Given that fitness studios and gyms across the nation have developed cult followings, it’s clear that a large number of Americans adore working out. And that’s a good thing! Whether you choose to get your sweat on at a group spin class, solo yoga practice, or just a quick jog, the CDCTM recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week.
If you’re just working out to keep your heart healthy (and to be an active person overall), most of us can agree that toned muscles are a great perk to putting in time at the gym. But even with a dedicated regimen, sometimes getting buff(er) can be difficult.
This medical aesthetics device is changing that. Whether you’re that person who loves to sweat and lift — or someone who despises both — (almost) anyone looking for more definition can opt for CoolToneTM. So what is it? CoolTone is a magnetic muscle stimulation (MMS) device that can help strengthen, tone, and firm the muscles of the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs in a 20- or 30-minute session, depending on the area being treated.
We wanted more info about this FDA-cleared device, so we asked Omar A. Ibrahimi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of the Connecticut Skin Institute℠ in Stamford and Milford, Connecticut, to dish about this “cool” treatment. Keep reading to learn about how it works, what it feels like, who makes good candidates, and more.
The CoolToneTM device is FDA-cleared for improvement of abdominal tone, strengthening of the abdominal muscles, and development for firmer abdomen. CoolToneTM is also FDA-cleared for strengthening, toning, and firming of buttocks and thighs. As with any procedure, there are risks and side effects, so talk to a licensed provider to see if it’s right for you.
What CoolTone Is, and What It Isn’t
CoolTone is a non-surgical treatment indicated to improve muscle tone and firmness by inducing voluntary muscle contractions in the thighs, abs, and buttocks. It is not a weight loss solution, nor is it a replacement for true exercise. Remember, a toned, firm body still needs a healthy heart to keep it going, so it’s best to get that pulse rate up.
“I recommend all my patients strive for a healthy weight through diet and exercise, [regardless]” explains Dr. Ibrahimi. “[But], CoolTone [helps] work the muscles in a way that normal exercise cannot.” Also, consider that muscle definition is most visible when not obscured by fat. An ideal candidate is someone who is already health-conscious and in shape, but just having trouble achieving the toned look they want.
How CoolTone’s Technology Works
CoolTone works by using magnetic muscle stimulation (MMS) technology, says Dr. Ibrahimi, who explains that the device delivers electromagnetic waves that pass through skin and fat layers to selectively stimulate only the muscle layers, inducing involuntary muscle contractions. “The body’s response to these contractions is to strengthen its muscle fibers, resulting in improved muscle conditioning,” he says.
The liquid-cooled applicator is applied to the treatment areas — abdomen, buttocks, thighs — over clothing, not directly touching the patient’s skin. “We are able to cover our patients during treatment to give them some privacy,” adds Dr. Ibrahimi. (You may be happy to hear this news if you’re particularly shy and are having your buttocks treated by your provider!) Each treatment can take up to 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the area being treated.
What CoolTone Feels Like During Treatment
Based on the description of the technology alone (magnetic muscle stimulation!), you might assume that the treatment is painful. However, that’s not necessarily the case — even if you think you’re incredibly out of shape.
“CoolTone MMS technology bypasses the skin's pain receptors,” says Dr. Ibrahimi. “There is a feeling of strong contractions, which one [usually] becomes accustomed to after a few minutes.” He notes that the intensity of the treatment can be adjusted, so the muscle contractions can be in a tolerable range for you.
For Major Results, Expect Multiple Sessions
You’ll likely feel a difference in the muscle group treated within a few days of treatment. That said, it can take some time to see your results, and they won’t last forever. “Much like exercise, the results are not permanent,” says Dr. Ibrahimi. Plan to book “touch-up” appointments a few months after your series of treatments. “I find that most of my patients do a maintenance treatment every three to six months,” he adds.
CoolTone Isn’t For Everyone
While many people can enjoy successful results from CoolTone, there are some restrictions. The device should not be used in the vicinity of areas with metal, electrical, or electronic implants/devices like cardiac pacemakers, implanted hearing devices, implanted defibrillators, implanted neurostimulators, drug pumps, or hearing aids. CoolTone is also contraindicated for patients with Graves’ disease, active bleeding disorders, or seizure disorders. And it shouldn’t be used over areas of the skin that lack normal sensation, in patients with fever, malignant tumor, hemorrhagic conditions, epilepsy, recent surgical procedure, pulmonary insufficiency, or pregnancy.
Women who are menstruating or close to menstruating are advised not to undergo CoolTone treatments around that time of the month. This is because the device could increase the symptoms of your period (including cramping) and lead to more discomfort, so it’s best to postpone your appointment until you’re in another part of your cycle. Dr. Ibrahimi adds that he would also not treat any pregnant women. It should also be used with caution in patients with Graves’ disease (an autoimmune disorder that causes overactive thyroid), active bleeding disorders, or seizure disorders. Beyond that, you should consult with your provider to see if CoolTone is the right fit for you.
CoolToneTM is an Allergan®-owned electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) device.
CoolToneTM Important Safety Information
The CoolToneTM device is FDA-cleared for improvement of abdominal tone, strengthening of the abdominal muscles, and development for firmer abdomen. CoolToneTM is also FDA-cleared for strengthening, toning, and firming of buttocks and thighs.
Important Safety Information
The CoolToneTM procedure is not for everyone. You should not have the CoolToneTM treatment in areas with metal, electrical, or electronic implants/devices like cardiac pacemakers, implanted hearing devices, implanted defibrillators, implanted neurostimulators, drug pumps, or hearing aids.
Tell your doctor if you have any medical conditions as CoolToneTM should not be used over a menstruating uterus, over areas of the skin that lack normal sensation, in patients with fever, malignant tumor, hemorrhagic conditions, epilepsy, recent surgical procedure, pulmonary insufficiency, or pregnancy.
CoolToneTM should be used with caution in patients with Graves’ disease (an autoimmune disorder that causes overactive thyroid), active bleeding disorders, or seizure disorders.
Women who are close to menstruation may find that it comes sooner, or cramping is increased or intensified with CoolToneTM treatments, therefore, it is recommended to not undergo treatment during this time of the month.
CoolToneTM should not be used in the heart or head areas, areas of new bone growth, over the carotid sinus nerves, or over the neck or mouth. CoolToneTM should not be applied over swollen, infected, inflamed areas or skin eruptions. Caution should be used for patients with suspected or diagnosed heart problems.
Common side effects may include, but may not be limited to, muscular pain, temporary muscle spasm, temporary joint or tendon pain, and redness at or near the treatment site.
Ask your Healthcare Provider if CoolToneTM is right for you.