To prepare for a body wrap, expect to undress. Some spas will have paper cover-ups or knickers to wear while others will prefer you to remain naked for the process. Then you may undergo a gentle scrub or exfoliation to remove dead skin cells. This spa treatment process helps the nutrients be absorbed by the skin and enhance the effects.
Water Loss Wraps
Water loss wraps typically come in the form of clay, mud, herbs or salt. The person is wrapped in a cocoon-like encasing for about an hour. Once applied, the wrap absorbs water and toxins both internally and externally through the pores of the skin. This process is known as diuretics, the increased excretion of water from the body. The downside to this category of wrap is that the skin can become dehydrated and the effects can be short-lived when compared to other applications that can last up to two weeks.
Thermogenic wraps use more advanced science and typically come in the form of body patches. Wraps from this category use a technique called thermal infusion that melts and metabolizes fats and toxins. Typically, this involves the application of gels rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants that infuse moisture into the body. Some of these wraps, referred to as body patches, are more convenient because they can be applied without a full-body cocoon type wrapping. The results of thermogenic wraps last significantly longer, between six and twelve months.
After the Wrap
Besides the removal of toxins from the body, body wraps are also known to reduce inches in the areas they are applied to. A scientific study of eight subjects found that upon undergoing an hour of body wrapping, test subjects had lost between 1.5 to 3 inches in the abdomen and thighs. After the body wrap is removed, a person should take a shower to remove any residue that remains. Aside from the slimming and rejuvenating effects, it has also been used to treat cellulite in women by contouring and tightening the skin.
Body wraps are effective in drawing toxins from the body. The nutrients from mineral or seaweed wraps can make the skin look better. However, as mentioned earlier, they are not a viable method to lose weight or inches. Water weight is replenished daily and this can just as easily be removed by sweating in a sauna. As for the inches lost, repeated use can cause the inches to be reduced but the body's adaptive principles may take effect and cause those losses to be retarded. Overall, body wraps are a short term solution for reducing the appearance of weight and inches.