Body and Soul

Body Wraps

| February/March 2003

Wrap yourself in herbs and indulge yourself in a relaxing home spa.

For pure self-indulgent pleasure, nothing beats an herbal body wrap. More and more people are discovering the benefits of being bundled in warm, moist, herb-scented cloths or bandages, either at a spa or in the tranquility of their own homes. As the owner of a spa, I have wrapped grandmothers, prom queens, body builders, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, and everybody in between. Judging from the serenity that envelops my customers during the body wrap—and their repeat appointments—this herbal treatment tones the body while it calms the mind.

Interests in health and fitness have led many to try herbal body wrapping recently, but this “new” body and skin-care treatment is older than Egypt’s pharaohs. Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians, known for their skills in medicine, perfumery, pharmacology, and embalming, were extremely conscious of the importance of health and hygiene. Wealthy Egyptians routinely enjoyed regular spa-like pampering, often using milk and honey for their natural soothing and hydrating properties. Papyrus leaves, moistened with herb-infused water, served as soothing and healing compresses. Cloths steeped in aromatic liquids played a prominent role in many facets of daily life, including childbirth, religious ceremonies, and the preparation of corpses for burial.

Today, body wraps can serve a variety of purposes. Many clients enjoy the invigoration of a wrap at the end of a fasting period. Making a healthy lifestyle change such as giving up smoking, alcohol, or junk foods calls for a soothing, calming wrap that reinforces feelings of increasing well-being.

When people who have lost a lot of weight visit a day spa, it’s often a well-earned reward. Many are pleased to find that the gentle pressure of a body wrap leaves the skin feeling firmer and looking younger, helping to ease feelings that weight loss has resulted in sagging skin.

For a special occasion, an herbal body wrap is the perfect preparation for slipping into your most fabulous dress. It gives an all-over glow, refines the skin’s pores, and dissipates the two to five pounds of water weight that women often carry. I recommend a body wrap using dandelion and lemon balm to achieve the look of overall health. For an added kick, moisten the wrap with an infusion of green tea leaves, black pepper, gingerroot, and coffee. Combine herbs to suit yourself; whether relaxing or stimulating, any body wrap is a superbly restorative experience.

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