What we need to know about cellulite
The greatest lamented skin condition amongst women today is cellulite. These unsightly lumps and bumps are generally located in the upper arms, thighs, hips, buttocks, inner knees and weight-bearing areas, giving an uneven and lumpy appearance. Cellulite is not necessarily related to obesity and very often appears on slim women. Cellulite is not just “fat”. When toxins and metabolic wastes are stored in connective tissue, a water retention “pouch” is created around the adipose cells to protect them against the toxins. The surrounding connective tissue is compressed and the cellular exchanges are disturbed, collagen and elastin fibres are damaged and the fibrous tissue hardens. More toxins mean more water retention, which means more compression, which in turn, means harder cellulite.
In the past the problem of cellulite was not taken seriously because it was considered to be a cosmetic problem, even though in the developed stage it can cause sensitivity and discomfort. This scientific complacency has meant that, until now, few facts have been available. One fact about which there is total agreement however, is that cellulite is a feminine affliction – approximately 85% of women are affected – although men are not immune to it. Differences In body structure and function account for this.
The development of cellulite can be attributed to three major factors: the role of the female hormone system – birth control pills are responsible for the onset of cellulite in many women; the condition of supportive connective tissues – once cellulite has settled into the deeper muscle tissue it becomes harder to eliminate; and body type – this refers to the arrangement and size of bones along with relative disposition to muscular mass and fat deposit.
To begin combating cellulite, toxic wastes and impurities must be expelled from the body’s four major organs: kidneys, bowels, lungs and skin. Next, resistance and elasticity of the supportive connective tissue must be strengthened and the functioning of the body’s own natural drainage and circulation systems must be improved. Suggested types of exercise and massage techniques to help prevent the accumulation of toxins are:
- Elimination massage – this is a soft soothing massage applied with the fingers and palms in a slow rhythmic manner. Using an oil facilitates the massage. The purpose of elimination is to rid the body of waste products that have stagnated in the tissue and resulted in fatigue.
- Stimulation massage & exercise – this should be based on general co-ordination of the body systems and massage should be stimulating to promote the functioning of the circulatory system. Massage of the deep connecting tissue relieves tension and restores flexibility and elasticity. With this massage, start from the centre of the arches at the bottom of the feet, rubbing each with the knuckles of one hand while holding the toes of the other Toning exercise firms muscle tissue and restores the elasticity of connective tissue; isometric exercise is ideal, as is yoga, weight training, walking, aerobics and swimming. Early morning stretching is also very beneficial.
- Lymphatic Massage – the lymphatic vessels are numerous, tiny dermal connective tissues that form a system to carry away excess fluid that would otherwise tend to accumulate. Generally, cellulite is stationed near the filtering stations, the lymph nodes. Lymphatic massage stimulates the lymph flow, cleanses and nourishes tissue, provides energy and removes excess fluid. Start massaging upwards from the feet with a slow pumping pressure, avoiding the joints. Massaging areas where cellulite is located will strengthen and restore tissues and increase local biological activity.