Did you know you could lie down, breath deep & burn 900+ calories?
Neither did I…
And it sounded too good to be true so I did some research on my own to find out about this seemingly wonderful body wrap treatment.
First I had to try it. Let’s face it if it doesn’t feel great and get results it isn’t worth doing all of the research on finding out how it works and all the rest. So I dressed up in my cotton sweats and drove up to Ventura California to try it out. Hydrating and drinking my water as I headed up highway 101.
Before the body wrap, I measured the circumference of my upper arms, ribcage, waist, hips and upper thighs before the first treatment and kept it as a reference. I was really skeptical, but you never know unless you try it. I didn’t expect to have any change.
I laid down on a table and 6 large warm pads were wrapped around my upper arms, waist, hips and thighs. Then I was covered with a blanket and padded with towels where it was appropriate and it was that easy. I could hear relaxing music and actually it was wonderful to do a breathing meditation and actually take an hour for myself.
Now I’m sort of a lizard – I love the heat – so the pads got warmer and warmer and I broke put is a good sweat. I continued to sweat, a lot. I hadn’t sweat that much since the dance classes I had loved back at Broadway Dance centre a few summers ago in New York City and I knew I would love this treatment. I had been busy building a business and going back to school so I had not been keeping myself in shape like I did before. I had a thought that this body wrap thing might be a good way to start to get myself back on track.
After an hour, I was drenched – and very happy. I re-measured myself and lost 3 inches total. Not much, but the treatment felt so good it didn’t matter too much and I drove home drinking another huge bottle of water. The gentleman who helped me with the treatment said that the process would continue overnight after the body wrap had finished and the more fluids the better so I took his advice and planned to measure myself again in the morning.
To my surprise, after measuring myself the next morning I had lost 13 inches total! Wow! I called them up and they said that this was more than average – maybe because I have a good diet and stayed hydrated – but regardless I was psyched. I had to learn more…
So how does this Infrared Body Wrap Work?
Infrared light, which we feel in our bodies as heat is an abundant form of energy we receive from sunlight. We as humans radiate infrared heat every second of every day (The army uses infrared binoculars for night vision – to see humans in the darkness). It is part of our human biology. I would discover that FAR Infrared treatments are used worldwide by medical practitioners as they are one of the most resonant (closely matched) forms of heat for the human body.
Radiant Heat or Infrared energy is a form of energy that is part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Everything can be described by electrical principles after all we are all electrons protons and neutrons arranged in different patterns. The infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum happens just below red light waves and is not visible to human eyes but can be felt as heat. (This explains the night vision binoculars example above). The sun produces most of its energy in the form of infrared energy, our atmosphere allows it in and the earth radiates it back – living out in nature we are daily surrounded by infrared waves. But not so – in these days of indoor living, SPF sun block and hiding away from the sun.
Our bodies, on average, radiate infrared energy at about 9.4 microns. The internal production of infrared energy that normally occurs within us is associated with a number of healing responses and may require a boost to assist the fullest healing response to assist homeostasis, metabolism and tissue under repair.
As related to Oriental / Chinese Medicine, when our circulation is impeded (described as Blocked Qi flow in Chinese Medicine) our body’s healing capacity, metabolism, and daily functioning are diminished. By enhancing circulation, the infrared therapeutic treatment is helping to unblock the Qi and increase energy and improve body function. Moxa, cupping, Infrared lamps and gua sha are related but different methods of achieving the same result in an Oriental Medicine Treatment.
Because of this special nature of the wavelength, when applied as a treatment, FAR Infrared heat therapy (i.e. body wrap) activates a more thorough and extensive stimulation of local circulation which positively impacts enzymes, metabolism & immune function. The IR therapy helps the body get at toxins & cellulite trapped in the tissue through this increase in circulation and metabolism. The body wrap treatment I had received had “super charged” this process.
The amount of sweat an infrared treatment can induce is 2-3 times that of a conventional sauna without creating that claustrophobic feeling, without drying out the sauna or causing undue stress on the cardiovascular system. I know I can barely stay in a regular sauna for 10 minutes – I lasted easily 1 hour in this body wrap treatment.
The best research on this type of infrared treatment has described “Its regular use may be as effective as a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories as regular exercise.” in the Journal of the American Medical Association 8/7/81. In fact, NASA in the early 1980’s concluded that infrared therapy would be an ideal way to stimulate cardiovascular function during long space missions.
Someone not used to saunas can easily sweat 500 grams and consume 300 kcalories which is the equivalent of jogging for 30 minutes. The bodywrap is a great in between workouts way to ease the stiffness and once becoming acclimated to the sauna – burning up to 900+ calories are achieved each session. But remember – Hydration is very important you need to constantly replenish the fluids to see results.
The benefits of Infrared Therapy are impressive. Research from Sweden, Japan, Finland, China and Germany cite an impressive list of conditions that can be treated, including:
Arthritis & Joint Stiffness
Soft Tissue Injuries
Pain & Stiffness
Endocrine, Immune and Autonomic Function
The FDA has approved the use of FAR infrared treatment for pain relief and more is learned each day. I have more research to do but this was good enough for me. I decided that I wanted to try it again and learn more.
So now I offer it in my practice and medspa… I hope that I’ve opened your eyes to something that might be new, different and helpful. I’ve given you a place to start if it sounds interesting to you as well. To learn more, check out my website www.orientalmedspa.com. Or come experience it for yourself if you’re in the Los Angeles Area. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
author:Debra Clydesdale LAc DNBAO