Cellulite is an ugly word to say, with even uglier connotations attached to it. Cellulite has been the cause of swimsuit anxiety for women (and some men) for centuries, if not longer. But the truth is, most of us have dealt or are dealing with cellulite at one time or another!
Cellulite is one of the most difficult skin issues to treat, but thankfully, developments have come a long way in treating cellulite's appearance. As one of the premier spa destinations for massages in Houston, we often hear the question, “Can/does massage help with cellulite?” The good news is, yes, it can! We’ve helped many people improve the appearance of their cellulite through the power of massage. In this blog, we’ll answer some of the more common cellulite-related questions and explain just how massage therapy can help with cellulite concerns.
What Is Cellulite, Exactly?
Let’s get this out of the way: cellulite is not a medical condition; it’s not harmful (aside from emotional scarring). Cellulite is when fat deposits beneath the skin layers push up against the surface, creating the appearance of uneven skin, which some will relate to cottage cheese or orange peels. We all have areas of our body where fat is more concentrated, and it’s in these areas, like the stomach, thighs, and butt, that cellulite most commonly shows up.
How Does One Get Cellulite/Whose Fault Is It!?
Well, like most cosmetic blessings and curses in this life, cellulite is passed down through genetics and exacerbated by lifestyle choices. If your parents have cellulite, likely, you will too. Hormonal fluctuations can also cause an increase in the appearance of cellulite, the types of fluctuations that happen with the onset of puberty or during pregnancy. Aging and the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin can further exacerbate the appearance of cellulite; you may have heard the term skin latency before - this is a weakening/loosening of the skin. When this happens, cellulite tends to be more visible.
Cellulite is more commonly seen in individuals with higher body fat percentages and who have sedentary lifestyles, as poor circulation also contributes to its visibility. Don’t be fooled, though; people with low body fat percentages and active lifestyles can still have cellulite. It’s an extremely common and natural occurrence, with 80-90% of females reporting cellulite concerns at some point in their lives. While it’s rare in men, mainly due to how male fat and skin connective tissues function, it can still happen in some men.
Does Massage Help Cellulite?
You may ask yourself, if cellulite is so resistant and difficult to deal with, how will massaging it accomplish anything!? That’s a great question, but believe us when we say that the beast named cellulite can be tamed and put in its place with the right methodologies guiding massage therapists. Working to alleviate the appearance of cellulite through massage takes a multi-faceted approach, and we’ll explain that here:
- Manipulating soft tissues
The dimpled look of cellulite is caused by fat deposits sitting under the skin, pushing and stretching some soft tissue areas out of formation. A more uniform look can take shape by manipulating the fat deposits and tissues with certain massage techniques, like our cellulite reduction treatment.
- Improving blood flow/circulation
When the soft tissues are manipulated, as with any massage, it encourages our bodies to increase blood flow and circulation. The increased circulation can help the fluids trapped in the body’s fat deposits drain and exit the system faster. Fluid buildup under the skin will exacerbate the appearance of cellulite, so reducing the fluid will reduce the visual presence of cellulite.
- Helping the lymphatic system drain
The lymphatic system is the critical part of our body that helps remove toxins, waste, and excess fluids. All this nastiness (fluid retention) usually happens within the fatty tissues, so if we can help reduce this fluid retention, we can help reduce the appearance of cellulite on fatty areas in our bodies.
- Reducing stress and anxiety
It’s a vicious cycle; when we worry about the appearance of fat and cellulite on our bodies, the stress we self-impose causes our brain to send signals to the body that our system is under duress; our mind tells our body that it needs to hold on to the fat deposits and excess fluids - because we’re in survival mode, cortisol levels increase which signal our bodies to store fat. So, excess stress keeps fat in our bodies; it does not help it move along. Massage therapy can help reduce stress and anxiety, allowing our bodies to process fat more efficiently.
Cellulite is Nothing to Be Ashamed Of
As much as we don’t like cellulite, and as much as it has been demonized by society, it’s a natural part of life that almost all of us will deal with at some point. The important thing is not to let cellulite ruin your self-esteem and cause stress/anxiety. Treatments are available to help reduce cellulite’s appearance, so don’t ever feel powerless!
Click the link to learn more about massage therapy for cellulite, or book your appointment!
Consent of the client is required:
I understand that results will vary among individuals. I understand that although I may see a change after my first treatment, I will likely require a series of sessions to obtain my desired outcome.