- Personal Assessments
- Manual massage to targeted areas including lymphatic stimulation (30 minutes)
- Cellulite Treatment with cellulite reduction machine (30 minutes)
- Infrared Sauna Treatment (30 minutes)
- Cellulite specific exercise recommendations
- Diet Consultation to target cellulite reduction
*$75.00 per session.
What exactly is cellulite?
Cellulite comprises of fat cell globules which are found in the deeper layer of the skin (subcutis). As these globules enlarge they upwardly push the skin that is found just above them making it protrude and thereby cause the familiar dimples.
At the same time the fibrous strands that hold the skin together react to this upward stretching by becoming less elastic and by shortening. The skin that is found just above those strands is thereby pulled downwards, making the dimples more pronounced.
This is exactly the same structure as that of a mattress, with the fat corresponding to the mattress foam and the fibrous strands corresponding to the buttons that are sewn deep inside the mattress.
This enlargement of fat clusters and shortening of fibrous tissue is almost always accompanied by inflammation, water retention, poor circulation, skin loosening and toxin build up. This is because all these phenomena share the same causes, which I am describing below.
To sum up, we can say the cellulite is superficial fat accumulation, connective tissue deformity, inflammation, water retention, skin loosening and toxin/waste product accumulation. This complex nature of cellulite is responsible for the difficulty in curing it.
What causes it?
Excess fat in the superficial fat cells is what enlarges them and starts the cellulite creation process. Fat in those fat cells is the end-result of overeating and/or inactivity, as we all know.
However, for the cellulite phenomenon to occur we also need estrogen. This is what creates the cellulite architecture in the deeper layers of the skin and stimulates the proliferation of superficial fat cells. No estrogen means no cellulite, as all men know.
Estrogen on it’s own is not enough to cause cellulite, neither excess calories on their own – only the combination can lead to cellulite.
Sedentary living and inactivity, even in the presence of the perfect diet, will worsen the appearance of cellulite as it favors the growth of fat cells at the expense of collagen cells. Inactivity also leads to poor circulation and lymph drainage, further aggravating cellulite.
Can it be affected by any lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol, etc)?
The most important lifestyle factors are:
- Being on calorie surplus mode, i.e. consuming more calories than the body can ever spend, especially food bingeing
- Drinking every single day, or drinking more than 2 glasses of wine per day (alcohol binging)
- Being sedentary, even if you are on calorie balance or even calorie deficit mode
- Eating poor quality food, even if you are on calorie balance or even calorie deficit mode. Sugar, trans fats and fried oils are the worst food ingredients.
- Being on the “pill” (hormonal contraception, also including hormone patches and hormone injections)
- Being on HRT
- Excessive caffeine intake
- Constipation and digestive disorders
Are there any foods or supplements that improve the appearance of cellulite?
Foods or supplements can prevent cellulite and can contribute towards the reduction of cellulite – but they cannot reduce it on their own. The best foods in order of importance are:
- All non-starchy vegetables. The dark green and cruciferous vegetables are especially good.
- Literally all herbs and spices with the only exception being the excessive consumption of hot chili.
- All berry fruits
- Oily fish from unpolluted seas or high quality, purified fish oil
- Decaf coffee, decaf tea, decaf green tea and cocoa – served without sugar or with the healthy sweetener stevia
- Loads of water
There is no particular supplement that directly affects cellulite better than the above foods. However, a high quality multivitamin is indispensable in the polluted and stressful world we live today. If I had cellulite I would prefer to target my cellulite directly with nutrients contained in a good cellulite cream than by taking any single supplement.
Are there any lifestyle changes that can improve the appearance of cellulite?
Again, lifestyle changes cannot eliminate cellulite on their own, but they are indispensable contributing factors. Here are my recommendations:
- Try to be active throughout the day, every day. Walk to work (at least partially), cycle, dance, do stairs etc.
- Exercise vigorously: running, fast or uphill walking, fast swimming and vigorous gym classes such as aerobics, spinning and pump classes, Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga etc.
- Perform squats and lunges on a vibration plate for up to 15 minutes, up to 3 times a week. More than that might harm the joints or internal organs. Never sit or lie on the vibration plate! All other exercises performed on those plates are pretty pointless or dangerous.
- Follow the diet recommendations outlined above
- Sleep well, quit smoking, avoid tight clothes, chronic stress and unnecessary medication, including “the pill”
- Sort out your digestive problems including constipation
- Avoid fried food, hydrogenated fats and all types of sugar, including sweeteners (except stevia)
- Avoid excessive carbs and consume them in preference immediately after exercise
- Buy fresh foods, cook yourself and avoid ready-made meals
- Eat organic if possible
- Never binge on alcohol or food!
- Do not skip meals, starve, crash diet or yo-yo diet!
- Because I know you will not do all of those thing, try to periodically use a good anti-cellulite cream as an aid in cellulite prevention.
- For the same reason, try to have regular anti-cellulite treatments for prevention or maintenance
What type of treatments have been shown to be effective in improving the appearance of cellulite?
- The most popular ones are those based on manual and mechanical stimulation: suction massage without or with skin rolling (manual lymphatic massage).
- Others are based on stimulation with electromagnetic radiation (Infrared Sauna Treatment).
- Liposuction and smart lipo by definition cannot reduce cellulite as they remove fat found in deeper layers of the body. Cellulite fat is incorporated into the skin and obviously nobody wants to remove their skin to get rid of cellulite.
The best treatments are the ones that…
- …primarily target the most important cause of cellulite: FAT!
- …are vigorous. Light, mild treatments will not do much.
- …combine two, three or more approaches.
Are they effective?
- Treatments are effective especially when combined with adjusting one’s diet and exercise.
- Research shows that 80% of women with cellulite need around 12 sessions of an effective treatment to be satisfied with the results. This estimation takes into account that most will follow a decent but not perfect diet and exercise regime between sessions. More effort with diet and exercise will require less treatments. Total indifference in terms of lifestyle change will require many more treatments or may never offer the desired results.
- On the other hand, diet and exercise are not enough either, in 80% of the cases.
- Furthermore, choosing the wrong treatment may mean that you will never get any decent results.
- In addition, even if everything is perfect, i.e. treatment, diet and exercise, time is also needed: the body cannot change overnight! Because of this, women are advised to stir away from “radical” lunchtime treatments that promise to cure cellulite in 1-3 sessions and without diet and exercise. Such a miracle, liposuction-type treatment simply does not exist today.
- The effectiveness of any treatment also depends on the skill, education, empathy and motivation skills of the therapist.
- Finally, not all women have the same type of cellulite: some suffer from more fluid retention, others have more loose skin, while others have extreme adiposity in their cellulite. Inflammation and connective tissue damage further complicate the picture. Therefore, there is not any single treatment that suits all women; a tailor-suited approach seems to be the best.
- At Serenity, all treatments include a consultation to assure that your treatments are custom to your specific needs and desires.