Body Wraps For Weight Loss: Do They Work?

When people want to lose weight, they want to lose it quickly. Many spas offer body wraps that supposedly help you shed pounds in hours as well as detoxify your body and get rid of unwanted cellulite. But is this treatment just too good to be true or does it really work?

What Is A Body Wrap?

A body wrap is basically a way to build up body heat, which makes you sweat and, in turn, lose weight. Before the process begins, you'll be measured and weighed. Then you'll change into disposable underwear or a bathing suit bottom if preferred. Your skin may be exfoliated or dampened beforehand, depending on the type of wrap you choose. A substance such as mud or clay may be applied to the skin before it is wrapped in heated bandages or thermal blankets. You'll be left to rest and relax for about an hour. Then you'll be unwrapped, rinsed, moisturized and weighed and measured again so you can see the final results for yourself.

Types Of Body Wraps

Body wraps come in different varieties, depending on what you area you want to target. These are some of the different types of wraps that may be offered at your local spa:

  • Cellulite Wraps - these wraps are cold wraps and are designed to reduce the appearance of cellulite in the thighs, legs and butt.
  • Clay Wraps - a layer of clay is applied to the skin and is supposed to firm and detoxify the skin. The clay may be mixed with aromatherapy oils.
  • Mud Wraps - similar to a clay wrap, but uses mud instead.
  • Algae/Seaweed Wraps - these wraps use warm seaweed or algae to firm and hydrate the skin and boost the metabolism.
  • Herbal Wraps - cloths dipped in a mixture of hot water, oils and herbs are applied to the skin and are supposed to detoxify the lymphatic system.
  • Paraffin Wraps - this wrap is supposed to reduce the aches and pain from arthritis. The paraffin may also be mixed with mud for a detoxifying wrap.
  • Chocolate Wraps - they smell delicious and are supposed to tone, soften and detoxify the skin and also fill out wrinkles.
  • Oil Wraps - good for dry skin, this wrap uses aromatherapy oils to hydrate the skin.

Before you book your appointment, be aware that wraps are not recommended for everyone. If you suffer from the following conditions, you shouldn't get a body wrap:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Claustrophobia

Additionally, pregnant woman are advised to stay away from body wraps and people on medication should not get an herbal wrap as the herbs used may interfere with their medication. People with sensitive skin should stay away from wraps that use fragrances since they can irritate the skin.

Home Wraps

Body wraps at the spa can be pretty pricey, costing anywhere from $60 to $200, depending on the spa and the wrap that you choose. If you want to save a few dollars, you can always try an at-home wrap.

At the spa, linen sheets are typically used as the wrap, but at home you can use towels or blankets. You can make your own mixture of oils, herbs or whatever you prefer to use. Wrap yourself and relax for an hour before taking a shower.

Do They Work?

The million-dollar question is: Do body wraps work or are they just a gimmick? Here's the answer to your question:

  • Weight Loss - No. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a long-term weight loss remedy, this isn't it. Body wraps induce you to sweat and sweating causes you to lose water. And that's all you're really losing in a body wrap - water weight. Once you drink or eat again, those few lost inches and pounds will come right back. Body wraps do not boost your metabolism nor do they burn fat. Think of a body wrap as a wet sponge being wrung dry. That's essentially what's happening to your body. It's being wrung dry of fluids, which can be dangerous because it can easily dehydrate the body. If you do decide to get a body wrap, make sure you drink plenty of fluids before and after the wrap.
  • Detoxifying - Not really. Sweating is the skin's natural way of getting rid of toxins, but any claims that body wraps will detoxify the liver or kidneys simply isn't true.
  • Reducing Cellulite - No. The appearance of cellulite may be temporarily improved, but wraps don't suck away fat or make dimples disappear.
  • Moisturizing - Yes. Body wraps are a great way to moisturize your skin and get rid of dead skin cells.
  • Relaxing - Yes. Body wraps are a great way to relax and soothe the body.

While body wraps may not be the weight loss answer you were looking for, they do have some benefits. But if you want to lose weight, you'll have to stick to the old-fashioned remedy: diet and exercise.

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