But, as commenter BrattyB points out:
It looks more like ancient sauna machines, that were supposed to make people lose weight really fast. They were all the rage around 1890.
I have long marveled at the medieval tortures women often subject themselves to in the name of beauty. (See, e.g., the references to anal bleaching in previous post.) I have also sometimes gotten in trouble for asserting that much of this voluntary self-torment is, despite the common wisdom, part of an intra-feminine status conflict that has little or nothing to do with male preference. (See, e.g., plastic fingernail overlays, aka “false nails”.) So I’m rather amused to see a beauty treatment that could easily pass for a penal imposition, or what would be just as ironic if Bondage Blog was right the first time, a penal imposition that could pass for a beauty treatment.