Body wraps were originally a treatment where Ace bandages or plastic wrap was tightly wrapped around the body to cause quick weight loss through vasodilation. You can still find these types of "slimming" body wraps, which result in the temporary loss of weight and inches, at some spas.
But today a body wrap in a spa is more likely to be treatment where you’re slathered with a body mask made of algae, seaweed, mud, clay, lotion or cream, then wrapped for 20 minutes to keep you warm.
Later the product is rinsed off. The body wrap usually ends with an application of lotion (technically not a massage). This body wrap is sometimes called a body cocoon or body mask.
What are the Benefits of a Body Wrap?
Body wraps that use algae, seaweed, mud or clay are treatments that help rid the body of toxins through metabolic stimulation
Clay body wraps can be made with a variety of clay types, such as bentonite, green, red or Dead Sea clay. Different types of salts, herbs and oils can also be added for extra nourishment and benefits. Clay body wraps are done professionally at a spa, but can also be done at home. After the mixture is applied, your body is typically wrapped in cloth bandages, plastic wrap or a sheet in order to provide the most benefit from the clay mixture.Detoxification
Clay body wraps absorb and draw out toxins in skin. According to Marie Claire, bentonite clay particles hold a negative electrical charge, while toxins have a positive charge. The negatively charged particles draw the toxins out of skin through the pores. Epsom and sea salts, which are commonly used in clay wraps, also remove toxins from the body. Minerals found in some types of wraps, such as those made with Dead Sea clay, deliver nutrients to skin.
Pain Relief and Circulation
The warmth provided by a clay body wrap improves circulation and relieves aches and joint pain. Wraps made with red clay are especially effective for improving circulation. Clay body wraps can also be made with herbs that are meant to reduce inflammation and pain, such as aloe vera and chamomile
Clay is absorbent, making it efficient in absorbing excess water from skin and creating empty pockets between tissue layers. The pressure of a clay body wrap compacts the layers of tissue, resulting in toned skin and temporary loss of inches. According to the American Council on Exercise, the inch loss and appearance of weight loss is temporary and lasts for about one day.