call and book a free consultation.
Love Michelle xx
Don't miss these blog posts:
A state-of-the-art treatment for bladder leakage and urinary incontinence, giving amazing results, read my review of the BTL Emsella Chair
How to get the best results from EMFace | the revolutionary new non-invasive facial contouring treatment at S-Thetics in Beaconsfield
Disclaimer: I was gifted a full course of treatments for the EMSculpt NEO abdominals and benefitted from a discounted rate for my glutes. I was also gifted a full course of the Emsella Chair. I have agreed to share my experience and my thoughts as well as my results on my blog and on my Instagram account. All words and opinions are entirely my own, I was under no obligation to share if I did not feel the treatments worked for me.
Linking up with - Is this Mutton for #WowOnWednesday
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about health, menopause, fitness, beauty and style with a focus on the over 50's.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my 50s. I started this blog in 2016 with the purpose of helping other women at this stage of life. I’m delighted that my blog has grown to over 13k visitors per month. Visit my Work with Me page and request my Media Kit for details of product reviews, blogging services and social media content creation.
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