Compression therapy is the boost-boosting treatment that puts a spring in your step and peps up your immune system and we’ve tried it
When actress Jennifer Aniston’s latest Instagram photo dump showed her wearing inflatable electric ‘Michelin trousers’, I instantly recognised those pneumatic salopettes as a treatment I’ve enjoyed many times. These compression therapy trews are loved by celebs, doctors, and beauty editors alike, as an easy and gentle way to get your lymph moving and reinvigorate tired legs. Lymph is a clear fluid that mops up toxins and is a key part of your immune system. Read more about the benefits of lymphatic drainage for a leaner body and potentially even a longer life).
The trousers’ main function is lymphatic drainage which helps improve cellulite by shifting stubborn fluid along, supporting immune function and promoting detoxification. They are also perfect post-exercise recovery as Jen knows: The Morning Show star appeared to be lying on the floor of a gym while wearing them.
The 54-year-old has never been seen in the same room as cellulite and her power pants could be a clue to why. She is known for her toned legs and her love of wellness in general (she’s invested in the collagen supplement brand Vital Proteins and is the face of low-impact workout platform Pvolve) and so having her own pair of lymphatic drainage pants seems a natural fit. The most common brand, and the one Jen appears to be wearing, is the Body Ballancer, although there are a few on the market: I’m modelling a pair of Lympha Pants, above.
How much do lymphatic drainage pants cost?
Be prepared to part with £8.5k plus VAT for your own pair from Body Ballancer (advantage: you can loaf on the sofa watching reruns of Friends). Or book into a clinic for a session: many aesthetic doctors have the medical grade devices and you can often bolt on another treatment too, to make best use of your time. A 45-minute session can cost around £100 either alone or as an adjunct to a facial, nail or lash appointment; anything that doesn’t involve your body from the chest down, basically. My lash technician Camilla Lashes throws in a go on her Therabody Compression Boots for an extra £60. After 90 minutes, I’m practically floating out of the door, my legs feel so light.
I’ve had the Body Ballancer during facials and even a scalp treatment and recently had the Lympha Pants (pictured) while plugged into a glutathione drip with IV therapy specialists Body Brilliant. Compression therapy is also helpful after a fat-loss treatment such as Coolsculpting, which relies on the lymph to flush out the fat. If you feel sluggish, Jen’s power pants will sort it. Some people – especially those who suffer from fluid retention or heavy legs – love the Body Ballancer as a standalone treatment.
What do lymphatic drainage pants feel like?
Imagine a pair of ski trousers with pockets or air that inflate and deflate in varying patterns to create a gentle pressing feeling. This encourages your lymph to move around your body, which it can’t do by itself - nature designed it without its own pump. You put them on over your clothes (I always wear leggings, but you could wear whatever you wanted so long as you didn't mind it being squeezed) and the trousers go right up to your chest. While having your ribcage constricted feels a little unusual, it quickly deflates again before any discomfort occurs. I like the ripples it creates in my abdomen - I swear it gets sluggish digestion moving. You can always ask the technician to turn down the intensity, although I always ask for the max.
My verdict on lymphatic drainage pants
If you love a hands-on lymphatic drainage massage, then you probably wouldn't choose this. While I can see the value of one, it's a light-pressure massage because the lymph lies close to the surface of the body. and needs to be 'stroked' along. If I’ve gone to the bother of undressing and wearing paper pants, I want nothing less than power thumbs. But if you’re already committed to a couch for any other reason, slip on the salopettes. Your immune system and your legs will love you.