Understanding the differences between Emsculpt NEO, EMS and other muscle toning technologies

There are five different muscle toning technologies!  What do you know about the differences? Emsculpt NEO vs EMS? CoolTone vs TruSculpt flex? In this episode, learn how each of the five muscle toning technologies work, the benefits delivered by each, how much each of the different machines costs, and more.   

Links mentioned in this episode. 

EMS Certification Course 

EMS Machine on Amazon

#ad We are amazon associates, so if you click on a link that is a qualified purchase, we may earn a small fee. It comes as no extra cost to you and we only recommend products based on our experience and/or use.

Resources and Studies Cited





How much do you know about the different muscle toning technologies?  There are five different ones!  Did you know that?  Most everyone is familiar with EMS technology.  It was the first and only one for so many years. The other technologies didn’t even start entering the market until 2018.  In our opinion, all five of them are sound technologies.  But one may be better than the others for your practice.  Problem is, you need to understand the nuances of the different muscle toning technologies to make informed choices.  So we’re filling in the muscle toning blanks in today’s episode.  We’re going to discuss all five of the muscle toning technologies: EMS, HIFEM technology of Emsculpt and the differences between it and the newer Emsculpt NEO, plus we’ll take a look at two lesser utilized technologies:  MMS technology of the CoolTone device and MDS technology of the TruSculpt flex. So do some crunches while you listen up - just kidding! - Please stay tuned.  We think you’ll learn a lot.

[intro music]


You’re listening to The Body Contouring Academy’s Proven Profits Podcast 

where you’ll learn simple actionable strategies from real world successful body contouring professionals to help you generate more revenue, realize the profits you want and create the life you desire. 

Hi I’m Shannon and I’m Kay and we’re your hosts of The Proven Profits Podcast


Hi there healthcare professionals, business owners, body contouring technicians and beauty professionals!  Welcome everyone!   Kay here. Shannon and I want to thank you for being here too. 

Not a day goes by at the Body Contouring Academy without someone asking if our EMS muscle toning certification course could be used for an Emsculpt machine or Emsculpt NEO machine.  The short answer is no, but the long answer is body contouring professionals need to know the differences between the different muscle toning technologies.  So in today’s episode, we will walk you through the HIFEM technology/treatments of Emsculpt and the HIFEM + RF technologies/treatments of Emsculpt NEO and the Electromagnetic Muscle Stimulation technology/treatments of the EMS machine  We’re also going to discuss two of the lesser utilized - and less talked about - muscle toning technologies: MMS technology which is delivered by the CoolTone machine and MDS technology which is delivered by the TruSculpt flex device.  Then, for each of the technologies, we’ll review how it works and what benefits it provides so you can pick the muscle toning technology and certification course that’s best for you and your practice.  Then as a bonus, we’ll give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for each of the machines because one of the critical differences and crucial determinations for a business person to make - is the return on investment.    

As we focus on each of the five muscle toning technologies, keep in mind that though the technologies of the five muscle toning machines differ, they share a commonality.  They each tone and sculpt the muscles in the treated area without the need for exercise.  And that’s what brings our clients to us.

First off, EMS (Electromagnetic Muscle Stimulation) Technology

We lead off with EMS because it’s been around the longest,it’s popular, it’s proven and it’s the most affordable machine investment.  We’ve used EMS machines for years at our medspa.

How it works

Electromagnetic Muscle Stimulation (EMS), also referred to as neuromuscular electrical stimulation and electromyostimulation, is a technology that induces intense muscle fiber contractions using electrical impulses. 

The contractions are stimulated via electrode pads that adhere to the skin in the treatment area.  

EMS technology can recruit more muscle fibers and cause more and deeper contractions than a workout. 

EMS technology is used by body contouring professionals, athletes, coaches, physical therapists and physicians.  


Tones muscles 

EMS treatments command automatic deep muscle contractions through programmed electric  impulses, much more intense than working out.  

Burns fat

Though EMS technology does not have an FDA indication for fat reduction and inch loss, studies have shown EMS treatments lead to a loss of fat.  

