WHAT IS CELLULITE?
Cellulite is a term used to describe the dimpling appearance of skin, which is generally found around the thighs, buttocks and stomach areas.
Traditional Chinese Medicine views cellulite as a buildup of dampness in the body and relates to a poor digestive function therefore impeding the circulation of fluids in the body. The Earth elements, also known as the Spleen and Stomach, are the 2 Zang Fu organs mostly associated with the digestive process, (although the Wood elements, Liver and Gall bladder, also play a role in helping with the metabolism of food in the body and the Metal elements, Lung and Large Intestine, have the function of distributing fluids around the body). When the Earth element is out of balance due to over thinking/study, worry, sitting at a desk for long periods of time and not getting enough exercise and the over consumption of damp producing foods and fluids i.e.: diary, wheat, processed fast foods, sugar and the likes. This combined with a stressful lifestyle and repressed emotions all weaken the spleen and stomach’s ability to function and over a period of time begins to store the buildup of damp toxins within the body and in this case just under the skin, which become the ban of many people’s life, more often women but men suffer from this too.
HOW CHINESE MEDICINE TREATS CELLULITE?
Chinese medicine combines a number of branches to treat this condition, including: acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, herbal medicine and lifestyle advice, which includes: exercise and possible dietary changes to reduce fat and move stagnation to reduce cellulite.
Acupuncture is used to stimulate the spleen and stomach, drain the damp and fluids, and to move the stagnated energy in the local areas.
Herbal Medicine is used internally to strengthen the spleen and stomach and rebalances ones energy and remove the damp from within thereby reducing and removing the cellulite.
OTHER BENEFICIAL TREATMENTS AVAILABLE AT UTOPIA
Dry Skin Brushing has the ability to stimulate lymphatic circulation. Follow the link to bodecare and read up on the benefits in more detail.
Magnesium is critical for getting rid of cellulite. The reason Magnesium is important is, it stops Cortisol production (which makes your belly bigger) and it helps convert fatty acids into the anti-inflammatory prostaglandin; stress produces excessive Cortisol.
Living Clay (Calcium Bentonite Clay) is used by many spas in body wraps to detoxify the tissues, eliminate excess fluids and tighten the skin. Body wraps in the spa can be expensive. Even purchasing home-body wrap kits can be pricey. With Living Clay you don't need a kit nor do you even have to 'wrap' yourself.
All you need to do is: cover your entire body with a light to medium coating of hydrated Living Clay and allow it to dry. Drying outside in the sun is perfect, if possible, (bikini required in public!). Then, jump into the shower, or in a stream, if outside, and wash it off. Your skin will feel soft and firm. (Ed: It's not a bad idea do a bit of light aerobic exercisewhile the clay is drying.)
Yoga, Tai Chi and the Tibetan rites were specifically designed to enhance lymphatic flow. The lymphatic system does not have a pump to propel lymph throughout the body. Instead, lymph is drawn through lymphatic vessels by a series of one-way valves. Lymph circulates as a result of skeletal movement combined with breath. This is why in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the lungs are said to regulate the water passages.
A combined approach of Chinese medicine, diet and increased exercise can give you effective results including:
- · Smoother, firmer appearance
- · Increased metabolism
- · Reduced fluid retention
- · Detoxification of tissue
- · Stress relief
And best of all you will glow inside and out. This may not happen overnight, but give it a few weeks and by summer you will be happy to be in a swim suit.
Best results are accomplished with 2 x 1 hour acupuncture treatments per week over 4 weeks.
EXTRA DIETARY NOTES ON CELLULITE
Sweets are notorious for creating what’s known as phlegm/dampness in the body. And in excess puts added stress on the kidneys leading to a buildup of toxins in the body.
Salt (sodium) intake needs also to be kept under control since cellulite (fat) has high water content.
Greasy or fried foods easily transform into dampness, similar dairy products, alcohol, cold and raw foods. Consider reducing your coffee (and other foods with caffeine) since they can deplete heat in your body, damage digestion, and subsequently lead to the production of damp.
Here are a few foods that help reduce phlegm/damp cellulite include:
- · Pears
- · Brown rice
- · Radishes
- · Clams
- · Adzuki beans
- · Pumpkin
- · Oats
- · Seaweed
One of the benefits of clearing up your diet, and other lifestyle factors, is that it will help reduce the accumulation of fat that takes place before forming into pockets. Using food is a safe gentle way to go about it.
This is a short list of foods that support the cleansing process for you to add to the grocery list:
- · Bananas (Not too many! Their density can also cause dampness)
- · Cucumbers
- · Dates
- · Figs
- · Honey
- · Sesame oil
- · Red beans
These Foods are high in antioxidants:
- · Red or dark colored fruits (blueberries, plums, strawberries)
- · Berries (good sources of vitamins C and E both important for healthy skin)
- · Avocados
- · Tomatoes
- · Cantaloupe
- · Sweet potatoes
- · Foods rich in vitamin A (antioxidants) help fight free radical damage that ages skin prematurely:
- · Carrots, spinach, and broccoli (good sources of vitamin A to promote faster regeneration of skin cells)
Dry skin can makes cellulite look worse. EFAs (essential fatty acids) are another essential ingredient for well-moisturized, supple skin by keeping the skin cell membranes healthy. Good sources of EFAs include linseed or even flax seed oil.
Green tea has also been proven to boost skin health because of its antioxidants, a number of vitamins and minerals and its anti-inflammatory properties.
Water keeps the body hydrated and therefore the skin is more supple and soft.