NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Believe it or not, there may be a new way to burn fat and build muscle without hitting a gym.
As CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reports, electromagnetic waves do the equivalent of 20,000 sit-ups in just 30 minutes.
"I have a small tummy fat -- and I usually exercise regularly, eat healthy – couldn't get rid of," patient Rita Malayeva said.
Often women, and men, with stubborn fat pockets resort to liposuction, tummy tucks or some other fat-freezing and lasering techniques. But those were too scary for Malayeva.
"I didn't want to do lipo, didn't want to do any invasive surgeries," she said.
Emsculpt may be the alternative many people have been looking for. The FDA cleared device uses a very different energy source to lose fat.
"It's called high intensity focused electromagnetic fields, and for the first time, this not only takes away fat but it targets the muscle," said Dr. Bruce Katz, of the Juva Skin & Laser Center.
You read that right. It not only reduces the fat layer but builds the muscle underneath.
The electromagnetic pulses stimulate muscle contractions in the abs, what the company calls supramaximal contractions -- as many as 20,000 in a typical 30-minute treatment.
"We actually burn fat, because of the intense muscle contractions, it needs fuel. So as these muscles are contracting, it breaks down fat to supply the energy," Katz said.
He conducted one of seven clinical trials on Emsculpt using CT scans, MRIs and ultrasound to demonstrate both the fat reduction and muscle increase.
After four 30-minute sessions, the results are pretty clear. But what do the 20,000 sit-ups feel like?
"Vibrations right now and contractions basically, but it doesn't hurt," said Malayeva.
She finished her treatments a few months ago.
"My husband noticed. He said, 'What did you do?' I didn't tell him about the treatments," she said.
Each session runs $700 to $1,000. You need four sessions to see results.
In addition to the tummy, Emsculpt can also be used on the outer thighs and buttocks. The company is developing applicators for inner thighs, knees and arms.
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