Folks, I apologize. Today, there will be no recipe post. Well, technically, it CAN be considered a recipe post. It’s just not for consumption. Today, I’m sharing something very personal with you. Modesty pretty much went out the window on this one.
Today I’m here to talk about Do-It-Yourself Body Wraps. Months ago, I began seeing promotional body wrap “Before and After” photos in my Instagram and Facebook newsfeed. My first reaction was both cynical and skeptical or what I like to call…Cyneptical.
“Yeah, right!” I blurted out loud to myself. No way in hell those before and after photos were possible. Retouched! I tell you. Retouched! Nothing more than scammers trying to persuade me to hand over my hard earned cash for false promises of a flatter more toned abdomen.
The inquisitive person I am, I began searching the internet for stories and bloggers with before and after photos of those who used professional wraps such as spa wraps or those who ordered online at home wraps. From what I saw, most of them appeared to get results. Where do I sign up!
The more I read, the more I wanted to try a wrap. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m a big fan of organic ingredients. I’m also a HUGE fan of Do-It-Yourself and thought if I could research the ingredients, I could probably do this at home on my own. The professional wraps reminded me of plastic wrap anyway. Now there was one item I already had. One of the name brand at home wraps cost nearly $120 for four wraps. I also read that many people were suckered into buying them on a monthly basis. I read some people were spending up to $500/month. Not sure about you, but I have better things I could be doing with my money.
I initially had to make a little investment for items such as an electric heating pad and some quality ace bandages that were large enough to wrap my buddha belly, but that investment is going to go a long way. No pun intended. Most of the items, I already had in my cabinets.
Let’s get into the theory of body wraps and the purpose they serve. First and foremost, these wraps are TEMPORARY and in no way should be substituted for a healthy diet and exercise. They are a great (and temporary) quick fix if you need to quickly lose inches to slip into that little black dress or need to look your best in a bathing suit. I had a family wedding to attend, and I had been meaning to test out if they really worked or not. So this was the perfect opportunity for me to try them.
I also must stress that before you even try a wrap that you make sure you are very well hydrated. Especially, if you are using either sea salt or epsom salts, as they draw water from the body. I typically drink near a gallon of water throughout the day. I also drink at least 8 oz of water during my wrap session.
Please don’t think that downing a gallon of water before your wrap is the answer. Drinking large quantities of water in a short time period could be detrimental to your health. It could cause a severe condition called Hyponatremia, (water toxicity) where your body’s electrolytes become off balance which can lead to muscle breakdown, a condition known as Rhabdomyolisis. As well as a whole array of other serious health problems such as brain edema and kidney and liver failure.
Results are going to vary from person to person as well. That being said, the theory behind the body wrap is to
1.) Detoxify the body of free radicals and harmful chemicals and pollutants that we ingest or absorb through our skin daily. This can be accomplished by using sea salt or epsom salts, (salts pull water from the body) essential oils, and other organic ingredients such as green tea with caffeine to stimulate circulation. Cacao powder has very little caffeine in it contrary to what some think, but it has a whole boat load of anti oxidants. So as your pores are opening up drawing out toxins, it’s simultaneously allowing for absorption of the anti oxidants which help fight free radicals. And who doesn’t want that?
2.) Exfoliate the skin. Using a combination of course salt and other organic ingredients can greatly improve the skin’s appearance by sloughing off dead skin cells and revealing younger skin below the surface. It can also improve some skin conditions such as acne.
3.) Moisturize. Using organic skin lotions or ingredients such as raw organic coconut oil can greatly add moisture to the skin and helps with the regeneration of skin cells. Adding a heat source will intensify the moisturization process by opening up pores to allow absorption.
4.) Relaxation. Make it an at home spa day if you can. I relax and read while I sit with my heating pad. Some people stay active while they are in their wraps, but I prefer to sit still with my thoughts and sip my water. Avoid the temptation to relax and drink alcoholic beverages. That’s what got me into this position in the first place. Baby steps…
5.) Quick Cellulite and weight fix. Overall, you are losing water weight, so naturally you are going to weigh less. The appearance of cellulite is diminished giving the skin a more toned appearance. Both benefits are only temporary. It’s the compression and heat that bring the result. Please be careful not to wrap to the point where you can not breath. This can cause severe circulatory problems. I wouldn’t rely on this method for your go to weight loss program. I would hope that everyone researches what they are doing and use this technique in a responsible manner that can benefit you if performed correctly.
Here is what you will need.
