What are cellulite wraps, and do they work?

Some of the ingredients used in spa treatments - rosemary, honey, butter, clay, chocolate, eucalyptus - sound like they belong in a kitchen or garden rather than in a spa. But these ingredients are used in various types of body wraps, a popular spa treatment.

The truth: Truth About Cellulite Video Presentation

When body wraps were first offered decades ago, linen sheets were used, says Susie Ellis, president of SpaFinder, Inc., an industry group based in New York. The wraps were then mostly called herbal wraps. "'Body wraps' is a term that came to mean more than herbal wraps," she says, adding that they became popular in the 1980s and ‘90s. Eventually, plastic or thermal blankets replaced the linen sheets.

Although the service varies from spa to spa, body wraps are often done in a darkened room with flickering candles, soft music, and a massage table, says Stephanie Carney, a massage therapist at rA Organic Spa in Burbank, CA.

Carney layers her massage table with a thermal blanket on the bottom. On top of that is plastic that is used to wrap the client, then towels. On the very top are sheets to keep the client warm.

"We start out with a scrub," Carney says. At her spa, that could be the mud scrub, pear and green apple scrub, or another option. You're then taken to the shower and rinsed before the wrap products are applied.

When you're entirely wrapped with your arms at your sides, the electric thermal blanket is pulled up. The blanket's heat is typically hot enough to make you sweat throughout the course of your 30-minute downtime.

The final step is to rinse and apply lotion. "Your skin is going to feel really smooth," Carney tells her clients. Most clients tell her the treatment is also relaxing.

The extent of the ‘'detox'' claim varies from spa to spa. Carney of rA Organic Spa says the body wraps detox the skin of impurities. ‘'When your body sweats, you are detoxing your skin," she says, ‘'not your liver or your kidneys."

Tanzi says that might be true, but it depends on the product. "There are some benefits to, say, a clay body treatment," she says. "Those can pull out some impurities in the skin and the pores."

As for slimming wraps, "any loss of inches is going to be temporary,'' Fryhofer says. ‘'Wraps cannot take the place of a healthy diet and exercise."


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