The Skinny on Botanical Wraps: A Health Professional Offers Her Perspective

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by Elizabeth Keller, APRN-BC, LPC 

What’s with all this do-it-yourself body wrapping? As a medical and weight-loss professional, I wanted to find out. Since a major focus of my practice is weight loss, my clients would often ask me after achieving significant weight loss what they could do about the saggy, flabby, stretched-out skin that was left over. My typical response of options was to try a personal trainer, go to a spa or aesthetician or perhaps find a good plastic surgeon.

Because certain body wraps claim to address skin tone, I decided to check them out. Body wraps traditionally used in health spas induce sweating and the loss of water weight. They may cost $70-$100 per application, and the results are generally temporary because water weight is usually regained as long as the body retains fat.

There are also botanical body wraps that actually detoxify the body and can be applied at home. Most people don’t realize that the skin is the largest elimination system for toxins that the body has.

The cost of these “portable” wraps is a fraction of the cost for spa wraps. And these wraps contain active herbal ingredients like horse chestnut, horsetail, rosemary, eucalyptus and guarana. They can also include anti-inflammatories such as Vitamin B5, seaweed and menthol. While results vary, the benefits can last from 3-6 months, depending in large part on whether you are willing to continue a lifestyle that lowers your toxins and fat levels.

What’s happening with botanical wraps is they use the elimination power of our skin to release toxins. You see, our body stores toxins in fat cells to get them out of circulation and prevent them from harming us. One of the reasons it is hard to lose weight is your body protects itself by storing toxins in fat, and your body will resist efforts to lose weight when the release of fat will subject the body to toxins. The botanical wraps release toxins through the skin, which makes the body more willing to release the fat as well.

Botanical wraps can be applied to any problem area such as your arms, thighs, neck and of course that infernal tummy! Botanical wraps should never be applied to the face, where there is more delicate skin tissue. In addition to firming the skin, botanical wraps can help erase scars and remove cellulite. Note that I said “help” – I do not recommend body wraps as a stand-alone treatment for weight loss or body detoxification. You still need to eat right and exercise. Correcting hormone imbalances and cleansing the colon are also important for longterm success.

Botanical wraps aren’t for everyone. People who have metabolic problems like hypothyroidism and people who are older and have slower metabolisms tend to have less dramatic results. Please note that I make no specific medical claims about these wraps; with my background in integrative medical care, weight loss and healing, I’ve simply done my best to learn about them and understand how they work. My own exploration of these botanical wraps prompted me to try them myself, and I have to say that I’m pleased with the results. Because of this I’m also now comfortable recommending their use to my clients, as an added service to my weight-loss clinic patients.

Eizabeth KellerElizabeth Keller, APRN-BC, LPC, owns Life Motivations (www.LifeMotivationsSA.com), a private practice that specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement, HCG weight-loss programs and the mental game of weight loss. For more information, visit her website or call 210-473-1619.

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