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The Surprising New Way to Use Botox Is for Stress Relief

vogue logoOriginal Article by Jenna Rennert. Suffice it to say, 2017 has ranked high on the global stress barometer. And if nonstop White House turmoil, grim international headlines, or a spate of natural disasters didn’t spike your anxiety levels, the steady you’ve-got-mail ding of an iPhone could justifiably send anyone into a digital tailspin. All that tension is bound to take a toll on health and wellness habits, but for many, the signs manifest in one surprising place: your jaw. Yes, according to experts, jaw clenching is one of the most common secondary effects of stress, and while adopting a Gwyneth Paltrow–like mantra of conscious breathing and meditation may help, it’s neither a quick fix nor a foolproof solution.

I know firsthand. Having acquired a grinding habit over the years, fueled by a fast-paced New York City work schedule, Manolo-clad power walks, and an Orbit Gum–chewing addiction, dentists had warned me that I may suffer from future jaw issues. But in recent months, the chronic wear and tear took its toll and my jaw began to feel strained and tired at the end of a long day. Not to mention, a rock-hard ball of muscle had formed on either side of my face, the direct result of biting down unconsciously for hours at work. For help, I turned to Los Angeles–based aging expert Lisa Goodman, P.A., for advice. With one glance, Goodman, founder of the cult Brentwood skin clinic, GoodSkin and a former physician’s assistant in the office of West Coast power dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer, stated that I was suffering from an overworked masseter muscle and, if I continued on this road, it would lead to “premature neck wrinkles, disproportionate face shape, and possibly major pain later in life.”

To my surprise, Goodman suggested we inject Botox directly into the muscle, located on the lower outer quadrants of the face, to relieve the pressure. Over time, she explained (it takes about two weeks to set in), “the solution will enable the muscle to decrease in strength and size.” With waivers signed and numbing cream applied, I braced myself for the impact of the needle, which, when it finally made contact with my skin, I barely even felt. What I did feel, however, was the instantaneous wave of relief that washed over my face and extended all the way down to my neck. Serious cases of TMJ could require up to 35 units of Botox per side, but Goodman opted for just shy of 16 units for me, making sure the amount was distributed evenly and the procedure virtually pain-free.


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Male patient receiving an Emsculpt NEO treatment to the abdominal area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can EMSCULPT NEO do for me?

EMSCULPT NEO is an amazing noninvasive body sculpting treatment. It’s perfect for patients who are looking to get summer body ready! With this state-of-the-art, two-in-one technology, you build muscle and burn fat at the same time! This treatment provides a 30% reduction in subcutaneous fat and 25% growth in muscle on the treated area after a recommended number of treatments.

How does EMSCULPT NEO work?

While you lie down and relax, EMSCULPT NEO sends high-intensity energies deep below your skin, making your muscles contract in a big way that is like doing thousands of crunches or squats in a few minutes. While your muscles are contracting, the energy from the applicator simultaneously sends warmth to your fat cells, heating them up to the point of destruction. So you build real muscle from the contractions while destroying fat cells that are later naturally eliminated by your body.

How many EMCULPT NEO treatments will I need?

The recommended treatment plan is 4-6 treatments, one week apart. Depending on the patient, you may see improvement in your muscle tone, core strength and posture within a few weeks. And you’ll see fat reduction continue for about 12 weeks after your last treatment.

Are there any patients for whom you do not recommend EMSCULPT NEO?

EMSCULPT NEO is great because it has been shown to be safe and approved for all body and skin types. Contraindications include hernia, recent surgery, and pregnancy, so if a patient has any of these conditions, they should wait until they don’t to get EMSCULPT NEO.

What is the difference between CoolSculpting and EMSCULPT NEO?

CoolSculpting is a well-known treatment that is excellent for reducing unwanted fat in targeted areas. EMSCULPT NEO also reduces fat, but it has the benefit of building muscle, which is what its predecessor EMSCULPT was made to do.

Which treatment you choose depends on what your body needs and your personal goals. If you have great muscle tone and only need to get rid of some extra fat in a specific area like your abdomen or below your chin, CoolSculpting is an excellent option. But if you have loss of muscle tone and need more of a lift or tightening to a certain area like your abs or butt, EMSCULPT NEO is your two-in-one solution.

What is your favorite thing about EMSCULPT NEO?

Not only is this treatment super convenient with one treatment lasting only 30 minutes, but there is also no downtime! Patients can go about their day as they normally would immediately after their visit.

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