Sponsored by BTL Aesthetics
The core is often thought of as the abdominal and back muscles, but there is much more to the story. The numerous small pelvic muscles that stabilize the body and fine-tune motor activity are often over- looked. A strong core leads to maximum athletic performance while an incomplete core strength profile often leads to injury. And, importantly, anyone can benefit from a solid foundation of core strength for these very reasons.
The challenge: building the core is not as simple as doing bicep curls. “Building the biceps, triceps or pectorals involves relatively limited movement, more or less depending on the muscle, and simple exercises to strengthen them. The core supports all of these muscles and is much harder to work thoroughly without per- forming a wide range of different exercises, so it is a much more complicated prospect,” explained urologist Judson Brandeis, MD, an expert in sexual medicine and male rejuvenation in San Ramon, Calif.
“Range of motion, balance and overall strength all start with core strength,” Dr. Brandeis continued. “In the lower trunk these muscles work together as a system, often working against each other, but still as part of a distinct whole that affects many aspects of life that we take for granted until they’re impaired. This is painfully evident for women after pregnancy. While we can’t treat the stretching of the pelvic floor, we can restore the core musculature using a new and profound combination therapy of EMSELLA and EMSCULPT.”
Targeting local musculature, both EMSELLA and EMSCULPT from BTL Aesthetics (Boston, Mass.) deliver focused electromagnetic energy (HIFEM) of varying intensity and duration of pulses to induce supramaximal contractions non-invasively over the course of therapy. The result is a complete stimulation of the muscles, both large and small, independent of movement because induced contractions are involuntary. None of the local musculature is missed, and each muscle is worked well beyond any person’s capacity to exercise, regardless of athletic ability.
Individually, each device delivers astounding results, but together they provide a second-to-none core building workout. Furthermore, both devices require minimal supervision of ancillary staff, so physicians need not spend a lot of time performing the actual treatment, thus freeing them for tasks that are a better use of their valuable time.
“These devices effectively build core musculature in a manner impossible through exercise alone, with more therapeutic benefits than we could possibly state here,” Dr. Brandeis advised. “For example, my posture is better since undergoing EMSCULPT treatment, because the back and abdominal muscles work together.”
While not specifically studied as of yet, the combination of EMSELLA and EMSCULPT offers the distinct benefit of providing a more complete, hassle-free treatment of core muscles. This is especially true in the lower trunk, where the combination can address the full circumference of muscular anatomy, and at depth.
EMSCULPT uses the HIFEM procedure to create tens of thousands of supramaximal contractions in the treated areas such as the back, abdomen and thighs. New applicators allow for the treatment of skeletal muscles on the limb as well.
EMSELLA also employs HIFEM, but is focused on pelvic floor strength, sending its carefully crafted electromagnetic pulses upward through a dedicated treat- ment chair. Women simply sit in the chair fully clothed – no muss, no fuss. It is FDA cleared for the treatment of incontinence, but the strengthening and toning of core muscles in the pelvic region may provide myriad benefits not yet thoroughly studied. Regardless, both devices are safe and easy to use. A course of EMSELLA treatment is typically six, 30-minute sessions, done two times per week. With EMSCULPT, four, 30-minute sessions are spaced about two to three days apart.
The pelvic floor supports pelvic organs and is part of the system that manages urination. Weakness and lack of control in these muscles is often a significant factor leading to incontinence. According to obstetrician/gynecologist Carolyn Delucia, MD, director of VSPOT MediSpa in New York City, N.Y., this may stem from deconditioning due to aging, childbirth, menopause or other common factors, and therapies generally involve the manual training of these muscles.
“EMSELLA treats all forms of urinary incontinence because it strengthens all pelvic floor muscles,” Dr. DeLucia stated. “Patients may experience leakage when coughing, sneezing or working out; they may have sudden urges their weakened muscles are unable to hold back for long, or they may experience any or all of these symptoms. Regardless, EMSELLA can help.” The impact on quality of life is extraordinary.
“Women avoid, or altogether cease, many activities, including sex, or avoid social situations because of incontinence,” Dr. DeLucia shared. “The statistics on how many women deal with these issues are staggering. Improvement leads to a marked return of self-esteem and a sense of restored normalcy.”
One area where this combination excels is in the mommy makeover – therapeutic interventions designed to restore a woman to some semblance of what her body was like before she had children. This may involve treatment of incontinence, or treatment of abdominal separation – the separation of abdominal rectus muscles after childbirth.
Cosmetic dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, who practices at Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery (New York, N.Y.), dealt with significant abdominal separation post-childbirth. “It takes more than sit-ups to improve this, and in extreme cases surgery is required. If you have had C-sections, you’re going to be even less inclined to have additional surgery in that area,” she pointed out.
“In my case it wasn’t a weight-related thing, you could literally place two fingers there, the separation was that severe,” she explained. “I noticed improvement using EMSCULPT by about the fourth session, but over time the improvement was significantly greater. Without these treatments I would have just roughed it because I didn’t want more surgery with the associated risks and loss of work time. It is phenomenal to have this kind of simple, nonsurgical therapy at our disposal. It avoids every negative aspect of surgery, but gives a near-surgical result, in my opinion.” She added that the condition might also be prevalent in patients who were born with some level of super-umbilical hernia as well.
“We’ve also seen in studies that abdominal separation is directly correlated with urinary incontinence and weakness in the pelvic floor,” added Dr. Delucia. “The musculature is basically contiguous. So, we can safely infer that using EMSCULPT to treat abdominal separation will complement EMSELLA treatment. What this all means is that we can take a full-scale surgical mommy makeover, which costs a lot and involves a fair amount of risk, and reduce much of it to two non-invasive treatments that will be much less risky and much less expensive.”