Ask A Healer Weight Loss Series
What is True About Body Wraps?
by N J Howell
body wrap benefits
Considering a detoxing, herbal, mineral or enzyme body wrap? Are you wondering if health benefits that are advertised are true or hype? Or maybe you've read that doing body wraps could help with weight loss but you don't know what kind to get or even if it's worth it to try one? This page is here to answer those questions and more on wrapping:
* What's the best bodywrap to use?
* Do body wraps really work?
* What are the most common types of body-wraps?
* What should you ask your wrap tech before the body-wrap?
A High-Priced Scam?
Many beauty spas, salons and rejuvenation retreat centers feature body wraps of some type, as an assist to weight loss, but do bodywraps work? Are they worth the money? Whether we are talking about herbal body wraps, mineral bodywraps or bodywrapping with detoxing clays, results are the most important question on the customer's mind.
How do you know a body wrap works before plunking down your hard-earned cash? Shouldn't a salon tell you exactly what type of result you can expect?
Well, yes and no.
If you are ok with a very temporary but important inch loss, maybe. Results will vary from individual to individual, based on a number of factors so an average is usually quoted, of inches lost from a range of people who did the wrap. Most popularly advertised wraps only provide temporary water loss, so you can fit in that dress for your wedding or high school reunion. That the inch loss is temporary is what I usually don't see in the disclosure. As part of evaluating the "over time" potential benefits of a formula, look for consistent result testimonies - "lost 3 pounds and kept it off" or "lost 10 pounds in 3 months" rather than "I lost 15 inches with one wrap!" type reports.
Just Another Weight Loss Gimmick?
Can a body wrap actually help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals? Or would you just be pouring money down the drain and falling for another gimmick? The answer to that question depends a lot on you.
It may take a little research, a little perserverance and a lot of commitment to have the answer turn out to be yes. Even then, and assuming you've chosen body wraps that work by carefully evaluating the choices with the criteria I will be giving you, you still need to look at your expectations.
Are you assuming that all you need is a good body wrap to get results? Bodywraps may provide healthy benefits if utilized properly but many buy the hype and think a body wrap can do miracles. Body wraps are never enough, on their own, to create lasting weight loss. Even the very best body wrap works best when it is just one aspect of a total weight loss program involving exercise and diet. If you go into this idea of wrapping for weight loss thinking that it's a quick fix, I can tell you that you will be setting yourself up for disappointment.
Instead of asking yourself do body wraps really work, why not start with a more important question: am I willing to work to achieve my weight loss goals?
In this 7-part weight loss and fitness article, we will explore the most popular types of wraps
as well as other important factors to look at in making your decision, assuming you've already answered the question above with a resounding yes, I'm willing to work
The Basic Three in Wrapping:
* Mineral wraps
* Herbal body wraps
* Detoxing clay wraps
Mineral wraps usually contain a blend of minerals (these may contain electrolyte minerals, potassium, sodium, zinc) or a wider range of colloidal trace minerals. I tried one of the popularly advertised mineral body wraps which involved constantly moving, while being wrapped from head to toe for an hour. I didn't find them fun and I lost only water weight, which quickly returned.
Since mineral wraps may likely contain minerals that are important to have in balance in the body, such as magnesium, potassium or sodium, there may be cautions for certain people. Those with heart conditions or those who are on magnesium or potassium supplements should check with their doctor before doing a mineral wrap that contains these minerals. Also, anyone on a sodium-restricted diet would want to check with their doctor because a certain portion of the minerals will get absorbed thru the skin and end up in your bloodstream. However, some mineral solutions contain additional ingredients that may help with breaking down fat or detoxing so ask for ingredient list and explanation of properties in additional ingredients.
Herbal body wraps may range widely in both their purpose and their ingredients. There are herbs that help tone the skin and others that help detoxify, while yet others impart moisture and healing or may be helpful for skin conditions. Some herbal wrap solutions also include cleansing clays but you can also get a wrap that is only detoxing clays. These clay body wraps are primarily known for exactly that - detoxing the body. Popular detoxing clays include bentonite, french green clay, clay from the sea or dead sea, red clay, etc.
Of these 3 popular types of body-wraps, I personally favor detoxifying clays but only if the clays and other ingredients are organic and pure. Choose herbal-wraps that add only organic herbs and use the purest detoxing clays.
A note about aluminum:
Ask about aluminum content in the detoxing clays being used. This is an important consideration for me because of the studies I've read about linking excess aluminum and health challenges such as Alzheimer's. Some clays have a lot of aluminum while others do not. Ask.
