The Origins of Waist Training
Waist training is a centuries-old practice first used by women in Europe and the United States in the 1850s. To achieve a wafer-thin waistline, women were required to progressively tighten their corset over a series of weeks or months.
During the waist training heyday, corsets were fitted with steel rods. The tightening process called for pulling in the rib cage and rearranging organs to get a smaller waist. Cathy Jung (14" waistline) and Ethyl Granger (13" waistline) are proof that the process is sometimes taken to the extreme.
While the practice was all the rage in the early twentieth century, it soon went out of style when the flapper era rolled in.
Is Waist Training Harmful?
Well, that's a matter of opinion. Some critics say waist training is dangerous, when in fact, it's no more dangerous than other fads when used sensibly. The key to safe waist training is doing it in moderation. For instance, if the corset is too tight, causing pain or some other type of discomfort, then take it off.
Achieving a slimmer waistline is one thing, but are you willing to accept the consequences? Some of the biggest complaints about waist training include acid reflux, breathing problems and back pain. Despite the complaints, there is no documented medical proof that shows the process to be harmful if practiced in a safe and sane manner.
Actually, a number of doctors insist the process is perfectly fine. Gastroenterologist Dr. Burton Korelitz says during his nearly sixty years of practice, he's never had a patient complain about waist training. He did note, however, that the process is not some magical way to shed unwanted pounds. "Some women don't understand that the weight is simply being redistributed. If you're looking to lose weight, a sensible diet is what you need," said Korelitz.
So, the verdict is in: weight training is not bad for you as long as you do it in moderation. If it's something you decide to do, just follow some basic rules:
- Make sure you wear the right size corset for comfort and support
- Find the correct corset to fit your body type
- Only wear the corset for about 1-2 hours a day
- Don't exercise while wearing your corset
- Give yourself a break if needed
- Realize that the process is gradual
- Do not wear the corset while sleeping