By Paola Bassanese
Can Massage Help with Slimming?
As a therapist, I am often asked if massage is effective to help slim down, lose weight and sculpt the body. The only answer is: as long as you are exercising and following a healthy eating regime, regular massage treatments can help accelerate and maintain results. How? First, let’s look at fat and cellulite.
What is Cellulite?
Cellulite is a condition where the surface of the skin appears lumpy and dimpled because of the irregular structure of the fat deposits underneath the skin. Cellulite can be categorised into three types from grade 1 to grade 3:
Grade 1: where some small changes in the appearance of the skin starts to change, for example you can notice some dimpling but the skin is still elastic and supple.
Grade 2: skin starts feeling cold to the touch and is showing less elasticity, more changes under the skin start developing and the “orange peel” effect is more visible.
Grade 3: skin is more dimpled and feels hard to the touch.
The whole body is surrounded by connective tissue which is a mesh-like substance that acts as a container for our organs, muscles and blood vessels. Cellulite is the result of fat deposits poking out of this mesh: as we put on weight, fat cells become more enlarged and will bulge out of this net giving the so-called “orange peel” appearance.
Cellulite as a term may cause one to believe that there is a state of inflammation, however there is no firm theory to support this, especially as the skin affected by cellulite is normally not hot to the touch (inflamed skin and underlying tissues would feel hot to the touch).
What Causes Cellulite?
Causes of cellulite are not known yet so there’s different theories to help explain the main reasons one tends to develop cellulite. There is also no known way to completely eliminate cellulite: this condition needs to be managed by making the right lifestyle choices.
Most theories point at hormones as the main cause of cellulite and mostly oestrogen, insulin, adrenaline and even prolactin. Another factor contributing to cellulite is genetics and certain genes are likely to make you more prone to cellulite; gender is a dominant factor and women are more affected by cellulite than men. Metabolism, race, circulatory problems and fat distribution are also contributing factors.
Lifestyle is a particularly important factor in combating cellulite: the wrong diet and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to the appearance of cellulite. A diet too rich in refined carbohydrates, ready meals and too much salt together with lack of exercise can cause cellulite. Restrictive clothing and underwear can also impede good blood and lymph circulation so they can too be responsible for the appearance of cellulite.
Can Slimming/Contouring Massage Help?
In the more advanced stages of cellulite the skin appears hard to the touch and colder than other areas; an area affected by grade 3 cellulite will feel similar to wax that has hardened. The concept behind slimming massage is to melt the “wax” gently and progressively through friction and pressure and then the body will reabsorb any excess fat in its own time through the correct exercise and the right diet.
Cellulite massage is a combined technique using both lymphatic and deep tissue massage to target stubborn fatty deposits.
How Often should I Have a Slimming Massage?
For optimal results, it is recommended to have two slimming massage sessions a week targeting areas like hips, abdomen and legs for at least 4 weeks. Alternatively, one session a week for 6 to 8 weeks alongside a programme of healthy eating and exercise.
To book a course of treatments call 07803961669 or email email@example.com