You’re wanting to reduce your cellulite, you have cleaned up your eating habits and begun an exercise programme but feel you want results a bit quicker? The answer could be to incorporate some lymphatic massage for cellulite, to unclog your lymphatic system and get your circulation moving better.
What is the lymphatic system?
The lymphatic system transports a fluid called lymph. Lymph is the fluid that collects in the space between the cells of the body. Since the lymph is in contact with the cells, it is the place where nutrients are delivered into the cell, and toxins are transported away from the cell. These toxins and waste matter are transported from the cells, in lymphatic vessels, to the lymph nodes, where they are destroyed.
The “organs” of the lymphatic system include the spleen, the little ‘nodes’ in your neck that sometimes swell up when you have a cold or a sore throat. You also have lymph nodes in your groin and your armpits as well as numerous tiny ones located all over the body. There are over 600 lymph nodes in the body. The major difference between the circulatory system (which transports blood) and the lymphatic system, is that there is no pump (heart) to move the lymph fluid along the vessels. The lymphatic system is a vital part of your detoxification system.
Without a “pump” to move the fluid through the vessels, the lymphatic system relies on bodily movement, whether that is from breathing, exercise or even massage.
How does the lymphatic system affect my cellulite?
As blood circulates, nutrients and waste products are moved between the fluid that surrounds the cells and the bloodstream. Whilst this is happening, there is excess fluid and plasma proteins left behind surrounding the cells. This fluid becomes lymph when it enters the lymphatic vessels for transport away from the cells. If lymph does not drain properly, this fluid is retained around the cells. This bathes them in toxins causing the collagen to break down, resulting in the connective tissue – that surrounds the cells – to weaken. Our skin, the epidermis, dermis and fat cells, are all bound together by bands of fibrous connective tissue, collagen and elastin. As we’ve already seen, cellulite develops when connective tissue becomes weak, collagen breaks down and allows fat cells to “bulge” out, resulting in the characteristic bumps and bumps on the skin. A build up of fluid around the cells can essentially make your skin ‘balloon’. If you spend a lot of your day sitting down and spending little time on physical activities, this will promote lymph buildup which can make the appearance of cellulite worse.
If your lymphatic system is sluggish, how can you improve it?
The lymphatic system relies on body movement to promote drainage. So, some simple things you can do to promote better lymphatic drainage are:
-Exercise. Whether it’s swimming, walking, getting into the gym – regular exercise of 30-45 minutes, 4 times a week. These days we all spend so much time sitting down, that it’s no wonder that we have fluid build-up and poor lymphatic drainage.
So if you are not exercising regularly, it’s time to start. One simple but fairly effective exercise method specifically good for lymphatic drainage is jumping on a mini-trampoline (known as a rebounder) twice a day for a few minutes. Obviously, this should not be in place of a good regular exercise routine.
-Targeted lymphatic massage for cellulite helps improve circulation and drainage of lymph under the skin, and there is evidence that it can help get rid of cellulite. This gentle massage drains old waste-filled lymph and replaces it with fresh nutrient-rich lymph to promote skin cell repair. The body treats cellulite partly by repairing connective tissues under the skin, and good circulation and drainage is essential for keeping the tissues healthy.
You can do these simple lymphatic massage for cellulite steps at home:
The massage movement must always go in the direction of the heart. In this way, lymph will flow to the lymphatic vessels to promote good drainage.
Make lymphatic drainage massage easier by applying a good quality organic massage oil, or coconut oil. We recommend using a massage oil as this will not contain unnecessary toxins which can be absorbed by the skin.
- Starting at the outer side of one leg, just above the knee. With your fingers behind the knee and your thumb on top, use the palm of your hand, apply some pressure and slowly slide upwards to the top of the thigh.
- Then use the other hand to do the same on the inner side of the leg, sliding upwards (towards the heart).
- Repeat the steps on the other leg.
Try to do this for 10 minutes twice or three times per day – or indeed, as often as you are able to.
-Dry brushing : Vigorously rubbing a dry body brush to affected areas can help reduce cellulite – always brush in the direction of the heart. Dry body brushing stimulates circulation near the skin to help promote skin repair and reduce the appearance of cellulite. This is a simple, but effective technique when combined with a good nutrition and exercise programme. If dry-brushing feels uncomfortable, the same technique can be used in the shower with a loofah sponge. This brushing, whilst not quite the same as lymphatic massage for cellulite, can help also to exfoliate and improve skin tone.
-Using a foam roller : A foam roller can also help promote lymph drainage and improve circulation. Foam rollers are increasingly popular in fitness studios and gyms as the “self-myofascial release” helps to loosen muscles
and promote circulation both before and after exercise. Start by sitting on the ground with your legs out in front of you, place the foam roller just above the knee, behind it. With your arms behind you, lift yourself up and roll it up your leg to the top of your thigh. Repeat this movement for a couple of minutes. This is a useful addition to your warm up and cool down, so can be incorporated easily into your exercise routine.
I hope you’ll try to incorporate some of these techniques, but they won’t work overnight. However, as part of your overall cellulite reduction programme, lymphatic massage for cellulite can have some excellent results. Let us know how you are getting on in the comments below or feel free to ask any questions: