If you were looking for an effective and innovative body treatment ten years ago, you probably would have ended your search disappointed, frustrated, or both. Back then, you would have been lucky to find a spa that offered anything more than a standard massage or perhaps a simple body scrub. Fast forward to today, and the body treatment options seem endless. Whereas dermatologists, estheticians, and med spas used to offer facial treatments, and facial treatments only, they’re now offering a vast array of full-body treatments aimed at lifting, sculpting, smoothing, and rejuvenating everything from the neck, down.
To what do we owe this new wave of body treatments? The answer, in our opinion, is two-fold. The first is technology. With the advancement of technology, we’ve seen innovative treatments become less expensive and more accessible to a wider variety of people. The second answer is an increase in the societal awareness of skincare and wellness. People are broadening their idea of what encompasses skincare and wellness, and what those words mean in the first place.
Let’s look at it from a factual standpoint. Each full-grown human being is covered with approximately 22 square feet of skin (we know what you’re thinking, this is an interesting, albeit slightly disconcerting, fact). Despite the vast majority of our skin being located on our bodies, it’s likely that most of us spend most of our time, money, and effort, caring for the small percentage of our skin that lives on our face. That’s inherently problematic, seeing as the skin on our body is just as susceptible to natural aging, UV damage, environmental aggressors, and more.
Along with proper body care and age-prevention techniques (such as consistent sunscreen use, a healthy diet and exercise ), the right body treatments can help reduce, or at the very least stave off, damage and signs of aging. What’s more is that certain body treatments even go beyond the skin to care for our muscles, lymphatic and vascular systems, and more. You just have to know which body treatment does what. That’s where we come in. Keep scrolling to learn about a few of our favorite body treatments—including what they are, what they do, and why you might want to try them.
Lymphatic massage is (you guessed it) a massage technique that encourages our lymphatic system to remove waste and toxins from our bodies. Because lymph, which is the liquid that’s transported around our lymphatic system, contains white blood cells, stimulating its flow throughout the body might even boost the immune system.
As for the massage itself, it’s not harsh or painful like other massage techniques, but it’s also not necessarily relaxing, either (after all, the goal isn’t relaxation; it’s lymphatic drainage). A certified lymphatic massage expert will use gentle, consistent pressure in specific locations of the body to guide fluid where it needs to go. Proponents of lymphatic massage say that it can do everything from speeding up muscle recovery to boosting energy and diminishing bloat. Others claim it even goes as far as to be an effective tool in relieving pain from conditions like arthritis and migraines.
Infrared Saunas and Sweat Beds
If you’ve ever entered into a traditional sauna, you know the air is thick with heat. In an infrared sauna, that’s not the case. When you first walk in, you’ll barely be able to feel any difference aside from a slight warmth. The longer you stay in, the hotter it gets, until eventually, your face is red and you’re sweating bullets.
The magic (or science, really) of an infrared sauna is in the infrared lamps, which heat you, not the air around you. It raises your core body temperature to aid in detoxification and weight loss. Other benefits include decreased stress and better sleep.
A wide variety of infrared options exist—everything from infrared rooms to pods, capsules, and infrared beds—, though they all share the same purpose. Our favorite way to reap the benefits of infrared technology is by going to ShapeHouse, which is an “urban sweat lodge,” where you lay down on an infrared bed for 45 minutes at a time while catching up on your favorite TV show or listening to your favorite music.
LED Light Therapy
You may have used LED light on your face in order to prevent acne or diminish fine lines and wrinkles, but did you know you can use it on your body, too? Many estheticians and med spas are investing in full-body LED light beds to treat their clients’ full-body concerns.
How does it work? Different colors of LED light have different wavelengths, which penetrate the skin and cause specific cellular reactions. Red LED light, for instance, stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, which leads to an improvement in the look wrinkles and sagging skin. As most of us are probably aware, wrinkles and sagging skin aren’t just regulated to the face, which is why full-body treatment LED treatments could significantly improve the appearance of skin over time.
Coolsculpting is a non-invasive fat-reduction technique that utilizes cold temperatures to freeze, and thereby kill and break down, stubborn fat cells that are difficult to remove otherwise through diet and exercise. Each treatment takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on what area you’re targeting (on that note, depending on the person and the area being treated, multiple treatments may be necessary). An applicator will be set against the skin, which will then bring the temperature of the fat cells down. After the temperature has been brought down, and for a long enough period of time, the technician will remove the applicator and massage the area. The results aren’t immediate, but they are noticeable. You can expect an average of 20%-25% of the fat to leave the body over the course of a few months, with initial results becoming apparent after a few weeks.
This treatment is FDA-approved for almost any “problem area” you can think of, including the lower stomach, thighs, and upper arms. Some people even treat their jawline.
These are just a popular few of the many body treatments on the market, but no matter what treatment you’re interested in, make sure you’re consulting a reputable expert before committing, and never ever underestimate the power of a healthy lifestyle and an effective skincare regimen. Because, while these treatments have real benefits, skincare and health & wellness are long-term objectives.
Written by, Kaitlyn McLintock
ABOUT THE WRITER:
Kaitlyn McLintock is a beauty and wellness writer based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in such publications as Popsugar, Byrdie, Hello Giggles, Who What Wear, and more. When she’s not writing, researching, and editing, or testing out the latest skincare and makeup products, she’s drinking coffee and spritzing Goldfaden’s Mist RX all over her skin.