As long as the ingredients are pure and quality ingredients, any one of these three main types of detoxing wraps (as well as the newer options such as infrared heat and lipase wraps) may provide benefits. Please read on about what is realistic to expect and what is just not realistic to expect.
What type of body wrap works best?
There's a fairly big selection .... in addition to the basic 3, which are herbal combinations, detoxing clays and minerals, there are custom wrap solutions that include seaweed, collagen, MSM, a digestive enzyme called lipase or aloe vera.
Regardless of the type of body wrap chosen, most involve wrapping you from head to toe. Exceptions to that rule include infrared heat body wraps and steam canopy no wrap wraps.
Some spas also offer targeted wraps, where only your problem areas are addressed such as your chin or tummy. I ponder the wisdom of this. If there is a substantial difference in price between the targeted and full wrap, or you truly do just have one area you want to reduce, targeted wraps might work well for you. However, if the bodywraps offered to target problem areas are not a lot less expensive than a full wrap, why not go ahead and treat the entire body?
I'm waiting for them to come out with one that covers everything except the breast area. I want to keep all that I have in that area! Better yet, there could be a different wrapping solution employed that toned and lifted but didn't take inches from that area.
There is no end to the variations and choices you have before you, but before you wrap, find out the answer to the most important question. Do body wraps really work?
What to Ask Before You Wrap:
Here are some important tips on getting the most out of a detoxing body wrap or a beauty / weight loss wrap experience:
Scrutinize body-wrap ingredients: Some of what goes on you will also go in you, through your pores, so look for organic ingredients and ask questions about any ingredients that are unfamiliar or look like additives of some sort rather than clays, herbs, enzymes or minerals.
Ask questions about safety:
What do the wrap-technicians say about dehydration, preparing before the wrap? Ask also what to expect after the wrap in terms of noticable benefits as well as any skin reaction symptoms that might indicate an allergic reaction. Ask about any unusual symptoms that might indicate a problem while doing the wrap. For example, some types of body wraps may not be appropriate if diabetic, if you have very sensitive skin or if you have heart conditions.
Ask questions about allergic reactions:
Do not assume that there are no cautions. Wrap-technicians will tend to be busy and could forget to mention something so always ask about allergic reactions.
Specifically mention any ingredient that might be an allergen for you.
Do this whether or not you see your allergic ingredient listed. Your allergen might be there and just be part of a
"mixture" that is added as one ingredient, similar to the way manufacturers often include monosodium glutamate in with "vegetable broth" in tuna.
Discuss any and all medications you are taking and any medical condition you have:
In particular, let your wrap-technician know if you have diabetes, heart disease or circulatory problems.
Visit the spa's website before an in-person visit:
Evaluating your options may be easier if the spa has a website because, though you'd still be hit with marketing as soon as you go there, you wouldn't be getting the hard sell that an in-person techician can impose. Visit the website and write down a list of questions to ask the wrap technician when you call or visit. Ask about any package deals, promotions, etc.
A spa offering any type of weight loss tool should also be able to provide "realistic" results. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Look for testimonials from people who have kept the weight off for at least six months. It's one thing to lose 19 inches in an hour. It's another thing to still have that 19 inches gone after half a year has passed.
It is my hope that you use body-wraps and any other
tools for weight loss and detoxing as just one part of your healthy living commitment. Body wraps do not work if used instead of making positive changes that would support a better weight for you. Any weight loss tool works best for you when used as part of a well-rounded program including diet and fitness, as well as motivation coaching and counseling for emotional issues surrounding persistent weight gain.
Health Care Disclaimer: Most body wraps are generally considered safe for the person who is overweight but otherwise healthy. Body wraps may be detoxing so check with doctor if under a doctor's care. In fact, if you are under a doctor's care for any known medical condition, you should always check with your doctor before doing a wrap, especially where heat is involved and especially in cases of diabetes and heart disease. Body wraps are not for those who are pregnant or nursing, unless your doctor approves.
Making a decision on whether to have a bodywrap or not, based on the contents found in this health article is at the sole discretion of the reader. For best results with any weight loss plan, assemble a team of support for all aspects of healthy reduction over time. Please consult with a qualified fitness coach, dietician, weight loss specialist and nutritionist to help you develop the overall lifestyle changes that result in permanent weight loss. Also, compare the ingredients and carefully
read the testimonials of those who have used a particular wrap, to help you find body wraps that work. Do body wraps work? Yes, if you work too, by making positive lifestyle changes help detox the body, support a healthy metabolism, and support your fitness and weight loss goals.