In the past several years, we’ve witnessed the development of some non-surgical facial and body treatments. We can easily find more beauty hacks than we could ever try with a few strokes of the keyboard (thanks, Google!). Because there are so many tips and tricks to try, we can benefit from questioning which ones are valuable and which ones we can skip. Here’s an example: waist trainers. This is a treatment that may give a lot more than we bargained for – and that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.
Waist Trainers, a Modern-Day Corset
Many years ago, women endured tortuous corsets, boned garments that were manually cinched around their midsection. Corsets were uncomfortable and even led to fainting, but they allowed women to “enjoy” an hourglass figure. The waist trainer is pretty similar. This garment may also have to bone, but what it has is pressure. You know the comfy security you feel when your Spanx hold everything in its place? The waist trainer goes above and beyond. It may even take your breath away. The process may not sound pleasant, but many women believe it’s worth it. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery doesn’t necessarily agree.
The danger in waist training is that the body-shaping garment is worn for weeks or months on end. You could liken this process to the foot-binding that was common in China (and was made illegal a century ago). The intent is to reshape the midsection through intense pressure, but the midsection isn’t just fat and muscle. There are other important structures that reside beneath the waist trainer:
- The lungs sit just beneath the top of a waist trainer, just like the corset of old. Remember that fainting we mentioned? It occurred because lung capacity diminishes 30 to 60% under the pressure of the garment. The waist trainer is not excluded from this statistic. Fainting is only one concern related to decreased lung capacity. When air is not adequately taken in, the lungs are not sufficiently filled, and fluid may build up. Without sufficient air intake, the brain and other organs do not receive the oxygen they need to function properly. Ultimately, the consequences could be severe.
- Digestive organs. It is in the midsection where our digestive organs live. To squeeze the stomach itself may sound like a decent idea when you want to slim down. However, this can lead to a problem with acid reflux. It could also cause damage to the large or small intestine due to the long hours of constriction.
- Vital organs. In addition to the stomach, the midsection is also home to the liver, kidneys, and other vital structures. None of these organs can function well when they are living in tight-quarters.