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Are Body Wraps Effective for Weight Loss?

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Body wraps are now a popular service at many health spas, which may be promoted as simply relaxing. Some spas, however, market specific types of body wraps designed to deal with detoxification, cellulite and weight loss. In general, doctors agree that these claims are not completely accurate.

What is a Body Wrap Exactly?

When body wraps became popular in the 1980’s, they were called herbal wraps and used linen sheets. Spas now generally use a thermal or plastic blanket and combine the treatment with soft music. The treatment is performed on a massage table that’s layered with a thermal blanket on the bottom, then plastic, then towels and then thin sheets on top.

The treatment begins with a scrub, which is followed by s shower. Next, wrap products are applied in a very thin layer and each body part is wrapped as the treatment progresses. Once you’re fully wrapped, arms at your side, a thermal blanket is pulled over you. You stay wrapped for typically 30 minutes while the wrap and heated blanket makes you sweat. Next, you’re cooled slowly.

Effectiveness of Weight Loss Wraps

Body wraps designed for slimming or weight loss use smaller strips that are wrapped tighter. These wraps can slim you down in the short term, and you may lose a few inches. This effect, however, is very temporary and may last for only 1 or 2 days. Many celebrities actually use this technique for a one-night premiere as it is no substitute for exercise and a healthy diet. A wrap can in no way offer long-term weight loss and only causes you to lose water weight for a few days.

Warnings about Slimming Wraps

You should use caution before getting a spa-performed weight loss wrap, as even natural products may cause harm. If you are allergic to any of the components, such as eucalyptus, you may have a serious reaction. Those with sensitive skin may also find the treatment irritating and harsh. Always ask about the ingredients before you have the treatment and choose a clay wrap if you’re sensitive to fragrances. You’ll also need to check if any ingredients interact with any prescription medication you’re on before proceeding.

This treatment is also not approved by the FDA, so there is no scientific evidence behind its safety and effectiveness. Many people report dizziness and a feeling of nausea immediately after the treatment, while some report a temporary boost to energy. Body wraps require proper hydration as they cause a good deal of sweating. Finally, you may find the treatment scary if you suffer from claustrophobia, as your arms will be wrapped to your side and immobilized.

If you’re concerned about cellulite, a body wrap may have similar effects. It in no way offers permanent results and can’t get rid of dimpled skin. It may, however, make the skin look better for up to 2 days.

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