Diet and weight loss through perspiration is a tool of personal fitness and spa therapy. Body wrapping or wrapping the stomach with cling film is commonly used in health spas to reduce water weight gain, smooth cellulite and reduce abdominal inches. However, the risk outweighs the benefit of weight loss and carries specific dangers to the body of dehydration, blood flow restriction, and exposure to chemical absorption through the blood stream.
Dehydration occurs when the body is unable to absorb or ingest sufficient water to maintain metabolic functions. In the case of stomach wrapping the non-permeable cling film reduces the skin's ability to absorb sufficient water and encourages additional loss through perspiration. Often the entire body is wrapped with the stomach receiving additional layering. Prolonged instances of wrapping without sufficient hydration can cause loss of valuable electrolytes that maintain metabolic balance. Lack of proper hydration in the body can cause muscle weakness, headache, dizziness or lightheadedness.
Chemical absorption through the blood stream
The plastic sheeting used in the body and stomach wrapping process is often a petroleum-based substance that may be imbued with skin tightening cosmetic products used to enhance the appearance of the skin. Both the cosmetic products and the sheeting may contain cancer-causing agents that readily absorb into the blood stream. One such chemical known as 1, 4-dioxane is known to penetrate the skin and is considered a human carcinogen according to the Environmental Working Group of Washington, DC. This chemical carcinogen is found in 43% of body firming lotions. In addition petroleum byproducts have long been established as human carcinogens with cancer causing effects in lab animals with prolonged exposure to the skin and eventual absorption through the blood stream.
Restricted blood flow
Restricted blood flow occurs when blood vessels are constricted by the body and stomach wrap procedure. This process entails tight binding in non-permeable cling film to reduce water weight found in cellulite and body tissue. This binding induces perspiration and constriction of underlying blood flow to the abdominal aorta that supplies blood to the digestive organs as well as the lower extremities. Restricted blood flow for small amounts of time can cause broken capillaries, enhanced spider veining or varicose enhancement. Wraps are generally completed in 60 minutes or longer. Serious conditions of decreased blood flow in the digestive organs, especially the lower intestine that removes water from the body for bowel functions can occur during these longer periods. In addition, the skin is an organ that must exchange CO2 with O2, this wrapping process and the inability of the skin to breathe through the plastic sheeting can also damage the skin.
- American Fitness Professional Associates: There is danger in the lure of easy weight loss
- Environmental Working Group: EWG research shows 22 percent of all cosmetics may be contaminated with cancer-causing impurity
- "Mayo Clinic.com", Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research: Deyhdration definition