LANGHORNE, Pa. (WPVI) -- There have long been ways to eliminate body fat - such as liposuction, and targeted devices that heat or freeze fat cells.
But exercise alone has always been used for building muscle. A new machine on the market promises to do both at the same time.
Morgan Arnold always controlled her weight.
"Until I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor, so I abruptly put on about 35-40 pounds within one year," says Morgan, of Bensalem, Pa.
She lost some with diet and exercise but hit a plateau.
So she decided to try a new procedure - Emsculpt - to reduce her abdomen.
Emsculpt sends high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy to nerves controlling muscles.
"This works by contracting the entire muscle fiber," says Dr. Richard Goldfarb, of the Center for SmartLipo in Langhorne, Pa., says even in intense workouts, muscles only contract 17 to 24 per cent.
With Emsculpt -
"You're getting about a 92 to 95% muscle contraction. No human being is able to contract their muscle like that," he says.
Morgan says the cycles of muscle stimulation didn't hurt - they just felt like strong vibrations.
"Sort of out-of-body, because you realize you don't have control over your muscles," she notes.
She felt the effects in her core, even after the first of the 4 recommended treatments.
And it's been good incentive to keep up regular workouts.
"There's no excuse to fall off now," says a determined Morgan.
Peter Vernacchio tried it after seeing his brother's results.
"He actually had a 6-pack, and before, I'd never seen that on him. And he works out a lot," Peter says.
He also believes it's firming his abs, beyond his daily workouts.
"The first time, i didn't think it did anything, but a day later, my abdominal muscles were really sore," he recalls.
MRI's and ultrasounds taken during clinical trials showed less fat and more muscle in patients.
Dr. Goldfarb, who took part in the clinical trials for Emsculpt, says the improvements continued for 6 months after the final treatment.
"Up to 24 to 30 per cent improvement over this period of time," he notes.
Dr. Goldfarb says he and his fellow clinical trial doctors will soon publish all the results from their 6-month follow-ups.
And they'll be check patients at 9 months, 1 year, and then to at least 18 months after treatments to make sure the results are long-lasting.
The 4 treatments are done over 2 weeks, and costs $3000 for the package.
Patients still need to keep up with their exercise and healthy eating.
Dr. Goldfarb says Emsculpt is a short-cut to body improvement, but not a free ride.
More on Emsculpt here.
More on Center for Smart Lipo here.
New procedure promises to cut fat, build muscle non-invasively
Electromagnetic energy painlessly works muscle harder than any workout