Magazines, websites and newspapers are literally overflowing with slimming spa treatments such as Jacuzzis, saunas, massages, laser therapy, electrostimulation etc. These treatments make tall claims such as melting off fat from problem areas, reducing cellulite and so on. The proposition seems almost irresistible – No surgery, no pills. You simply go to a spa and relax while the experts work their magic. After an hour, you leave the place with toned thighs and a slimmer waste (and a considerably slimmer wallet too!) So do any of these slimming spa treatments work? Read on to find out more.
Jacuzzi and Saunas
Jacuzzis: Sure, being sprayed with warm jets of water is super relaxing but does it melt off the fat? Well, research has shown that Jacuzzis do improve circulation and raise the body temperature. So yes, they aid in burning a few extra calories but not as many as you might be tempted to think. Here is an example to help you manage your expectations: A 150 pound individual burns about 36 calories upon spending 20 minutes in a Jacuzzi, which is only 5 calories more than if he/she had spent those twenty minutes watching TV on a couch! If that person jogs for 20 minutes, it would account for almost 220 burned calories.
Saunas: Saunas too improve blood circulation and cause a person to sweat profusely. Saunas burn slightly more calories than Jacuzzis but still, they do not cause any significant amount of weight loss. Any weight lost is mostly water weight which is regained in a day or two.
Electrostimulation for fat loss
Electrodes are used to send a mild electric current to your problem areas (stomach, thighs etc.) This supposedly causes increased blood flow, which in turn triggers muscle contractions and causes fat burn. The process allegedly reshapes the body part, melts away inches and helps in the reduction of cellulite. Typically, a single session lasts for about 30 to 90 minutes and costs anywhere between 100 to 300 bucks. Several sessions are required to produce substantial results. Many celebs are regulars at electrostimulation clinics.
What Does the Science say? There is not a single study which establishes any link between electric current and fat loss! Electrostimulation causes sweating and hence the weight lost is mostly water weight. This weight is regained as soon as the person drinks a couple of glasses of water! Not exactly the kind of results most people are looking for. If you do want to stimulate your muscles, do it the conventional way by working out.
Electrostimulation does have its pros though – it is beneficial for rehabilitation after an injury. When blood flow to a particular body part increases, that part receives a high amount of oxygen and nutrients – thus enabling cells to recover and multiply faster.
Body Wraps for Weight Loss
Let us take a look at how body wraps work: First, your body is exfoliated with a scrub. This helps to open up the pores. Next, generous amounts of creams are applied to your skin and then you get wrapped up in elastic bandages. All this happens in an artificially heated room. Sometimes, you perform light exercises while still being wrapped up! After a while, the bandages are removed and you take a quick shower. You are then made to stand on a scale and viola – in most cases, people do actually lose a few pounds. Measurements also prove that the person has lost inches off arms, thighs, belly etc. WOW, this really does sound promising! So should you opt for this 150 dollar treatment?
Consider this: The elastic wraps cause immense perspiration. The creams contain dehydrating agents to further facilitate sweating through the skin pores. In reality, the person loses only water weight. This weight is regained in a couple of days. If you really want to lose fat, then wrapping is pretty much useless. But then, why do so many people opt for such treatments (especially celebs)? Simple, they undergo these treatments just hours before an important show or event to look especially lean, slim and fit. By the time they do gain back the weight, the event is over! Jen from Espa Beauty was kind enough to add comment “The hot wrap slimming does definitely give you the appearance of slimming in the short term, and that is what most of our clients are coming for. They have a big event coming up and want to look their best, and we are happy to help”.
Lymphatic drainage massages
Lymphatic drainage massage does help a lot in relaxation and to reduce inflammation. They also help in unclogging lymph nodes and subsequently aid in removal of toxins from the body. While massage therapy is useful in rejuvenating tired muscles after a workout, it does not contribute towards fat loss on its own.
Laser and Vacuum Therapy
In this form of treatment, a laser or infrared lighting is used to apply heat to a specific part of the body (thighs, buttocks and so on). Simultaneously, a suction device is rolled over the area. The heat melts away fat and the suction causes increased blood flow – this flushes out the melted fat and toxins. The rollers help in smoothing dimples and stretching out tissues. This treatment, if performed right, does actually work to an extent. It helps to get rid of a flabby look and smoothens out the fat and skin. The effect is only temporary but it will help you look better for a photo shoot or a pool party.
The bottom line: Most slimming spa treatments do not cause fat loss but nor do they promise to. Short term slimming will usually be due to water loss and improved lymphatic drainage, and can be great for a temporary slimming effect for an event or function.