Embalming is a pre-burial procedure and consists in preserving the body after death, although it is essentially a highly hygienic treatment in the funeral industry. In the first few hours after death the body undergoes a rapid transformation that makes the funeral wake a stressful affair. Embalming requires that blood is ejected from the veins and substituted with embalming fluid and restorative skin care is carried out if necessary. In this way it is possible to preserve a memory picture of the deceased, forestalling the beginning of the decomposition process by a few weeks. The relatives of the deceased will be afforded a more agreeable and less traumatic last memory, as they will see their loved one as if he or she were still alive.
Embalming speeds up the body’s natural process of reverting to dust within 10 years’ time at the latest, against about 40 years, and in some cases even 80 years. One should rightly point out that embalming should not to be confused with the perpetual embalming that would not do much, but it is a temporary conservation method. This means that bodies treated with this technique may be kept for 10 to 15 days before burial, and remain intact in any kind of environment.