Body wraps are popular spa treatments designed to increase the sense of well-being, relaxation and pleasure of the recipient. Wrap treatments are based on the idea that the skin and soft tissues are fundamentally involved in the intake and elimination of toxins and excess fluids.
Basics of Wrapping
Many spas will measure the client and then exfoliate the skin. After exfoliation, a concentration of various elements, oils, vitamins, and minerals are applied directly to the skin based on the type of treatment the client requests.
When the skin is ready, the wrap (generally, stretch-type fabric bandages several inches wide) is wound around the body and extremities such that firm contact is made with the skin--yet not to the degree of constricting the necessary body systems.
Depending on the end objective of the wrap, the client may then be asked to wear a thin waterproof sweat suit while walking around for a period of time, or he will recline on a treatment table or bed and sometimes be covered with plastic or a blanket. After the treatment is complete, the client is unwrapped, cleaned and re-measured.
Chocolate Wrap Ingredients
Not all chocolate body wrap ingredient mixtures are the same, but spa sites like Mortar and Pestal include ingredients such as: cocoa (contains caffeine, flavonols, possibly some nibs), macadamia nut and almond oils (used to tone, soften and reduce inflammation), jojoba oil (nourishing and hydration), ginseng, lecithin, and vitamins E and C. Some of these ingredients are antioxidants, and most contribute to lubricating the skin. With many chocolate body wrap treatments, the ingredients are actually infused into a medicinal mud mixture so the actual amount of these ingredients may be relatively small. Bentonite (a common medicinal mud) improves absorption and removes toxins, and it may be the primary ingredient in absorbing the fluids sweated out during a wrap treatment.
Chocolate is well known to have intense sensory properties. According to a New York Times article, just the smell of chocolate will activate pleasure-anticipation and food-reward neurons. Its absorption through the skin, coupled to smell activation, will increase endorphins. This, along with the caffeine and ginseng, will elevate the mood and improve how the client feels. Chocolate's buttery oils will thin as the skin heats up and be absorbed to increase the softness of the skin.
Most clients of wrap treatments expect to see noticeable changes to their bodies after treatment. Loss of inches, reshaping or sculpting of body shape, weight loss, skin improvements, and the reduction of cellulite are all benefits claimed by wrap treatment providers. All of these do occur on a temporary basis. Sweating and detoxifying will be reflected in weight loss and skin improvements. The body shape can change based on how the body is wrapped. Most importantly, cellulite can be reduced if the troublesome areas are subjected to direct heat and lymphatic drainage massage along with the wrap. However, these changes are generally temporary.
Detoxification and wraps appear to increase long-term weight loss as a regular part of a comprehensive weight management program, but they will not replace the work of diet and exercise as part of that program. Wraps--such as the chocolate treatment wrap--do tend to increase the client's sense of well being, relaxation and pleasure. They tend to reduce sensations of stress. Improvements to physical appearance--even if temporary--tend to support other types of personal advocacy and contribute to improved health.
Persons with high/low blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy, or other conditions should consult their physicians before trying body wraps.
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