Over the past several years, body wraps have gained notoriety when it comes to weight loss. While some individuals may lose pounds and inches through the use of body wraps, their long-term effectiveness appears to be questionable. Before shelling out the money for one of these treatments, be sure to familiarize yourself with the science behind body wraps. As with other similar "miracle cures," if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Body Wrap Basics
Body wraps are designed to promote weight loss. While the application of body wraps may vary depending on the specific brand, most products require the application of an herbal mask, which may include clay, seaweed, aloe vera, and other similar substances. Once this mask is applied, the body is tightly bound with thin strips of plastic or fabric.
Though body wraps were once only available as a salon or spa service, they now can be done at home with relative ease.
Stages of Wraps
According to Fat Free Kitchen, most body wraps claim to work in two stages, including absorption and compression. During the absorption stage, body wraps open pores in the body and promote the extraction of various toxins and interstitial fluids - or those which are located around cells in the body, notes Diabetes.co.uk.
Fat Free Kitchen reports that as the interstitial fluids are removed, the body wraps compress remaining tissues, resulting in weight loss and a leaner, thinner appearance.
Body Wrap Effectiveness
Despite numerous claims, including detoxification and reductions in cellulite, the effectiveness of body wraps appears to be minimal. When it comes to weight loss, WebMD notes that body wraps work primarily through dehydration, and therefore, while individuals who receive the treatment may lose a pound or two, the results will be temporary.
When combined with the compression used in body wraps, the dehydrating effect of the treatment may cause one to look slightly thinner. As with weight loss, however, the results are only temporary. In fact, WebMD notes that while there may be the appearance of a slimmer body after the removal of body wraps, the effect may only last a day or two.
In the WebMD article, Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, a Washington, D.C., dermatologist reports that as re-hydration is achieved, any weight that was lost as a result of body wraps will likely return.
A Magic Bullet?
When it comes to healthy weight loss, nothing beats diet and exercise. Individuals who are looking for a quick, temporary way to slim down for a wedding, vacation, or other similar event may achieve satisfactory results through the use of body wraps. It is important to remember, however, that these results are short-term, and are unlikely to last more than a day or two.
Always remember to talk to your doctor before considering the use of cosmetic procedures. Individuals who suffer from chronic health conditions may be cautioned against the use of body wraps.