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Body wrap bandages are strips of material intended for use in wrapping around either the entire body or a single part for the purpose weight loss, toning, and detoxification. A common spa treatment, these bandages can also be bought to use at home. Usually made from cotton, body wrap bandages are also elasticated so that they can be pulled as tightly as desired while still retaining some stretch. Latex-free versions are also available to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. Most are machine washable, enabling multiple uses.
Available both separately and as part of a total kit, the bandages come in varying sizes, usually ranging from 2 to 6 inches (5 to 15 cm) in width, and up to several yards (meters) in length. Subsequently, multiple rolls are required if the entire body is to be covered. They are relatively inexpensive.
Body wrap bandages are supposed to be useful in slimming, toning, and detoxifying the body. Lymphatic drainage is encouraged, resulting in the removal of toxins and impurities present in the body and skin. The pressure of the bandages is also supposed to break down cellulite.
Weight loss is due to a lack of water retention caused by the pressure. Although the effect is only temporary, the bandages can apparently take inches of the abdomen, thighs, and arms while lifting the breasts and buttocks. Skin may be tightened, and tone improved. Conditions such as acne and eczema are thought to be soothed.
Circulation is also thought to be enhanced. This, in turn, helps to decrease stress and tension, although this may also be due to the comforting snugness of the wrapping. Whatever the mechanism, using body wrap bandages seems to make people feel good and somewhat healthier, if even only in the short term.
Although a common spa treatment, body wrap bandages can be readily used at home following a similar routine to that used in the spa. The body is first exfoliated, either with an exfoliation scrub or a body brush. Then, the skin is slathered all over with a variety of ingredients good for the skin, including seaweed, clay, and oils. Butters, herbs, and different lotions are also commonly used.
The entire body, or body part, is then snugly wrapped in the body wrap bandages. These are left on for around 20 minutes, slightly longer if carefully supervised. Leaving the bandages on for too long can have an adverse effect on circulation. Once the bandages are removed, the body is rinsed clean. The bandages are then washed and left to dry naturally before the next use.