Cellulite must be bane of every woman’s life; regardless of how active and fit you are, the legs and bottom can be a mass of bumpy, dimpled skin that can make someone feel unattractive. But what is cellulite and why is it that we all seem to suffer with it, and what can the power of massage bring in the war against it?
What is cellulite?
Before ‘treating’ it, it pays to understand what cellulite is and why all women will ‘suffer’ from it at some point from their mis-20s onwards.
Cellulite is enlarged pockets of body fat that are deposited deep underneath the skin but, with pressure from inside the body, these pockets are pushed up towards the surface of the skin, causing the unpleasant dimpled skin effect that so many women detest.
The best way to describe this in practical terms is to think of a room with a trampoline as its ceiling. Beneath it, in the room, are a few balloons. When they have space, there is no issue but if these balloons are increased to the point there is not much room, they will naturally start to push upwards. Increase the pressure from the floor by moving it upwards, will force the balloons right up under the trampoline; keep applying pressure and eventually the balloons will cause the flat surface of the trampoline to ‘bubble.
This is effectively how the pockets of fat in the top of the legs, the buttocks and for some women in the abdominal area too, behave.
Just a female thing?
Cellulite is more common in women than men, and this is for a variety of reasons…
- Men have a much thicker epidermis that is, the top layer of skin. This thicker layer means that the fat is not as visible as it pushes up under the skin whereas in women, this thinner layer means that unfortunately, it is seen.
- Women also have different skin structure to men; under the female skin, the fat sits in large compartments, side-by-side with men’s fat sitting in smaller pockets under the skin. How the skin structure is, dictates how the fat within it behaves.
- There is also some suggestion that the different styles of underwear that men and women wear can also increase the possibility of cellulite; for example, wearing loose fitting briefs is better than tight, restrictive underwear.
There is no miracle treatment, but massage can help reduce the effects!
There are many scams online and in magazines and so forth, that all suggest they have found the magic cure for cellulite. You will have seen the headlines that promise cellulite can be banished forever with the purchase of a cream, or liposuction or some other kind of treatment.
There is no cure for cellulite as it is a naturally occurring process in the body, but there are actions that can be taken to decrease the appearance – with massage being one!
How to reduce cellulite with massage
Massage is a great way of reducing the dimpled effect of cellulite that so many women feel self-conscious about. Massage aids both the circulatory and lymphatic system within the body and thus massaging cellulite prone areas is a great way of reaching these hard to reach areas.
Eating healthily and exercise all help to minimise cellulite but, massage can play an important role on reducing it further and here’s how…
Step 1: Preparation
Skin needs to be protected in order to withstand the rigour of being rubbed, with even the slightest touch making it sore if applied over and over again. Therefore, with w good quality massage oil, make sure the legs – starting from with the knee or foot – is oiled up to the problem area of the top of the thigh. Using circular motions, apply pressure too as this will help the circulation of the blood in the leg too.
Step 2: Kneading massage
Using your fingers, knead the smaller areas, such as the inner knee, but for larger areas such as the hips and thighs use the hand to knead the area. This brings the blood closer to the surface with the action of squeeze-and-lift helping to also eliminate waste products.
Step 3: Knuckle massage
Those ugly cellulite bulges that you hate can now be pummelled with your knuckles to help break up the larger deposits of fat underneath the skin. You don’t necessarily have to press so hard that it is painful as the action itself helps to break down the fat deposits.
Step 4: ‘S’ massage
This involves grasping large chunks of the affected area and, with your thumbs at right angles, twist the flesh in opposite directions so that it makes an ‘S’ shape.
Step 5: Wring massage
Next, you need to relax the muscles by grapping large parts of the flesh and forming the same action as if wringing wet clothes. Again, this is not meant to hurt!
Step 6: Deep pressure stroking
These steps should be performed on a daily basis to help reduce the effects of cellulite and to finish stroke the affected parts heavily, pushing the flesh upwards towards the torso. This encourage any toxins released the make their way to the kidneys to be processed and eliminated from the body.