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I am asked all the time… “What is cellulite?” “Is there anything I can do to get rid of it?” “How come women seem to have it more than men?”
So here is my “little” spiel.


WHAT IS CELLULITE?

    Cellulite is a colloquial term for the dermal lumpy appearance caused by lobules of underlying adispose (fat) tissue and inflexible fibrous connective fascia. Cellulite can affect ANY body weight or size, and these deposits usually occur on the abdomen, thighs and hips of women.

Not to add, when things get clogged up in the body, blood circulation decreases, this starves and weakens  the surrounding tissues and causes fluid to be retained. A decrease in lymph drainage
causes the fluids that normally carry away waste to be trapped. Plus, an overload of toxins (from the environment, processed foods, and foods with lots of chemical additives) accumulate in the body– and try though they may– the liver, kidneys, sweat glands, and lymph system can’t keep up the pace, which means that toxins get trapped around fat cells. This causes tissue barriers (Septa) to tighten and bear down on the fat cells below. (Not unlike an overstuffed recliner that has tight structural seaming, and inflexible tufts– leading to bulging cushions– quadruple.ugh)

WHY (Mostly) WOMEN ???!!??

    Our hormones (primarily estrogen) are responsible for fat regulating, the changes in blood flow, lymphatic drainage, fat and connective tissue, all of which play a role in the formation of cellulite. AND…. it is our HORMONES, not exercise and diet, that primarily regulate the fat storage and  metabolism in the subcutaneous fat layer.

Structurally, the anatomy of a woman’s skin is different than a man’s. A woman’s subcutaneous fat layer (ugh) is organized into large vertical chambers where abundant fat (double.ugh) can be stored. In men, the chambers are small diagonal units, which stores less fat and are less likely to push upwards causing the visual “cottage-cheese-like” dimpling (triple.ugh) appearance. Also, a man’s skin is thicker which can camouflage any underlying cellulite.

Practically ALL post-pubescent females display some degree of cellulite. Lucky Us.

But isn’t there some reason? Yes. This process of fat storage in the most superficial (read: visible, because it is close to the surface) level of the dermis provides many benefits:

  • it furnishes insulation
  • cushioning
  • structural support for our skin
  • it provides sufficient calories for pregnancy and lactation
  • it acts as one part of the endocrine (hormonal) organs that help us cross the bridge from youth to mature age

CAN I (oh.please.tell.me.I.can) GET RID OF IT

    The simple truth is no; there are things we can do to diminish it’s appearance.

Exercise will not prevent cellulite. however, the less fat you have, the less likely it is to push up on the fascia. So add exercise to your arsenal.

A healthy diet will not prevent cellulite, but again, eating well is ALWAYS a good idea. And food that makes you fat will increase those dimples. So add mindful eating to your arsenal.

Essential Oils will not remove cellulite, but hey, neither will liposuction… some essential oils that help reduce the appearance, include: Geranium, Lemon, Juniper, Grapefruit, Cedarwood, Patchouli, and Sage.

Be wary of expensive supplements. The scientific evidence supporting them is underwhelming.

THE CUPPING APPROACH

    Contouring is Cupping Therapy’s Middle Name.

Cupping acts upon the Fascial, Lymphatic, Circulatory, and Integumentary Systems to cnotour and reduce the appearance of stretch marks, scar tissue, fine lines, and you-guessed-it… cellulite.

 Treatments can last from 20-60 minutes and target the hips, buns, thighs, abdomen, or any other problem area.

Typically, an outline of stationary cups are strategically placed around the target zone (like the lateral edge of the sacrum, lilac crest, down the IT Band, as well as the meeting place of the hamstrings) for 2 – 5 minutes to prepare the area for treatment. Then each zone is passed through with cups suctioning across the fiber, with the fibers, and in circles around the fibers.  Finally a light depth cup follows the lymphatic watersheds to remove any toxins and fluids that may have been stagnating.

Visible and palpable differences can be felt after a single treatment, but for lasting results, treatment should be performed 1-2x / week for 2-3 weeks initially, with maintenance  sessions thereafter. Obviously these sessions should be supported with a healthy dose of diet and exercise.

Although occasionally crossing tender points, the treatment is more gentle and relaxing than, say, surgery, or a really vigorous deep-tissue compression massage (foam rollers, anyone?)

And because the stationary cupping is limited in time, this is a protocol that rarely leaves marks.

I call it the Myofascial Butt “Lift” and not only am I a therapist… I am also a client. 🙂

Try one out today, with me, only at Chicago Spine and Sports.