Women are the receptive sex! We are naturally built to receive and are experts at storing energy within our bodies, sometimes to our own detriment. We are also very efficient at storing fat, which is necessary for childbirth. However, there is also a downside to our remarkable storing capabilities. Did you know that approximately 80% of women have some degree of cellulite somewhere on our body?
What exactly is cellulite and what causes these visible ripples, bumps and bulges? Cellulite has a complex nature. It is an accumulation of water and toxic cellular wastes in the connective tissues surrounding the fat cells. A build up of toxins causes water retention in an effort to dilute the toxins and prevent self-poisoning. What happens next is a gel-like mass is formed and trapped in the connective tissue below the skin’s surface. The tissue around the fat cells tends to harden, imprisoning the water, which then forms nodules, causing unsightly bulges sometimes called fatty deposits.
One major cause of cellulite is a sluggish bowel. Toxins are created in the bowel through a fermentation process, and when secreted, these toxins cause fluid retention and free radical damage. One result of this is instead of the fascia (the thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every muscle in place) being able to move freely, every once in a while, it adheres. Over time, the toxic filled fluids build up here and the outer surface of the skin begins to look like a dimpled cushion.
Cellulite is usually found on the hips and thighs, especially the backs of thighs because they are poorly vascularized compared to rest of the body. This means that blood and lymph circulation is low in these areas. Cellulite can also be found on the arms, abdomen and even the upper back. I’m sorry to report there are no quick fixes for cellulite, but we most definitely can lessen it and minimize its appearance over time.
What may help?
Cleanse your colon! Choose a gentle cleanse, not a harsh one that will have you running to the bathroom several times a day. The goal is to promote your own natural peristalsis to keep things moving regularly. Colonics are another great way to cleanse the colon. Consider working with a nutritionist or a naturopath to tailor a cleanse specifically for you.
David Wolfe in his book Eating for Beauty recommends drinking the juice of and eating plenty of grapefruits! They contain an enzyme called bromelain which is anti-inflammatory and cleansing for the skin. Grapefruits have the mildest acid content of all citrus fruits, yet they contain the strongest antiseptic, mucus dissolving properties found in all citrus fruits. They are mild in sugar content so are gentle on the pancreas and blood sugar levels.
Other enzymes found in grapefruits include cleansing protease and lipase, which help to break down cellulite and excess fat. Grapefruits are also high in Vitamin C which helps build up and repair skin collagen. Here is a juice recipe from this book that you may want to try. According to David Wolfe, you can even “fast on this drink for three days and see miracles happen.”
Juice 3 large pink grapefruits
1 large orange
Hydrate the body with pure clean water to help flush out the lymphatic system and move out the toxins and impurities. Make sure you drink from a glass or stainless steel or hard plastic bottle. Soft plastics are to be avoided. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon in warm water first thing in the morning for a terrific liver boost – the liver is our largest detoxification organ, and this is gentle way to wake it up and get it started for a day’s worth of awesomeness!
Eat a healthy diet rich with fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure you're eating something for breakfast to begin peristalsis (the movement of your bowels.) Avoid inorganic meats which contain growth hormones and medication that add to your toxic load. Avoid excess dairy products which contain estrogen and form mucus in the body. Incorporate more smoothies into your diet. These are gentle on the digestive system and give it a bit of a break, which allows you more energy for your day. Smoothies also contain the fibers from the foods, which you want to ingest because they help cleanse your colon. Toxins bind to some fibers and others act like a broom, sweeping away unwanted debris. Eating raw cabbage is believed to eliminate toxic debris from the body. Its high potassium content can relieve excess water retention and it’s an excellent cleanser. I like to add cabbage to my salads or make a delicious slaw with it.
Exercise regularly! Do your best to specifically target the areas of your body that contain cellulite. These are often the places that get the least amount of movement which is why the cellulite has gathered there in the first place. Jumping on a rebounder – a mini trampoline – is a terrific way to help stimulate lymphatic flow.
Relaxation is another key piece to giving your body it’s best chance to fully detoxify accumulated waste materials. Adequate deep, uninterrupted sleep is crucial for rejuvenation and repair. Also, be sure to add regular periods of rest throughout your busy day, even if it’s just 5 minutes to go for a walk, or 10 minutes to close your eyes and meditate. As you down regulate your nervous system over time, you’ll experience benefits in all areas of your life, not just the cellulite.
Practice deep breathing every day! Sufficient oxygen is crucial to maintain a healthy body and mind. Too many of us are shallow breathers because we live in a perpetual stressed state of fight-or-flight-or-freeze. Learn how to belly breathe and slow down your breath several times each day to ensure oxygen delivery to all the cells of your body. One way to begin practicing this is to place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart. Take a few deep breaths. Count while you breathe and then make sure your exhalation is a few seconds longer than each inhalation. This gets rid of stale air that might be trapped in the lower lobes of the lungs.
Skin brush or dry brush regularly, preferable using a brush with real bristles, instead of plastic. This practice has many benefits, including helping to increase circulation, improving the efficiency of the blood to deliver nutrients throughout the body, and reducing the edema that intensifies the bumpy appearance of cellulite.
Massage every day. You’ll want to massage your whole body if possible, and if not, then be sure to target the cellulite areas. You don’t have to splurge for a masseuse daily, it’s easy to give yourself a massage, or ask a partner or friend once in a while. Apply a lymphatic drainage technique which you can learn how to do easily online. Add essential oils for added benefits.
Take baths regularly with essential oils, which will penetrate the skin by osmosis. You can add 1/2 cup algae/seaweed powder to the bath to help with the elimination of toxins or 2 cups of Epsom salts, or both! One thing I recommend is to lovingly pinch and pummel cellulite areas to break down fatty deposits while you’re in the bath.
Essential oils are highly beneficial when it comes to reducing cellulite from the body. Choose detoxifying oils that are stimulating to lymphatic system, such as carrot seed, fennel, geranium, grapefruit, juniper berry, lemon, lime, orange, rosemary and tangerine. Use oils with diuretic properties, such as juniper berry, fennel seed, carrot seed, black pepper, geranium and parsley seed. Reach for circulation stimulating oils, including black pepper, cinnamon bark, clove bud, ginger, lemon, marjoram, nutmeg, pine, rosemary and thyme. Water retention releasing oils and lymph loving oils are carrot seed, fennel, juniper berry, grapefruit and geranium.
Sounds complicated? Leave it up to me. At the request of a friend, I created a massage oil specific to targeting cellulite and I’m delighted to now make it available to you. It’s a blend of 15 pure essential oils with multiple benefits in a base of nut and seed oils. Specifically formulated to be gentle enough to use daily and effective enough to see results when used regularly over time.
Most importantly, LOVE THAT BODY OF YOURS - ALL OF IT, including the dimpled thighs and bags under your eyes. Including the “cottage cheese legs” and “orange peel skin.” The kinder we are to ourselves, the more our body will respond to us in kind. In my experience this is not something that happens overnight, rather it’s a journey we embark upon. Some days it’s easier to love and accept ourselves for all our perfect imperfections and other days we may struggle to find even one thing to appreciate about our physical appearance. Make a commitment to yourself to look for more good than bad, to praise more and criticize less, to count your blessings and not your blemishes.