Provides detoxification benefits

Studies have shown that by increasing circulation, EMS technology leads to electro lymphatic drainage, promoting detoxification by assisting the lymphatic system to eliminate fluids, wastes and toxins.  

Average cost of an EMS machine

The one we use and recommend because we’ve had years of satisfied 

experience working with is a Level III EMS muscle toning machine that runs just under $300.  


And since it’s a Level III (entry level) machine, it’s ideal for body contouring practitioners at all levels.   

We’ve talked about the three levels of machines before, but just a quick review:  

Level III Entry Level Equipment like the EMS machine

Body contouring machines that utilize FDA approved technologies and have no conditions to purchase.  The machines are affordable and deliver good results. Great choices for both the body contouring beginner or for the existing practice/business looking to expand.

Compare that with Level I machines

Body contouring devices and machines that are medical grade, FDA cleared, and require physician association.  Your facility must have a physician or medical director. A great choice for medical spas and physician practices.

And Level II machines are in between body contouring machines that utilize paramedical or medical grade technology, most are FDA cleared, and do NOT require physician association.  Most of these manufacturers require you to be a proven successful business owner prior to purchase.  A great choice for massage businesses, day spas, esthetician practices, tanning salons, body contouring businesses, and weight loss centers.

Okay so back to the EMS machine.  We’ll leave a link in the show notes to an EMS machine like the ones we’ve used for years.

And if you think EMS might be the right muscle toning technology for your business

We have an EMS course and we’re leaving a link to the details of our online EMS muscle toning course in today’s show notes 

So now let’s take a look at the next muscle toning technology.  This one was the first new muscle toning technology to enter the market and that was in 2018.

HIFEM Technology (Emsculpt)

How it works

HIFEM (high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy) technology machines deliver HIFEM pulses into the muscles via paddles belted to the body.  

These pulses of energy activate more muscle fibers than is possible with exercise alone.


Tightened, toned defined and strengthened muscles

Reduced fat and circumference

Average cost of a HIFEM machine

Brand Name

The original HIFEM machine is Emsculpt, by BTL Aesthetics.  It is a Level I machine.  

Because it is a Level I machine, you must be a physician or be physician-affiliated to purchase and operate a brand name Emsculpt machine.  

You’ll pay somewhere in the low six figures (maybe a little less) for an Emsculpt device.  

In addition to our EMS machines, we have an Emsculpt at our medical spa.  And they both stay busy.  Both the EMS and the Emsculpt fill particular patient and business needs.  But that’s a discussion for another day.


There are numerous HIFEM machine newcomers.  These are primarily manufactured overseas.  These machines carry names such as EmSlim and EmShape.  

Other HIFEM machine newcomers carry descriptive names such as Electric Magnetic Muscle Training Body Building Equipment Equipment HighEnergy Body Building Machine with 1 handle.  

Most of the newcomers are Level III (entry level) machines, meaning that they are good for body contouring practitioners at all stages in their profession. You might find some Level II’s. 

The costs of the newcomer machines run somewhere between $1600 and $7000.

PRO TIP: Warning!  Do not market, advertise or otherwise represent a HIFEM newcomer as an Emsculpt device. This is a misrepresentation and it could cost you and your business.

So now let’s look at Emsculpt’s newer sister machine, Emsculpt NEO.  It’s Combination HIFEM + RF (Radiofrequency) Technology (Emsculpt NEO)

How it works

These machines deliver HIFEM (high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy) combined with RF (Radiofrequency).  

The addition of RF energy (in the form of heat) works to burn fat more efficiently and to boost blood supply to the area to assist in muscle building.  

As with HIFEM machines, treatments with combination HIFEM and RF are administered via paddles attached by belts to the treated area.  


Tightened, toned, defined and strengthened muscles

Permanent fat loss (from RF)

Average cost of a combination HIFEM + RF (Radiofrequency) machine

Brand Name

The original combination HIFEM + RF machine is Emsculpt NEO by BTL Aesthetics.  

The Emsculpt NEO is a Level I machine that requires physician affiliation to own and operate. 

Expect to pay in the low six-figures for a brand name Emsculpt NEO.

