I’m in my early 30s and have noticed pockets of cellulite on my thighs and buttocks. I’m fit and enjoy running, so know it’s not due to inactivity. Is there a natural treatment I could use?
Cellulite has long been considered as a symptom of excess weight or high body fat, but this simply is not the case. Cellulite does not discriminate. It occurs in the fatty reserve areas (found in breast, belly, buttock, thigh and upper arm regions) and appears to have a certain genetic component.
The presence of cellulite indicates fluid waste products are being held by the body, causing the skin to appear dimpled and uneven.
While genetics play a role in cellulite, it can also be linked to one or a combination of the following: processed foods, insufficient exercise, and poor elimination.
Fascia is another important consideration when it comes to the dimpled appearance that causes so much frustration. It is well worth getting a hold of the book, Free Your Fascia by Dr Daniel Fenster. This is an in-depth look into this mysterious organ that does so much more than just hold everything in place. The book is also full of practical advice, suggesting ways to reduce pain levels, improve organ health, and smooth out the skin.
While men and women can develop cellulite, it is far more common in women due to the structure of the subcutaneous fat tissue. Men have a thinner top layer of subcutaneous fat than women, and their fat cells are constructed in an inter-crossed layer. In women, this layer consists of larger cells in an upright position which are separated by curved connective tissue walls. It is these walls that protrude and cause the ‘orange peel' appearance on the skin.
Excess consumption of processed foods contributes to cellulite through the storage of waste and toxins in the fatty reserve areas.
Eating whole foods, locally grown and organic where possible, with a high intake of raw fruit and vegetables is important for nourishment, water content, and fibre.
Water will flush out toxins and wastes, but fibre is also crucial in ensuring the smooth removal of waste products.
To work out how much water you need to flush your system daily, divide your weight (in lbs) in half and drink the fluid ounce equivalent. For example, if you weigh 160lb then you would drink 80floz (around 2.3 litres) each day.
Psyllium husks are a great source of soluble fibre, and can help with constipation, diarrhoea, and other gastrointestinal complaints.
Begin with a heaped teaspoon stirred into a large (300ml) glass of water each morning, and work up to a tablespoon of psyllium. In some cases, it may be necessary to repeat this dosage in the evenings as well — particularly where long-term constipation is an issue.
You are already exercising and staying fit, so this will be helping. Effective anti-cellulite exercises include skipping, jumping on a trampoline, walking, cycling, swimming, and other forms of aerobic exercise.
Restrictive clothing can be counter-productive since it may impair circulation of the lymph fluid. Lymphatic fluid is an important consideration when it comes to cellulite – there is almost triple the amount of lymphatic fluid in our bodies as there is blood. It not only helps to remove cellular debris and toxins, but it also helps with fighting off disease.
Dry skin brushing with a long-handled natural bristle brush each morning before your shower will help activate the lymph and reduce cellulite. Use gentle but brisk strokes and always work towards the heart.
You can further stimulate the release of fluids that can cause cellulite build-up by adding essential oils such as juniper, grapefruit, fennel, cypress, and eucalyptus to a base oil and massaging them into your skin. For extra lymph stimulation, you can add organic raw sugar to make a scrub.
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NOTE: The information contained in this column is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor.