At-Home Herbal Body Wraps Fall Short of Promises
''Lose 2 to 15 inches of fat PERMANENTLY and SAFELY in one HOUR ... 100% Guaranteed!''
''Herbal Body Wrap Actually Removes Fat from Your Body Permanently Without Surgery!''
''Soothing Herbal Body Wraps Provide for Inch Loss, Physical Therapy, Detoxification, and Pain Management!''
Simply turn on the radio, and you'll find no shortage of outlandish claims such as these regarding herbal body wraps.
Once the domain of private spas, savvy manufacturers now offer an at-home version of the beauty treatment purported to make you ''slim in minutes.''
Despite a lack of credible evidence, wrap manufacturers tempt consumers to try what they call an all-natural alternative to plastic surgery and liposuction.
The secret, it seems, is a special combination of herbs, minerals, sea vegetation and other ingredients that are said to move fat cells (and other toxins) into the lymphatic system where they are eventually flushed out of the body with water. And you get the relaxation benefits of a spa treatment without the high cost.
Well, that wasn’t exactly our experience. The product we ordered had to be mixed with distilled water and boiled on the stove for about 30 minutes.
In the interim, we measured every bodily circumference to track inches lost from the treatment.
We had to wait another 30 minutes or so for the mixture to cool enough to soak the terry cloth strips and wrap them around the body.
By the time we finished applying the last strip, the first strips applied were cold and clammy. Finally, we mummified our bodies in several layers of plastic wrap, swaddled ourselves in old towels, and settled in for the 60-minute ''treatment.''
After the allotted time, we removed the cloths as instructed, dried off and repeated our measurements.
Needless to say, neither of us lost an inch.
Granted, for true, permanent inch loss, we were told we’d need to follow the procedure at least four times, which neither of us was willing to do.
Not only was it unpleasant, according to the Better Business Bureau, ''these wraps ... are potentially dangerous because they can bring about severe dehydration [or] personal injury from circulatory constriction.''
Most experts agree there is no physiological reason why these wraps should work, but that doesn't keep countless consumers from trying them anyway.
At $150 for five treatments, you're probably better off investing that money in a qualified massage therapist or certified personal trainer.
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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