I Tried Paris Hilton’s Fave Lymphatic Drainage Suit For Debloating
Jennifer Aniston and Zac Efron are apparently also fans of the treatment.
As someone who frequents the wellness side of TikTok, going down a rabbit hole of weird new treatments that *actually* deliver is my Roman Empire. Stimulating your lymph nodes (aka your body’s natural drainage system) is arguably the buzziest wellness hack of the year, and since an hour-long lymphatic drainage massage left me with more defined abs, extra energy, and less post-vacation bloat earlier in the year, I was eager to try something similar. I decided to take a note from Paris Hilton’s playbook by trying her fave FDA-approved lymphatic drainage “space suit” that claims to do the same thing, no masseuse required.
The Ballancer Pro suit has been around for decades and is a go-to for professional athletes seeking faster recovery, but it’s getting renewed attention from the recent lymphatic drainage hype. It also boasts celeb fans like Hilton, Zac Efron, and Jennifer Aniston who swear by its lymphatic drainage benefits — which supposedly include the draining of excess fluid, reduced inflammation, a more contoured appearance, and improvements in cellulite over 45 minutes.
The Simple Life alum has even called the treatment one of her top three tips for S’living and previously told Marie Claire she uses the Ballancer Pro every night to look “perfect.” Because even girl math can’t justify shelling out almost $37,000 for the suit, I tried a single $150 treatment at Lume Wellness in Chicago to see if the pricey treatment is actually worth getting.
How Does A Lymphatic Drainage Compression Suit Work, Exactly?
Lume gives you the option to do either the Express Core & Lower Body/Upper Body ($100) or the $150 Full Body option that I opted for, and you can also choose between a more intense setting that specifically targets athletic recovery or a lighter sculpting setting. I chose the latter, because you can always sign me up for looking more snatched. While the treatment isn’t cheap, $100 to $150 is in line with prices at other spa and wellness centers, as well as how much I previously paid for a lymphatic drainage massage.
Jonathan Leary, who has a doctorate in chiropractic medicine, is the founder and CEO of the Remedy Place, which specializes in holistic healing. He tells Elite Daily, “the Ballancer Pro is a more systematic, technology-driven, and controlled approach to lymphatic enhancement” compared to a massage and other types of lymphatic drainage options like dry brushing or gua sha.
Unlike manual treatments that tackle body parts one at a time, the suit’s 24 overlapping chambers massage your lymph vessels all at once so you get a more efficient and comprehensive result. Leary says the suit’s “massaging” of the lymphatic vessels pushes lymphatic fluid and toxins toward your lymph nodes, where they can be filtered and eliminated from the body. In addition to aesthetic lymphatic drainage benefits like “improved skin tone and reduced swelling,” you can also expect enhanced immunity, less fatigue, reduced inflammation, and faster athletic recovery.
On the day of my treatment, my aesthetician brought me to a room with a massage table with both halves of the Ballancer Pro suit lying on top. Surprisingly, the aesthetician told me I could keep my athleisure ‘fit on for the treatment, which made me curious to see how the treatment’s results would compare to a lymphatic drainage massage and gua sha — both of which are done on bare skin. To start, I put on a liner and got zipped into the bottom part of the suit, which looked similar to the athletic leg recovery boots I’ve seen some people wear, except it went all the way up my stomach.
The Treatment Was Very Different Compared To A Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Compared to the more hands-on and intimate lymphatic drainage massage, my lymphatic drainage compression suit experience felt almost like being Velcroed into a weighted blanket. After I got in the heavy suit, my aesthetician set a timer for 30 minutes, gave me a buzzer for if I needed anything, and then left the room. Scrolling through Pinterest and listening to a podcast on my phone while I waited, I felt like I was almost in a massage chair or that my whole body was getting its blood pressure taken. Different parts of my body would get squeezed in a wave-like motion going up my body, the pressure would slowly ramp up, then the suit would suddenly release its hold. The sensation was similar to a leg and lower back massage, which felt pretty relaxing.
After the first half hour was over, the aesthetician returned to help me out of the bottom piece and put me into the top portion of the Ballencer Pro, which felt much more awkward than the bottom half. When the pressure started ramping up, it felt almost like I was in a straightjacket since I couldn’t move my arms at all and they were sticking straight out. Luckily, this part of the treatment only lasted 15 minutes before my aesthetician returned to help me out of the suit.
My Lymphatic Drainage Compression Suit Results Weren’t *Quite* What I Expected
Leary says many people feel less bloated and more energized immediately after their first session, but that wasn’t my experience. Immediately after doing the treatment, I felt a little sluggish and, checking myself out in the bathroom mirror, like my stomach actually looked more bloated than it had been before. My skin was slightly pink, but nothing that was too noticeable.
However, since I previously had pretty similar after-effects from a lymphatic drainage massage, I decided to chalk up the onset of puffiness and tiredness to my body starting its detox process. I made sure to chug plenty of water that night, and, due to general low energy vibes, decided to go to bed a little earlier instead of doing the Friday night GNO I’d originally planned.
The next morning, I noticed my body and skin looked more taut and toned overall, especially my upper arms and my thighs. My stomach had also de-bloated. However, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t see the extra ab definition I’d noticed the next day from a lymphatic drainage massage. I did feel more energetic in the morning and woke up a little earlier than usual on a weekend, but it was hard to tell if it was a result of my lymphatic drainage treatment or if it was due to an early bedtime (or both).
So, Is Trying A Lymphatic Drainage Compression Suit Worth It?
Madison Dockery, a registered nurse and one of Lume’s wellness managers who specializes in lymphatic drainage, says people can expect near-immediate toning, de-bloating, and pain relief from a single session with the compression suit, but like all lymphatic drainage treatments, you have to do them multiple times to see long-lasting results so, that $150 ends up being a lot more if you’re going regularly.
While I did notice that my upper arms and thighs looked significantly tighter and more toned after the first treatment, my abs didn’t pop like they had after a lymphatic drainage massage. That being said, I noticed similar non-aesthetic benefits to the massage after wearing the suit, like more energy, which I appreciated — the fall slump is real.
Dockery actually says that, unlike Hilton, you shouldn’t be using the lymphatic drainage suit every day. “People should wait 24-48 hours between sessions,” she says. “A minimum of six sessions [will give you noticeable results], and the best results are from 12 sessions over a span of a few weeks.”
Still, there’s something great about working with your body to get rid of excess water and bloat in under an hour, so if you have the budget, I’d recommend trying it.
Madison Dockery, BSN, RN, wellness manager at Lume
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