A large majority of the population suffers from cellulite, it is nothing to be ashamed of but it is natural if you do feel self-conscious about it. Massage is said to be quite beneficial for cellulite so let's take a closer look at that including exactly how it works, plus some other general information about cellulite.
How can massage help cellulite?
Massage is said to help cellulite by doing the following.
- It drains excess body fluid.
- It redistributes fat cells.
- It improves circulation.
- It plumps up the skin.
Massage can definitely improve the appearance of cellulite in the short term but it will not cure it completely. Repeat treatments are often necessary with the different massage treatments available and even that will not get rid of it altogether.
Massage devices to use on cellulite
There are many massage devices on the market but not all of them are effective so make sure you do your research if you plan on buying one of these products. A lot of people use foam rollers and while these do have some benefits, the American Council on Exercise says that they do nothing to improve the appearance of cellulite. There are handheld vibrating massagers and while they can make a temporary difference, they are not known to have any long-lasting beneficial effects. One thing that is known to be quite effective on cellulite is something called endermologie and this is an FDA-approved treatment that stretches, rolls, and lifts the skin in order to reduce cellulite. While it has not had perfect results, it is known to be one of the better cellulite treatments.
What does the research say?
There have been many studies into cellulite over the years and the research has shown some interesting things when it comes to cellulite and what can help eliminate it.
- A study in 2015 proved that dry cupping could be one of the best treatments for cellulite. This is because it encourages the drainage of fluid and toxins. This treatment works by cups being placed over the areas where there is cellulite and then a handheld pump is used to create and hold suction.
- A study was done in 2010 that used an endermologie machine for massage for cellulite and the results were surprisingly positive. A special type of massage was used called CTM, the method was successful in decreasing fat and improving the appearance of cellulite with the majority of women who took part in the study.
What is cellulite and what are the causes?
Cellulite is basically dimpled skin and it often gives the appearance of having been stretched, it is uneven, bumpy, and some people compare its appearance to cottage cheese. It is more common in women than men, although men can have it too. Around 80 - 90% of women have at least some cellulite and it is more commonly distributed on the stomach, thighs, breasts, and hips. Although it can be more visible in overweight people, it is a myth that only bigger people get cellulite, it shows itself on adults of all different shapes and sizes.
To look at the possible causes of cellulite, you first need to look at how the skin is made up. Your skin, fat, tissues, and muscles are made up of different layers - kind of like an onion. Cellulite arises on the skin when the bands of connective tissue anchor and allow fat to be deposited onto any of these layers of skin.
Some factors that might increase your likelihood of getting cellulite are as follows.
Your age - Skin weakens as you get older, it becomes less elastic and the connective tissue bands weaken without you being able to do anything about it.
Your gender - As mentioned previously, women are much more likely to get cellulite than men. This is due to the fact that men actually have criss-cross connective tissue, whereas, with women, it is vertical which allows fat to more easily seep through.
Your hormones - Estrogen is a hormone that plays a big part in the formation of cellulite and that is the reason why women are more prone to it than men. It also gives more explanation as to why teens start to develop cellulite during puberty and why it gets worse during pregnancy.
Genetics - While this is not an exact science, genes do play a role in the distribution of fat cells and cellulite so if a lot of your family members have it, the odds are that you will too.
Diet and lifestyle - Research has shown that you are more likely to develop cellulite if you have a high-fat and high-salt diet. In terms of lifestyle, some other things that are known to cause cellulite are not getting enough exercise and drinking too much alcohol.
Things to keep in mind
Cellulite is not a bad thing and it does not mean that you are overweight or unfit, get that mindset out of your head so if all else fails, you are more likely to be able to embrace your cellulite.
Massage might not have a huge effect on your cellulite but it can help you get rid of aches and pains, and also have you feeling more relaxed and with improved mental health. It isn't all about looking better, it's about feeling better too!
It is worth talking to a dermatologist if your cellulite is really affecting you because some treatments that are known to be very effective include laser therapy and subcision.
I think it is apparent that all different kinds of women get cellulite and while there are some things you can do to make it less likely you will get it, for the most part, it is simply out of your control! Massage is known to have some benefits on the appearance of cellulite and so is cupping. Look for possible treatments in your area if you want to reduce the appearance of your cellulite but remember that it is unlikely to go away completely and there is nothing wrong with that!