Originally body wraps were used to help achieve weight loss. The patient would be tightly wrapped with plastic wrap or bandages to cause vasodilation (the dilatation and relaxation of the blood vessels to allow for increased blood flow) and quickly drop off the extra pounds.
Today, body wraps are being used as a form of spa therapy. The patient’s body would be cleansed and exfoliated first, to remove any layers of dead skin cells. Then the body would be covered in a layer of body mask. There are various different types of body masks - such as seaweed, algae, clay, mud, or lotion, depending on the specific treatment. After the body mask is applied, the patient’s body is wrapped for about 20 minutes to keep the body and skin warm. Once the body wrap is removed, the mask is washed off and the treatment is finished with an application of moisturizer or lotion. Body wraps can also be referred to as body cocoons or body masks.
There are benefits to getting a body wrap. Treatments that include mud, clay, seaweed or algae are detoxifiers and help rid the body of any bad toxins through the stimulation of the metabolism. Treatments that include lotions and creams such as shea butter have hydrating effects and can leave the skin feeling soft and smooth.
Typical body wrap sessions begin with an exfoliation of the skin using a salt scrub (which is a mixture of sea salt and oils rubbed on the body) or dry brushing (which involves brushing the body with a body brush that has natural bristles). The patient then lays down on whatever it is they will be wrapped in, which is usually a form of plastic but sometimes it can be towels or sheets. Some therapists will include a bit of massage in the treatment as they apply the body mask to the body. Once the product is on the body, you are wrapped to stay warm as the body mask works its magic on your skin. Usually the therapist will leave the room at this point, but some may actually stay and give you a scalp massage while waiting. When the 20 minutes is up, the wrap is removed and the body mask is immediately washed off. Because of this step, the body wrap procedure usually takes place in wet rooms, which have wet tables or showers. Depending on the therapist, you will either jump into a shower to rinse yourself off, or the therapist may rinse your body using a handheld shower. This is kind of like taking a shower lying down. Finally, you are dried off and a lotion is applied to your skin to seal in moisture. Body wraps are a great for relaxation and skin rejuvenation.