When your thighs jiggle when you walk or your saddlebags are falling toward your knees, leg wraps to pull up and tighten your thighs may sound like a good idea. There's no proof, however, that full body wraps or wraps that target a certain area have any lasting effects on your weight or body shape. You may experience a temporary loss of inches to thighs or tightening due to fluid loss and compression, but most people who try these treatments are looking for a permanent, and not a temporary fix.
Body wraps in general claim to take inches off your wrapped parts. Spas report that the detoxification process, which comes not just from the sweating under the wrap but from the herbs and minerals applied to the wrap, causes you to lose inches. Detoxification supposedly draws impurities from your lymphatic system and makes the body better at burning fat and eliminating waste products.
A leg wrap to decrease the size of your thighs involves wrapping your legs and thighs in compression bandages, which may be nothing more than ace bandages infused with oils, herbs and minerals. Some spas use plastic wraps instead.You may spend an hour or so relaxing, or you may be expected to get in a little time on the treadmill while your thighs are heating up and shrinking.
You may lose a few inches after a leg wrap, at least temporarily. The tight bandages cause your things to sweat, so you lose water weight. Salts and other minerals in the wrap may also draw out fluid. In the long run, however, the only thing leg wraps will draw out of you is money, says health writer Stephanie Allmon quoting health advocate and author Dr. Andrew Weil in his 2008 "Essential Guide to Natural Healing."
Having a leg wrap isn't as risky as having a full-body wrap, which can cause overheating and excessive fluid loss that may lead to dehydration. If you feel lightheaded or dizzy during the treatment, ask the person doing your wrap to loosen it or remove part of it. If you develop numbness or lack of feeling, loosen the wrap, since it's cutting off your circulation. A full body wrap could also cause claustrophobia in susceptible individuals, but having your legs and thighs wrapped is less likely to trigger a panic attack.
If you think you need to lose a few inches in your thighs for a major occasion and decide to try a wrap, you may be pleasantly surprised to find your pants gliding over your thighs somewhat more easily. You may not be able to duplicate the result in a few days, though when you regain the water weight and when your compressed skin slowly begins to resume its normal shape. In other words, leg wraps don't give permanent results. Susie Ellis, president of SpaFinder Inc. compares it to a spray-on tan, as quoted in a 2008 "Seattle Times" article.