Have you heard those advertisements on the radio about body wraps? They are supposed to help you lose weight, tighten your skin, and get rid of cellulite. I’ve been wanting to try one but they are usually at least $100 a pop. When Groupon offered a $35 voucher for $85 worth of services at Venus Body Work in San Francisco, CA my husband bought it for me.
I was very nervous and the location didn’t help. We walked up to this door that looked like the entrance to an apartment building with recycling and garbage bins in front of the sign. The sign read “Soma Health Center”. We checked the security keypad and located Venus Body Work. As we were about to key in the code, a woman on her cell phone walked out and let us in. There was nothing but a brown carpeted staircase in a narrow white stairwell. We went to the third floor and it was eerily quiet with a decorative table fountain in a tiny waiting room. Across the hall was the door to Venus Body Work. The door was unlocked but no one was inside. Granted, I was a bit early because I thought I may have to complete some paperwork.
About 10 minutes before my appointment, a woman with sunglasses and a large hat walks in. It’s the massage therapist who will be doing my wrap, Mila. She had me fill out paperwork and got into her ‘work’ clothes. She took a look at the areas I was concerned with and explained the different procedures to me very clearly. She was very kind, informative, honest, and did not try to push a more expensive treatment on me that I didn’t really need. Since I was most concerned with that ‘mommy bulge’ along with stretch marks, we went with the clay mineral wrap.
I needed to undress and wear this ugly hospital thong. Believe me, I was not impressed by the site in the mirror. Then Mila came in and started scrubbing my legs from my knees up with a coarse brush. It hurt a lot. She said it was a real Russian technique with the pain (jokingly) and lightened the pressure so it was bearable. This was to exfoliate any dead skin. Next she started painting me with the clay. It was so cold! It was like someone putting a cold drink on your legs, and your back, and your stomach, and shoulders, and your arms – you get the point.
After Mila was done, she took bandages that were soaked in warm water and started wrapping me. It was not painful and did not make me feel claustrophobic. In fact it felt really nice to have the warm bandages after that cold mineral clay. I then had to lay on the plastic that was laid out earlier on the chair/bed. The plastic was lightly closed around me and the electric blanket went around on three sides. I felt like a burrito. The temperature was set medium so that it would open my pores but not make me sweat. Mila put some soft music on, turned off the lights (there was some light from the windows so it wasn’t pitch black), and went out of the room.
For about 40 minutes I just relaxed there, feeling the plastic getting a bit moist and toasty inside. So I fell asleep. After my little nap, Mila came in. She helped me get up, took off the bandages and gave me a couple towels to clean myself off a bit. I got dressed, went to the desk, gave the voucher, paid the tip, and left. It was kind of weird and unfulfilling as I wondered, “Was that it?”
While I was waiting in the room across the hall for my husband to pick me up, I had a chance to talk to Mila a bit more. She said not to be too active or do strenuous things as the minerals in the clay were still working. She also said that it could up to a couple of days to notice a difference.
Well, I do think there was a very minimal improvement of the texture of my skin. For these wraps to really work well though, you actually need to do them 1-2 times a week for about 5-6 weeks. At $85 for each, it’s a bit too much for this stay-at-home mom. One wrap doesn’t really do very much but at least I tried it and it was 65% off!