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Joseph Moore, MD

Medical Director, Pacific Wellness Center

Guide to Nonsurgical Body Sculpting Treatments 2023 (Comparing Emsculpt, Emsculpt NEO, CryoSlimming, CoolSculpting)

Picture of Joseph Moore, MD

Joseph Moore, MD

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Guide to Nonsurgical Body Sculpting Treatments 2023

You eat right, go to the gym and do everything you’re supposed to do to live a healthy lifestyle. But even though you may shed some pounds chances are there are certain areas of your body where stubborn pockets of fat just won’t go away or muscles refuse to achieve the toned look you want. That’s where nonsurgical body sculpting treatments can make all the difference.

There are a number of these non-invasive treatments currently available, including Emsculpt, Emsculpt NEO, CryoSlimming and CoolSculpting. All can help you to eliminate fat and shape muscles to achieve a slimmer, more toned look. However, these four treatments use very different techniques to achieve results and it’s important to understand what they do before deciding which is best for you.

Emsculpt and Emsculpt NEO

These are the newest additions to the ranks of nonsurgical body sculpting treatments and they are already demonstrating stunning results. While the cryolipolysis based treatments focus on fat reduction, Emsculpt and Emsculpt NEO work to both reduce fat and increase muscle for a more toned look. They do so by using high-intensity focused electromagnetic fields (HIFEM) to stimulate supramaximal contractions of the muscle, similar to what happens when you do crunches but at a level that can not possibly be achieved through voluntary exercise. If you are looking for Emsculpt NEO in San Diego, call Pacific Wellness Center in Pacific Beach for your free consultation to find out if you are a candidate and get a personalized treatment plan.

With Emsculpt NEO, Radiofrequency (RF) heat energy is added to boost both fat reduction and muscle increase substantially.  Both types of Emsculpt require four 30 minute treatments spaced two to three days apart for maximum results and have been cleared to treat the abdomen, butt, tops of the thighs, arms and calves.


CryoSlimming is actually one of several treatments that fall under the umbrella of Cryoskin, a technique first developed in France that eliminates fat cells through the concentrated application of cold and heat. Cryoslimming focuses on one area of the body at a time and is most effective on the stomach, thighs, arms and back. 

In this treatment, a wand-like instrument is passed over the target area and applies heat for 2 minutes and then cold for 12 minutes. A single treatment usually lasts about 28 minutes and three to five treatments, spaced out at two week intervals, are recommended for best results. The two week interval is required in order to allow the affected fat cells to move through the lymphatic system before being naturally flushed out of the body.


Another treatment based on the science of cryolipolysis, or the natural flushing of fat cells after application of extreme cold, is CoolSculpting. While the science is the same as with CryoSlimming, the technique used is quite different. In CoolSculpting, a gel pad and applicator are applied and remain stationary throughout the treatment, gently squeezing the targeted area as the cold is applied.

This technique, which was cleared for use by the FDA in 2012, works best on the inner and outer thighs, upper and lower abdomen, love handles, arms, chin, back and underneath the buttocks. CoolSculpting sessions can last from one to three hours but may only require one session depending on the area being treated and the desired results.

While all of these nonsurgical body sculpting techniques can be effective, in order to determine which is best for you it’s important to consider a few particular areas of comparison.  As noted above, they use distinctly different techniques and are designed to target different areas of the body, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Do they hurt and what kind of side effects are there?

While all of these techniques are non-invasive and perfectly safe, provided they are administered by a trained professional, they can result in some discomfort. Both CryoSlimming and CoolSculpting can cause some sensitivity during treatment due to the intense cold and may leave the treated area feeling hypersensitive.  Since they involve the production of intense amounts of muscle contraction, both Emsculpt and Emsculpt NEO can leave patients feeling as if they’ve just undergone a particularly hard workout. 

None of the treatments should prevent you from immediately returning to normal activities. Possible side effects of CyroSlimming and CoolSculpting can include tenderness, redness, bruising, swelling and itching for a couple of days to several weeks following treatment. Aside from muscle soreness, Emsculpt and Emsculpt NEO have few side effects.

How long do the results last?

Since CryoSlimming and CoolSculpting target only fat and result in elimination of fat cells, results should be permanent provided there is no weight gain. With Emsculpt and Emsculpt NEO, since muscle toning is involved it may be necessary to have follow up treatments in order to maintain the desired muscle tone, though results from one treatment should last up to nine months.

How much do they cost?

For most people, cost will be a significant factor in deciding which treatment to choose. Pricing can vary, but generally a CryoSlimming or CoolSculpting treatment for the abdomen can range from $1,500 to $7,500 depending on the number of specific areas that require treatment and the specific results desired. In comparison, an abdominal treatment of Emsculpt can start at $3,000 and may increase if you require follow up treatment after your first four sessions. Safe to say, none of these treatments are cheap so you should take your budget into consideration before making your ultimate decision.

Am I a good candidate for treatment?

As with any medical procedure, not every individual will necessarily be a good candidate and that is an important factor to consider as well.  Generally speaking, Cryoslimming and CoolSculpting are better suited for individuals who are close to their ideal weight, have a healthy diet but have a particular stubborn area of fat that isn’t responding to normal weight loss efforts. Emsculpt and Emsculpt NEO are designed for individuals who want to enhance the definition of their muscles in particular areas for a more toned appearance.

Make The Best Choice for Your Health

When it comes to deciding on a nonsurgical body sculpting treatment, the ultimate choice will be up to you and it’s important to keep your health in mind when making that decision. Because of the extreme cold involved, CryoSlimming and CoolSculpting are not recommended for those with a history of Raynaud’s disease, with severe sensitivity to cold temperatures, or with conditions such as cryoglobulinemia. Emsculpt and Emsculpt NEO, on the other hand, are not safe for people with metallic or electronic implants such as artificial joints or pacemakers.

Before making your decision, you should check with your doctor and always make sure that you go to a trained and licensed professional for treatment to ensure safety. For individuals in the San Diego area who want to experience the incredible benefits of Emsculpt NEO, Pacific Wellness Center is proud to be your trusted provider, so schedule your appointment today. 

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Joseph Moore, MD