“We’re a whole population that has suffered physically from the lack of working out,” says Dr. Kate Dee, owner of Glow MediSpa. Going to the gym or out for a run became a fraught experience for many during COVID-19’s shutdowns and restrictions.

“Everybody was eating their way through the pandemic,” she says, as a way to manage stress. And as we get older, it can become more challenging to lose those extra five to 15 pandemic pounds.

Many people want their bodies back. One option is a nonsurgical technique that kills off fat cells with radio-frequency and builds muscle by using high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy to create rapid muscle contractions. Dee describes the Emsculpt Neo as a “breakthrough technology because it combines two technologies.”

The physician applies the Emsculpt Neo device’s ovoid-shaped paddles on the targeted area, which responds with involuntary muscle contractions. It’s not painful, although she says some experience a bit of aching, similar to post-workout muscle soreness.

Typically, the Neo is used on one area, four weeks in a row in four treatments. “Now is a good time to consider sessions, as results do take a few months,” she says.

With the Neo, most clients notice that they’ve gone a pant or dress size — or even two. “If you’ve already tried everything, this will help you look better in the skinny pants you wore pre-Covid,” she says. Consider it a type of shortcut.


Spot reduction

Every human has body fat that deposits in different ways. Some people might gain weight around the hips, while others might accumulate fat in the belly. Most people have particular areas they want to work on, and request belly and buttock work. And of course, “people like me really want Michelle Obama arms,” Dee says. Often, after discovering that Emsculpt works on one body part, they want to use it on other body parts, too, she says.

Emsculpt is often used to treat the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, saddlebags, arms (biceps and triceps) and calves.

“People have been delighted with it,” she says, as the Neo effectively melts fat and boosts athleticism, stamina and strength. It can even be used to rehabilitate muscles, such as leg muscles, that can be too painful to work with physical therapy due to joint injury or previous surgeries. At least one athlete visited Dee, to build back thigh muscles weakened by damage.

Each treatment takes around 20 to 30 minutes. For example, arms could take 40 minutes, with 20 minutes on biceps and 20 minutes on triceps. With little downtime and only mild soreness — which not everyone feels — it’s possible to mix and match treatments. “It’s a massive workout that you couldn’t do if you tried,” she says.

“A lot of guys who are already fit love it,” she says. “It gives them a six-pack after they get rid of the layer of fat.”

There’s no upper age limit with the Emsculpt Neo, Dee says. The only individuals it’s not suitable for are those with a pacemaker or other metal devices. The Neo is best for people with a few pounds to lose but don’t need surgery, as Neo’s muscle stimulation penetrates down 7 centimeters.

“If you’re struggling with obesity, it’s best to address that with diet and exercise,” Dee says. Heavier people may not see the same results, as the Neo can’t get down to muscles. Some clients need a combination of technology tools — such as Vanquish on belly fat.

Lifestyle support

Fat cells can grow infinitely large, Dee says. Once killed off by the Neo, the cells can’t grow back. However, you could gain weight in other parts of the body if you don’t make careful diet and exercise choices.

To support the treatment’s success, Dee offers lifestyle advice to ward off the contributing factors to weight and fat gain. “If you have a high-carb diet and are building fat every day, the machine won’t melt it for you,” she says. Treatment, she says, “isn’t an excuse to eat pie every day.”  

Strength training once or twice a week is critical for maintaining muscle built through Neo sessions, and Dee recommends a once-per-week all-out effort in sprinting, cycling or running.

Daily exercise is the most important, Dee says — to get moving in some way, every day — in a low-impact movement such as walking, slow jogging or low-impact stationary cycling. Even a walk for 45 minutes can make a difference. Exercise helps burn through your glycogen stores.

“If you’re sitting in Zoom meetings, only walk once a week, and don’t strength-train, you’re never using your glycogen stores,” she says. “The carbs you’re eating go straight into making fat.”

By combining wise food, exercise, and nonsurgical weight-loss and muscle-building methods, this could be many Seattleites’ healthiest summer yet.

Dr. Kate Dee’s smart-eating tips to stay healthy and lean:

1. Stay well hydrated. “H20 helps flush fat through the system and excrete it,” she says.  

2. Avoid a high-carb diet. Try “clean eating,” focusing on vegetables, fruit, protein, and avoiding large amounts of carbohydrates. “Americans will have cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pizza for dinner. If you’re having a lot of carbs at every meal, you’re increasing your total fat.

3. Limit alcohol to 2-3 days per week at most. Drinking alcohol halts fat burning, she notes. It’s OK to have red wine here and there, but not seven days per week — even during COVID times.

At Glow Medispa, we are driven by science, and everything we do is informed by the latest information and data available. We make a personalized assessment for each patient and strive to bring out your natural beauty.