In fact, BTL does not even promote the sale of Emsculpt anymore.  Their focus is completely on the Emsculpt NEO.


There are many combination HIFEM + RF machine newcomer machines available.  And again, these are primarily overseas manufacturers.

You can find them with names such as EmShape NEO and EmSlim NEO.

You can also find them with descriptive-only names such as 4 Handles Body Shaping Machine for Abdomen Buttock Upper Arm Thigh Muscle Strengthen (4H, Black).  

Physician affiliation is not needed to own and operate most of these machines because most of them are Level III machines.

These machines run between $2000 and $20,000.

PRO TIP:  As with Emsculpt, do not market, advertise or otherwise represent an Emsculpt NEO newcomer device as a brand name Emsculpt NEO device.   

So that’s it for the 3 big ones - EMS technology, HIFEM technology (Emsculpt) and HIFEM + RF technology (Emsculpt NEO)

Now to two more.  These two machines and technologies are not as prevalent because they have not been promoted to the extent of Emsculpt and Emsculpt NEO.  and wherever marketing dollars go, so does the awareness.  

So muscle toning technology #4

MMS (Magnetic Muscle Stimulation) Technology (CoolTone)

How it works

Magnetic Muscle Stimulation (MMS) technology delivers electromagnetic energy into the muscles to stimulate muscle contractions.  

The technology can engage up to 100% of the targeted muscles, much greater than exercise alone which engages between 30% to 40% of the muscles.  

MMS technology is delivered via applicators belted to the treatment area.


Enhanced muscle definition, muscle toning and muscle strength

Average cost of an MMS machine (CoolTone)

Brand Name

The original and only MMS machine is CoolTone by Allé (formerly Zeltiq and Allergan).  Same manufacturer as the Coolsculpting device.

CoolTone is a Level I machine that requires physician affiliation to own and operate.

A new CoolTone will run in the low six-figures. 


You cannot find any MMS machine newcomers, but there are many used CoolTone devices on the market ranging in price from about $65,000 to $95,000.

And our fifth and final muscle toning technology is 

MDS (Multi-Directional Stimulation) Technology (TruSculpt flex)

How it works

Multi-Directional Stimulation (MDS) technology is a type of Electromagnetic Muscle Stimulation (EMS).

It differs from EMS technology in that MDS uses electrical pulses of different frequencies to stimulate muscles in three modes: Prep Mode, Sculpt Mode and Tone Mode.

The three modes stimulate muscles differently to maximize muscle stimulation.


Increased muscle mass, muscle tone and muscle strength

Average cost of a MDS machine (TruSculpt flex)

Brand Name

The originalMDS machine is TruSculpt flex by Cutera.  

The TruSculpt flex is a Level I machine which requires physician affiliation to own and operate and costs in the low six figures. 


There are a few newcomer MDS machines available with names such as FlexEMS and Trusculpt EMS.  These machines cost around $1500 t0 $4500.

You can also find used brand name TruSculpt flex machines ranging in cost from around $18,000 to $80,000.  

PRO TIP:  Just as with Emsculpt and Emsculpt NEO, do not market, advertise or otherwise represent a TruSculpt flex newcomer as a brand name TruSculpt flex device.

That’s it.  The 5 muscle toning technologies explained.  Does one stand out as the best for your business?

Understanding the nuances of muscle toning technologies is crucial for choosing the right muscle toning machine for your practice and it follows the right certification course.  

Hopefully, our comparison of EMS, HIFEM, Combination HIFEM + RF, MMS and MDS technologies equips you with knowledge to make an informed decision about those business matters.     

If you think EMS might be right for you and your business, check out our EMS course…we’ve left the link to the details in today’s show notes.  

Well that’s it for today.  Until next time, Beautiful Wishes



If you enjoyed our podcast, we’d really appreciate it if you take a few minutes to leave us a review. 

And, if you’d like to learn more about our courses and resources, you can get ALL the scoop by visiting our website,  bodycontouringacademy.com, that’s bodycontouringacademy.com.  

Thank you so much for listening.  As always, have a great rest of your day!  And until next time, Beautiful wishes!