Body Wrapping And Obesity
Many spas and salons offer a process called “body wrapping.” This procedure claims to remove inches from the waist, thighs, hips or other parts of the body. The process includes the use of special wraps or clothing and can sometimes be used with special lotions or creams that are applied to the skin. Customers are usually told that they can lose “inches” as opposed to pounds and that fat will melt away bringing about a loss of inches in about an hour. One of the claims is that wrapping will work because cellulite is “water logged fatty tissue.” What overweight person wouldn’t love to find a product that will render them slim and trim while they sleep? Unfortunately, many people think that body wrapping is a relatively “new” procedure and jump on the bandwagon quickly.
The truth is that the body wrapping craze has been around for some time. Over two decades ago, government “watchdogs” reported: “Who can blame the fretfully flabby for being lured by the promise of losing inches without doing anything more strenuous than popping a pill or wrapping up the offending flesh? Who can resist ads for body wraps that promise ‘to burn away fat even while you sleep,’ to ‘lose 4-6 inches the first day?" What do these wraps consist of? Some are plastic or rubber garments worn around the waist, some cover the waist, hips and thighs, and others cover nearly the entire body. Some are to be worn while carrying out routine activities, others while exercising, and some while sleeping. One is inflated with air from a vacuum cleaner. Another uses an electric hair dryer to blow in warm air.
Some are used after a cream, gel or lotion is applied or after the wrap is soaked in a solution. The garments and wraps, with or without lotions and creams, say that they reduce body dimensions by removing fluids. Most medical experts agree that such treatment will cause a loss of inches and perhaps pounds due to profuse perspiration. But the reductions are temporary. The fluid is soon replaced by drinking or eating. Remember, rapid and excessive fluid loss is potentially dangerous because it can bring on severe dehydration and can upset the balance of important electrolytes in the body. Reputable spas are aware of any potential hazards such as this, so do your homework and select a spa with a good reputation. Some people have tried using “plastic wrap” as body wrap material. In fact, that was a very popular practice several decades ago. Body wrapping has evolved since those days, becoming much more sophisticated.
Prices for a body wrap range anywhere from $40 an hour up to as much as several thousand dollars at some of the upscale spas. Some advertising claims that body wrapping will eliminate, or at the least reduce, cellulite but we’ll leave that up to you to determine. What we can tell you is that visiting a spa or salon for body wrapping may be a wonderfully rejuvenating experience, leaving you rested, relaxed and refreshed. And who wouldn’t like to have a few hours being pampered and fussed over in a relaxing environment regardless if it helps the cellulite problem. Some spas advertise herbal and other natural wraps. In fact, the methods and products applied are widely varied. Let’s explore some of the components that make up a good “wrap” experience. Herbal wraps. Some of the higher end spas go so far as to grow their own “herbs” for use in their body wraps, but that isn’t necessary for a good body wrap experience. Herbs can be fresh, or dried and usually organically grown is best.
Each herb has a specific effect. Some increase circulation, another may soothe the skin and so on. The herbs are steeped in very hot water (almost boiling) then special muslin sheets are soaked in the solution. It is these herb-infused sheets along with other insulating layers that wrap around the body. How the treatments work is interesting. The goal is to create a condition not unlike your body when you have a fever. We all know that when we have a fever, our body eliminates toxins by sweating. It’s the same principle with body wraps. The results vary. Some people report a very intense detoxification while for others it might be mild.
Methods of application and content vary as well. Seaweed, mud and salt are popular body wraps. Most often, the subject is wrapped from neck to toe with the arms set close to the sides of the body. This can be uncomfortable for someone who suffers from claustrophobia. The easiest correction for this is to keep the arms free from the wrap. Most people who are claustrophobic find the works and that all they need to be able to feel free to remove themselves if they choose. Whatever type of body wrap you select make certain that you feel comfortable with the spa and that a technician is always close at hand. Care should be taken when selecting a salon or spa. Some things to consider: How long have they been offering body wraps? Do they have a licensed clinician whose sole purpose is massage and/or body wraps? Where do their herbs and other contents come from? Do they offer any special pricing for new clients? Will they allow a tour of their facilities prior to purchase? Have they had any unresolved complaints reported by the Better Business Bureau? Do they have any package pricing for multiple visits? Watch your local publications for coupon offers.
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