About Detox Body Wraps

Detox wrap and foot patch how-to's

Everyday, we are exposed to toxic substances through what we eat, what we wear, the cleaning supplies we use and pollution in the air we breathe, just to name a few. Using body wraps for detoxification can help eliminate some of those harmful toxins from your body and provide essential vitamins and minerals to your body's largest and most visible organ — your skin.

How they work

Health clinics, detox spas and offices offering detox body wrap treatments will wrap you in mud, seaweed, clay and saltwater until you think you'll never feel clean again. Or, you can do it yourself at home by making or purchasing a detox body wrap kit. Heat may also be applied to encourage your body to increase its natural detox process — sweating.

As dirty as the process sounds, each of the ingredients in the wrap is helpful in eliminating toxins from your body in one way or another, and everything comes off easily afterward with soap and water.

Ingredients

Detox body wraps use either clay or mud as a base. Clay is able to draw impurities out of the skin naturally and may contain minerals useful for sustaining healthy skin. The following is a list of a few of the most common ingredients added to the clay or mud base, and how they benefit your skin.

  • Sea salts: Reduce swelling and act as an exfoliating astringent, helping to draw out toxins, kill bacteria and tighten skin

  • Seaweed: Contains vitamins A, B1, C and E; calcium, magnesium and phosphorus; and essential amino acids. These vitamins and minerals absorbed through the skin work together to draw out toxins from the surface of the skin. They also increase circulation and aid in maintaining the skin's connective tissue, collagen.

  • Aloe vera: Soothes, moisturizes and softens the skin while killing fungus and bacteria.

  • Herbs: Many herbs applied externally or taken internally (by drinking tea, taking supplement capsules or eating as seasoning on food) have detox properties. They are effective for topical detox because skin is capable of absorbing their helpful ingredients.

Detox body wraps for healthier skin

The greatest benefit of detoxifying your body with wraps is improving the health and appearance of your skin. While it's true that toxins can be extracted from your body through this process, remember that the benefits of these wraps are only skin-deep. Despite some claims to the contrary, the detoxifying ingredients in body wraps are not able to penetrate beyond your skin, nor draw out toxins from your other organs. For those results, you'll need to try a detox diet or whole body cleanse.

Detox patches

For who don't want the mess of a detox wrap, patches are also available to help rid your body of toxins.

A detox patch is a soft, absorbent pad with adhesive edges that you apply to the bottom of one foot before bedtime. Derived from ancient Chinese and Japanese practices dating back thousands of years, the patches use tree sap vinegar (wood vinegar and bamboo vinegar) along with mushroom powders and starches to assist the body in detoxification.

Why feet?

Detox patches can be placed on any part of the body, but most users apply them to the feet. The study of reflexology tells us that there are zones in our feet that correspond in some degree to every organ in our body. These zones are targeted and used to relieve the body of stress and help restore energy.

Blood flows to our feet, then is pumped back into the torso. The herbs and wood vinegar ingredients in the patches are also proven to vastly improve blood circulation. Thus, by applying a patch to the foot, more toxins are likely to be removed from the body than if a patch was applied to another part of the body.

Worth the effort?

In the morning, you'll find visible black "gunk" on the adhesive side of the pad after it's removed. Contrary to popular belief, this is not visible evidence of the toxins that were released from the body overnight. It is actually the result of the dried wood vinegar mixing with your body's natural perspiration throughout the night. The wood vinegar becomes wet, and, in this state, its color is a dark brown to black.

Our bodies are designed to naturally break down toxins and detox through the liver and kidneys. These organs are designed to eliminate waste from our bodies by chemically breaking down toxins, enabling us to naturally sweat and urinate these poisons out of our system. There is no better detox process than this.

However, other detox methods are proven to have health benefits, such as reduced stress, relaxation and improved circulation, all of which improve the body's natural health. So, if you are looking for a way to aid your body's natural detoxification process beyond making healthy lifestyle choices — such as exercise and an organic, fiber-rich diet — detox wraps and foot patches may be right for you.

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