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From kickball to kicking confidence issues!

Why two friends set up Figura Medspa to help themselves - and others - get their bodies back on track

Article by Sarah Ivens

Photography by Katie Jameson

Originally published in Austin Lifestyle

When Dr Artie Abello and Sean Bell were both new to Austin back in 2015, they joined the same kickball team to meet people. Bonding over their love of the city, the outdoors and exercise, they took their friendship professional when they noticed the affect ageing was having on their lives.


Explain how as you entered into your mid-30s, you noticed regardless of healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle, it was challenging to maintain your physique?

Sean:  I found that the right balance between work, friends, diet, exercise and sleep was almost impossible to find. The biggest challenge I noticed as I started to approach 40 was the increased difficulty to maintain my physique. Workouts took longer and meals had to be leaner.

Artie: I’ve experienced what many have - sports injuries that have kept me from exercising for periods of time.  I think a lot of people are in the same boat for similar reasons… and I’m glad there are solutions to be proactive about your body...

Which you found, after embarking on some serious research - then deciding to open Figura here in Austin.

Sean: Our research led us to exploring several body contouring devices and it really came down to the reputation of the machine. Several of these non-invasive machines over-promised and under-delivered. CoolSculpting was our first purchase because it was the clear winner of all machines on the market for fat reduction. It wasn’t long until we realized Emsculpt was a perfect complement to CoolSculpting. After removing areas of fat, we can then start improving the muscles and overall strength.

Artie: As a physician I had to look closely at safety.  These particular procedures had sufficient numbers of treatments and reliable reporting methods to make an accurate assessment that they are safe and effective.

What should someone expect coming to Figura?

Sean: The first thing we express to clients is a clear expectation of the results. These are amazing technologies but not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle, or an excuse to indulge in unhealthy foods just because you can now freeze it away. As for the treatments, each feels extremely different. When a CoolSculpting applicator is applied to the skin, the client will feel their fat suctioned into the applicator and initially feel an extreme cold sensation on that area. After about five minutes, the area will be numb and you will not feel much for the remaining duration of the treatment. Emsculpt feels like something I cannot easily describe. For 30 minutes, your muscles will be contracting every few seconds. It can be described as a pulling, tickling sensation, or an intense vibration. It is painless and the intensity can be controlled by the technician to be at a level that is comfortable for the patient.

And the all-important results?

Sean: They vary but on average, CoolSculpting clients see a reduction of around 20 to 25% of fat in the areas treated, and the fat cells in those areas are completely destroyed and will not return. Emsculpt results are different depending on the area treated. For those that treat their buttocks, patients will see a natural lift. For those that treat their abdomen, they will notice a flattening and improved core strength. Emsculpt results are not permanent. Just like going to the gym, your results will go away overtime if not maintained.  Figura can assist as a kickstart to keep going - removing certain trouble areas of fat can be enough to motivate a person mentally to go to the gym more or change their eating habits. 

For more information, go to

Sean: For me personally, Emsculpt was my favorite as it improved my core strength and helped me get over the plateau I was feeling at the gym. It was a big motivator. 

Find Figura at 9900 W Parmer Lane, Suite 101, and 4477 S Lamar Blvd, Suite 590 

  • Figura Spa