Body Wrap Items and Ingredients:
Electric heating pad or homemade rice sock that can be warmed in the microwave
2-3 six inch Ace Bandages with clips (I suggest you steer clear of the self adhesive bandages, as they can cause skin tears.)
Quality Plastic Wrap
Small bowl for mixing ingredients
Sea Salt or Epsom Salt
Organic Caffeinated Green Tea Bags
Organic Cacao Powder
8 oz. Water to drink
*I recommend a large towel for standing on, as the ingredients can be quite messy. I also recommend wearing old clothes as the coconut oil can stain.
Directions: In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil. 1/4 cup sea or epsom salt. 1 teaspoon essential oil of your choice. Cut open the organic green tea bags and them to mixture. Add 1 tablespoon organic cacao powder. Stir ingredients until you have a thick paste formed.
Stand over large towel and have your plastic wrap and Ace bandages readily available. *(You can soak your ace bandages in warm salt water if you’d like, however, I found this to be too messy. Your heat source is going to be the electric heating pad or a microwaved rice sock. ) Spread the mixture onto your abdomen starting near your pubic line and working upwards toward your breast line. Rub the mixture on with an exfoliating glove if you’d like. The coconut oil is going to melt and run down your legs. So bear with the uncomfortable feeling. Once you’re wrapped snugly it won’t be as bad.
Next, take the plastic wrap and begin at your pubic line area wrapping the plastic snugly around your abdomen. I say about 5 or 6 wraps should do the trick. Tear and secure. Now wrap your abdomen using the same process with the Ace bandages and secure. It typically takes me two Ace bandages. Your wrap should be very snug, but not to the point where you feel your circulation is being completely cut off or you feel as if you can’t breathe. Put on an old t-shirt and pair of comfortable exercise pants or bath robe.
Find a quiet area and either lay down or sit comfortably in a reclining chair. Turn on your heating pad or microwave a rice sock and place over your abdomen. Do not put heat source directly on bare skin, as this could cause serious burns. Make sure you are sipping your water throughout your wrap session and drink at least 8 oz of water. Make the experience as relaxing as possible. Dim the lights, put sliced cucumbers dipped in organic honey on your eyes, listen to soft music, read a book, or simply meditate.
I typically leave my first wrap for two and a half hours. More than 2 to 3 hours after the first session is overkill. For the second to fourth wrap, I recommend one and a half hours.
When it is time to take everything off, it’s best to stand in the shower or back on the towel to disrobe all your items. Before you shower off, give the skin another good exfoliation with wet hands or exfoliating glove. Shower off and use an organic moisturizer or oil.
Below are my results. Before and After Wrap #1:
Hot damn! It really worked. Note to self…Do not ever use the self stick Ace bandages again. Owwwza! Pulling that off was not fun. I invested in two quality Ace bandages with clips for my next wrap.
Comparison Wrap #1 and Wrap #2:
Before Wrap 1 and After Wrap #2:
This is where I think I had the best results. During the first wrap I soaked my bandages, but as I stated above, It was very messy and uncomfortable to sit in. I cut out the messy wet bandages and used an electric heating pad for Wrap session #2. I also changed up my recipe a bit and added more detoxifying ingredients.
Wrap #2 and #3 Comparison:
As you can tell, the best result was initially after the second wrap. I used the remainder wrap sessions as maintenance wraps before I traveled home for a family wedding.
Wrap 3 and 4 Comparison:
Front View Before Wrap #1 Before and After Wrap #2 :
I can’t believe I’m showing this. That front view photo is pretty awful. I look so bloated. I’ve got the buddha belly thing going on here. I warned you there was no modesty; however, I can see a significant difference after the second wrap.
*** None of my photos were edited. I took them with my iPhone directly after the wraps. I also stood relaxed. There was no pushing out or sucking in of the belly. Who would that have benefited? I was trying to see if the wraps worked. Clearly, doing that would have skewed by results.
Before and After First and Last Wrap Comparison:
I can see an overall difference in the diminished appearance of cellulite and a more toned stomach. Sadly, I didn’t measure before or after any of my wraps. I was initially testing to see if it worked, and for me, the proof was in the pictures.
The next time I perform a wrap, I will definitely measure my before and after results. The wraps can also be used on the arms and thighs. I haven’t tried either, but I can tell you I have some pretty gnarly bat wings, begging me for a wrap session. In addition, I’m getting back to the gym and focusing on my eating habits. These are all big factors in looking and feeling your best.
If you decide to try this, I hope you see beneficial results as I did. Again, I encourage you to do your own research and perform the wraps responsibly and safely. If you have ever tried a DIY wrap or professional wrap. Let us know in the comments below. Sharing is caring.