According to our friends at SpaFinder, mud wraps are one of the most popular spa treatments available. But what is it, anyway? And why get one? (Because you really should get one!)
First, let’s separate fact from fiction, science from advertising hype.
A full body scrub and mud wrap WON’T …
Make you skinny. You may see temporary weight loss. You may be slightly slimmer with less cellulite, but these effects are due to lost water weight, and only last a day or two at the most. There’s no magic in the mud to burn fat or shrink fat cells.
Cleanse you from toxins (whatever those are). Many spas push this treatment as a “cleanse”. But we’d like to know– cleanse you from what, exactly? No studies have shown this as a real benefit, and nobody who touts this as a benefit will be able to name for you a single chemical toxin mud wraps are supposed to cleanse you of.
A full body scrub and mud wrap WILL …
Exfoliate. It starts with a gentle sugar scrub. We generously apply hot towels to open your pores before applying sugar scrub one area at a time. Sugar is the ideal exfoliant because it doesn’t draw out moisture from the skin the way sea salt does, and doesn’t chafe like pumice. This is gently applied to your back, arms, legs, feet, and hands, then gently removed with hot towels. You won’t believe how much more soft and smooth your skin can get! You’ll feel like a kid again.
Soothe aching joints. The evidence on this is a little shaky, and generally anecdotal. That said, many study participants have reported at least a temporary decrease in joint and muscle pain. If you know you’ll be feeling sore after an athletic event or just a good workout, it might be ideal to schedule a mud wrap directly afterward. Is this a cure for arthritis? No, though you may find it provides some temporary relief.
Relax you. This is an unquestionable benefit of this treatment. Once the exfoliant is removed, the mud is gently applied to all the same areas. (We say mud, but it feels more like a thin clay, and it isn’t as messy as it sounds.)
We then wrap you up in a layer of plastic, an electric blanket, and a thermal mylar blanket to lock in the heat. This causes the mud to soften and ferment slightly as you sweat. You’re left to sit, relaxing to the sounds of the music or white noise of your choice for about 15 minutes, letting your mind drift gently away from all your cares.
The practitioner comes back in to unwrap you and gently remove the mud with more hot towels. The result? You’ve already forgotten what year it was since your skin felt this soft, and since your mind was so still and rest.
This is a great treatment, either as a stand-alone, or to compliment a massage. The whole treatment takes about 90 minutes.
Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. You can hire him by contacting him on Twitter @ElManoRoboto or by email at email@example.com