odds and ends from a life under construction

body wrapping my stretch marks goodbye

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When I heard my favorite massage place, Elixir, was adding a new service to their menu, I knew I had to schedule an appointment. As I’ve lost weight, I’ve noticed my skin getting a little “loose”-feeling, and I’ve looked for ways to tighten things up beyond the normal strength training (which is really only tightening things up under the surface). Enter Bioslimming.

I know, I know – it’s gimmicky. The only real ways to change your body are through diet and exercise (well, and plastic surgery – but that’s a different conversation). But I figured, why not try it? Worst case, my skin is really soft and I got a great massage. Best case, I feel a little tighter and trimmer after said great massage. Since the cost of the service was only $10 more than a regular massage, I decided to go for it and booked an appointment for last Saturday morning.

All these wraps are sticky and messy, so I traded my underwear for the paper and elastic versions the spa offers. The “bra” was a piece of flimsy fabric with two loops of elastic for my arms; Cher’s outfit from the “Turn Back Time” video was less revealing. But most of my modesty about my body went out the window when I gave birth, so why start being shy now? The massage therapist took my starting measurements so we could track how many inches I lost over the next 90 minutes and then helped me climb under the covers face-down on the massage table.

Wraps are typically done standing up, because it’s easier to get a tight wrap that way. But my therapist explain that the “wrap” part of this body wrap was just to keep the lotions and potions from rubbing off your skin and on to the table sheets while you waited for them to do their magic (a 30-40 minutes wait). So instead of wrapping the saran wrap all the way around me, she just covered me with it one side at a time. No muss, no fuss.

The first step was exfoliation – using textured gloves, my arms, back, buttocks and thighs were rubbed down until I’m sure they looked as raw as they felt. I thought this would be the most uncomfortable part, but that came later. After exfoliating, two different lotions were applied to my body based on the location – one type for my arms and back (and abdomen, when I was flipped over) and another for my hips and legs. The therapist explained each lotion as she applied it; the lotion on my arms and torso was targeting stretch marks, while the lotion on my lower body was targeting cellulite. Both lotions had a thermal effect, so between the salve and the wrap, I was pretty toasty. I could also see my skin getting slightly red under the wrap, but I wasn’t uncomfortable at all.

After repeating the lotioning and wrapping on the front side of my body, I was bundled in blankets and giving an eye mask to relax. First I was given a neck and shoulder massage – which was AMAZING and better than most massages I’ve gotten, especially in the area of my shoulder blades (even more impressive considering I was still on my back). She then moved down to my hands and forearms, and finally my lower legs and feet, all of which didn’t get the wrap treatment. The 40 minutes passed so quickly, probably because I dozed off completely somewhere in the middle of the massage.

The wrap came off and the remaining lotion was rubbed in, and then came lotion number 3 – and the most uncomfortable part of the process. My nice and toasty body was slathered in the final cream, which was algae-based with a strong dose of menthol. And the menthol immediately chilled me, to the point that I was shivering uncontrollably as she finished rubbing everything in. The therapist did her best to keep as much of my body covered as she could while she worked, and she turned up the heat on the massage table to keep me comfortable. I wouldn’t say I felt “cold” at any point, but the shivering just would. not. stop. To help me relax (and give the last lotion time to work), the therapist finished up with a face and scalp massage. My shivers eventually subsided, and I wanted to stay on that heated table all day.

But alas – I had to get up and get measured again. And what were the results, you ask?

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A loss of 5.5 inches! I wasn’t expecting anything, so to have a loss was pleasantly surprising. I was advised to drink lots of water, since my body would be flushing things out, and left to get dressed. All in all, a positive experience – something nice to do for yourself if you want to look a little trimmer for a special occasion. I don’t know that I’d go every week, as recommended by their protocol for the treatment, but I do think I’ll go back. And in the meantime, I have a take-home kit to try out myself.

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