The promise Inflatable boots help to drain the lymphatic system by very light compressions from the feet to the thighs. The treatment rewards in several ways such as removing toxins, refining the leg outline and treating circulation problems.
Step by step Too much salt in my diet, long hours sat at my desk and regular flights mean I suffer periodically from swollen ankles so I was excited about anything that promises to help, no matter how strange it sounded. And to be honest, the reality was even stranger than the description.
I was led to a semi-darkened treatment room by therapist Lubna and asked to stretch out on my back on the bed while my legs were wrapped and sealed into something resembling a pair of tight cowboys’ chaps. My feet were taped into their own pair of bootees and then separate wide bands were affixed across my hips and my midriff finishing just below my bust – slightly concerning since I thought only my legs were to be treated.
Lubna explained that the wrappings are linked up to an air pressure machine on which the therapist selects one of three settings – relaxation, lymphatic drainage or cellulite treatment, which you get is determined via a consultation with spa director Dr Zainab.
The idea is that the pressure releases toxins which are removed by the kidneys and it’s recommended to drink at least a litre of water prior to treatment.
At the flick of a switch the air began to pump into my bindings exerting gentle pressure on my feet and legs. This went on for a few seconds then abated only to start again, this time moving right up my legs and into the bindings around my hips and stomach.
The only way I can describe it is like being wrapped in a giant blood pressure cuff and squeezed!
I must admit, the band around my midriff felt mildly uncomfortable but I think that was more to do with a slight feeling of claustrophobia than the actual pressure which lasted literally seconds before easing off again. After about five or six minutes, Lubna left me to it, bringing on a momentary panic – what if the machine forgot to stop squeezing on my thorax, would she come back at the end of my 30 minutes and find me lifeless, the victim of a mechanical python.
But common sense soon took over, after all the bindings are only held by Velcro, I could escape if necessary, so I settled down to enjoy the unaccustomed daytime downtime.
The results Around six sessions with regular follow-ups are recommended so I wasn’t expecting to see any great improvement but I was impressed to see that my right ankle, always slightly larger than my left thanks to an ancient injury, had actually shrunk significantly.
The pros • Results are immediately evident • The treatment itself is quick • It doesn’t cost a fortune.
Cons • It’s a bit uncomfortable but nothing major and worth it for the result.