The Waist Training Side Effects You Didn’t Know

corsetThe desired primary effect of waist training is the decreased size of the waist. Social media “fitness pros” and celebrities tweet and post pictures of amazing transformations that they say are because of the waist trainer. But are they telling the whole story?

The smallest waist recorded is that of Ethel Granger, who for most of her life and achieved a waist of 13 inches: a reduction of over ten inches. Such extreme reductions take a very long time to achieve.

The length of time it will take a woman with a waist trainer to get used to this reduction will vary on his or her physiology; a large amount of fat on the torso and strong abdominal muscles will mean that it takes longer for someone to wear their corset laced closed at the back. Thereafter, reducing another couple of inches is not much more difficult, but each inch after a six-inch reduction can take a year to achieve.

MUST READ: 25 tips for a Smaller Waistline

The diminished waist and tight corset reduce the volume of the torso. This is sometimes reduced even further by styles of corset that force the torso to taper towards the waist, which pushes the lower ribs inwards. As a consequence, internal organs are moved closer together and out of their original positions in a way similar to the way that a pregnant woman’s expanding uterus causes the organs to be displaced.

Dr. Sunil Sharma, Director of Bariatric Surgery at the University of Florida Health, told Ebony magazine, “All you’re doing is compressing your stomach and pushing the fat around instead of getting rid of it. It’s a very temporary thing.” Temporary, as in the magic stops when you take it off.

The volume of the lungs diminishes and the waist trainer tends to breathe intercostally – that is, with the upper portion of the lungs only, rather than the whole. Intercostal breathing is what gives the image of “heaving bosoms”. Due to the lower portion of the lungs being used less there is often a stereotype of mucosal build-up there; a slight and persistent cough is the sign of the body trying to clear this (and might also have led to the Victorian hypothesis that corsets caused tuberculosis).

The liver is pressed upwards. As it continually renews itself, it adapts to fit its new position, and in the long-term,…