I remember being about 12, being fit, strong, healthy – and cellulite free.
Growing up in the tropics of Papua New Guinea, I’d lived on plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh fish and meat and not much in the way of sugar or processed foods. The sugar I did have was usually a “treat” – occasional ice cream that Mum made, biscuits or cakes that I’d made, soft drinks or lollies when we went to the movies or into town. I’d spent non-school times running around, swimming, riding my bike, climbing trees – being an active and healthy child.
A couple of years into boarding school in Sydney, I remember looking down at my still fit and strong legs but seeing those little dimples. I didn’t actually know what it was or why it was there, but I didn’t like it!
Here we are, many, many years later and cellulite is one of the things my clients sometimes talk about.
I thought I’d give you some information about cellulite and some ways of reducing it. (I can help here!)
Who gets cellulite?
Nearly 90% of women get cellulite at some point in their lives – even if they are slim and fit. Men can get cellulite too.
What causes it?
It’s not caused by toxins.
People get cellulite when underlying fat deposits push through layers of connective tissue (collagen fibers) under the skin. You’ll most often find it on the buttocks and thighs, also on arms and stomachs. Hormones, lack of exercise, poor muscle tone, obesity and poor circulation can weaken the connective tissue.
Women have more fat around their hips and thighs than men and also have weaker connective tissue.
As women age their bodies produce less oestrogen, Oestrogen helps keep blood vessels flowing smoothly. Less oestrogen can cause poor circulation, less new collagen production as well as breaking down older connective tissue.
Cellulite may be genetic. Did your mother or grandmother have it? If they did, you might too.
Smoking affects circulation and disrupts collagen production.
What fixes it?
Regular exercise doesn’t cure cellulite but it can help prevent or reduce its appearance. Cardio exercise helps to keep weight off (or to reduce weight) which can reduce the appearance of cellulite, as well as increase circulation. Strength training will tone the muscles and increase circulation. The best approach with exercise is to combine cardio and strength training.
Eating a well-balanced, plant heavy diet can help prevent or treat cellulite. Eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables can reduce inflammation in your body and help you maintain a healthy weight. Drinking enough water and eating plenty of food with a high water content will help too.
Effective, short-term treatments for cellulite include laser, radio-frequency and massage techniques.
Massage and cupping
Regular massage promotes good circulation, good lymphatic drainage and helps to tone and firm your skin. Massage helps to increase collagen production.
I have a client who has been coming to see me every month for many years. After she had been coming for a few months, she told me that she was sure her monthly massage had made her cellulite disappear!
Another client showed me photos taken at the beach in her swimming costume. Two of the photos had been taken at the beginning of summer and three later photos were taken at the end of summer. The difference in her legs and buttocks was quite noticeable! She attributed the change to her monthly massage (including cupping), as well as her better eating and exercise over the summer.
Just recently I have been experimenting on myself.
I swim in the ocean most weekends and as often as I can during the week. That alone has had quite an impact on my skin. The cold water increases circulation and lymphatic flow and helps to balance hormones – and makes me feel amazing!
Two weeks ago I had a conversation with a colleague. We thought that twice weekly massage and cupping, combined with body brushing, good diet, hydration, exercise and adequate sleep would make a noticeable difference in 8-10 weeks.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve been massaging and cupping my legs once a week. I’ve used my body brush on some of the days that I haven’t swum.
It’s too soon to know for sure, but I can feel a difference in the texture of my skin and I think the cellulite is improving.
I’ll let you know how it goes. (I’ll decide later whether you get to see photos or not!!)
How can I help you reduce your cellulite?
If you’d like to try this approach to reduce your cellulite, get in touch and we can have a chat – summer’s coming!