It was back in 2003 when Thermage treatment was the newest craze to hit the Aesthetic Medical market that I became intrigued. A new concept at the time and something that needed a lot of convincing to persuade physicians of its merits. Tightening skin, by heating it with radio frequency energy. The concept was not new. Various laser treatments had proven that heating skin resulted in collagen remodelling and repair, however the depth of treatment was limited to minimize collateral damage. RF energy treatments have since evolved to become a mainstay in non-invasive skin tightening and body sculpting treatment.



Forward 15 years and the next “giant leap” in body sculpting was announced at the annual ASLMS meeting in Dallas, Texas. HIFEM, or high intensity focused electromagnetic energy. A field of HIFEM can contract muscle fibers at high frequencies, mimicking a level of workout that is beyond what is normally possible, resulting in impressive muscle building and toning, along with fat reduction. Like all brand-new devices, the purchase price was staggering, and it took three years for me to be in a position to add it to my practice.

The brand-new platform, EMsculpt NEO is even more effective than the original device, adding RF energy alongside HIFEM, heating the muscle to improve the workout, while heating fat to a point of fat cell destruction (apoptosis). The result is muscle bulking and definition, alongside slimming the treated areas where so desired. The abdominal area treatment even decreases stubborn visceral fat (intra-abdominal fat).

We’ve seen great results with CoolSculpting for stubborn rolls of fat in various parts of the body, as well as tightening and slimming areas with ThermiSmooth 250, but now we can take things to another level with EMsculpt NEO. Like any non-invasive treatment, not any of them in isolation will be a “magic bullet” solution. This treatment will be especially helpful to someone that has a regular exercise routine and needs a jump-start, or someone initiating an exercise program to get off to a great start. Patients need to be healthy, motivated and be ready for a workout with every session of treatment. Couch potatoes shouldn’t expect huge results for obvious reasons and are by definition not the best candidates.

For two or three days after a treatment, it is obvious that the muscles have been training, feeling a little sore and pumped. Remodeling and shaping of the body area is ongoing over the course of four treatments and can continue to improve for three months after, especially if the patient remains physically active, to keep the ball rolling. Now that I’ve had four treatment myself, I have to say that although the first one was a bit startling and needed some getting used to, by now I’m thoroughly addicted and can’t wait for the three months mark to get after photos and go on a monthly maintenance treatment schedule! 

It’s clear that body sculpting has in some way become the new “Botox” and that technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in this area. Demand is strong and word is spreading fast across Canada and worldwide. Recently a patient relayed the story of having had EMsculpt on a cruise ship in 2019. Apparently, the eastern European nurse that administered the treatment didn’t do too much explaining, she just prepared everything and with a big smile, a wink and a thick accent said: “Trust me!”