There are enough health scams and phony products available for weight loss and every other ‘health benefit’ to pretty much fill up the internet if you were to list them all in one place. From the reasonable to the completely ridiculous… everywhere you look it seems there’s a new fad diet, herbal remedy or fitness trend that’s completely un-backed by scientific evidence and oftentimes rather dangerous.
Despite this fact, people still continue to get drawn in by remedies and strategies that promise quick fixes and miraculous benefits.
Body wraps are just one more example of a ridiculous fad that people are still buying into. That is to say they look ridiculous, and they also have zero benefits. Read on and we’ll discuss in more detail how this treatment proclaims to work and why you can be confident that it won’t.
What Is a Body Wrap?
As the name suggests, body wraps involve having your body wrapped up like a Mummy/caterpillar in chrysalis with the hope of losing weight as a result.
Once upon a time, body wraps would use linen sheets and were known as ‘herbal wraps’. Today the same thing is accomplished using plastic wraps or thermal blankets. Usually this ritual is performed in a setting similar to a massage, with the recipient being taken into a darkened room. Often you will receive a mud scrub first or another form of exfoliating scrub, and form there you will then have ‘wrap products’ applied (normally some mysterious concoction of creams, minerals and herbs) before being tucked into an electric thermal blanket/wrapped up in cling-film and left alone for around 30 minutes. Feeling like an absolute lemon probably. Once your time is over you’ll be rinsed down and shown out.
Claimed Benefits Versus the Reality
So what’s the idea here? Well if you buy into the marketing hype, a body wrap is alleged to encourage your body to detox by sweating out all your toxins. The entire concept of the ‘detox’ however is unfortunately a misguided one with our kidneys, liver and intestines doing a fine job of that on their own. Very little in the way of ‘toxins’ is lost through our sweat glands.
In terms of weight loss the idea is that the heat, compression and sweating will burn calories and smooth away cellulite. Many companies offering body wraps will claim that they make ‘spot reduction’ of fat possible meaning that you can burn fat off of specific areas like your stomach. Unfortunately this is well known to be impossible as your body burns fat systematically around the body in a genetically pre-determined order.
When you finish your body wrap you will often notice that you feel and look a little slimmer and this is what encourages many people to spend fortunes on repeat visits. In reality this is simply due to loss of water weight as well as the temporary effect of being wrapped up tightly in bandages. After you’ve had a glass of water and returned to normal breathing you’ll return to your old shape.
Is this to say that body wraps are completely without merit or value? Not entirely. While they won’t provide you with quite the miraculous benefits they claim to, they can nevertheless be relaxing when you go in knowing what to expect. Furthermore, if the practitioner uses the right creams and products on your skin when giving you the wrap they can actually be quite good for your skin and help you to moisturise.
The problem is when the treatment is marketed as a fat loss and cellulite treatment and people are misled into paying huge amounts of money for the privilege of being half-suffocated in clingfilm. If you genuinely believe that sweating can be useful for detox (it can’t) then why not just sit in a sauna for a while for a fraction of the price?