Although waist training is a practice that dates back to the 14th century, it is currently a growing trend across the United States. Credit for its reemergence in modern culture can be given the Kardashians. In recent years, many women across the U.S. have followed suit of the sisters and jumped on the waist training bandwagon to reduce their waistlines and look thinner. While this practice is gaining popularity, women who are considering waist training should proceed with caution.
Waist training, also known as waist taming, is the practice of wearing a waist trainer or a corset to squeeze the waist into an hourglass shape. Waist trainers are made of tight-fitting latex, fabric and some have steel “bones” designed to help hold the hourglass shape. Some manufacturers recommend that users wear their trainers two to four hours a day until the user can tolerate wearing it for an entire 24 hour period.
Waist training proponents make claims that the practice helps wearers effortlessly and instantaneously achieve an hourglass aesthetic. However, many wearers report wearing their trainers for several months but see little to no results. Also, many pro-taming advocates also claim additional benefits of being able to increase the metabolisms and burn fat.
While manufacturers and fans tout these devices as a panacea for all of an individual’s midsection woes, scientific and medical professionals caution users against false claims. Dr. Bill Johnson, M.D., is one of those professionals. “Waist training does not and cannot increase the body’s metabolism. Some users may experience temporary weight loss when water is lost due to sweating caused by the trainer’s latex construction, but this is not at all the same as burning calories.”
There are also serious medical impacts that accompany this fad. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery researches estimates that lung capacity can actually be reduced by 30 to 60 percent as a result of waist training. Johnson, a cosmetic physician who practices in Dallas, Texas, cautions users against waist training because of this. “Waist training constricts breathing and can actually cause wearers to suffocate slowly because lung capacity is physically reduced,” he explains.
Respiration is not the only thing that gets constricted from wearing waist trainers. The digestive system slows as a result of wearing a waist trainer as organs and intestines are constricted. Slow digestion can cause indigestion, bloating and constipation. Other organs, like the kidneys, are strained as they are pushed out of their natural positions.
There are safer alternatives for patients who want to reshape their midsections. These options include cosmetic procedures like liposuction and Liposonix. These procedures are minimally invasive, outpatient procedures performed in the office by cosmetic physicians like Johnson.
Liposuction is a common cosmetic procedure that removes fat. Johnson offers patients several choices of liposuction, including those that use laser and ultrasonic technologies. These technologies allow Johnson to remove fat quickly, efficiently and safely. Liposuction patients receive mild sedation but are awake throughout the procedure. Incisions are small and require no stitches. “Because of advanced technologies, Liposuction has come a long way. What used to be considered a fairly invasive procedure with a long recovery time now only requires a few small cuts. As a result, patients are able to recover and resume normal activities more quickly,” he explains.
Other popular cosmetic body shaping alternative to waist training includes Liposonix. Liposonix is a noninvasive, ultrasound procedure that kills fat cells by targeting them with high-intensity ultrasonic waves. This results in a reduction of inches off the waistline and a trimmer appearance. Some patients who choose Liposonix for body shaping experience report mild to moderate discomfort during the procedure, but have a quick return to normal activity.
While waist trainers can seem like a quick fix, the risks of using one outweigh any potential benefits. Patients seeking to reshape their waistlines safely should seek out licensed cosmetic surgeons to schedule consultations to discuss available body shaping procedures.