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Natasha Turner, ND

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Four Ways to Combat Cellulite

Posted: 12/20/2012 1:46 pm

If you have dimpled areas on your hips, thighs, buttocks or even your arms, you aren't alone. Today, women spend millions every year on anti-cellulite treatments ranging from fancy creams, to promising pills to surgery and laser treatments. While it is difficult to eliminate completely, you can certainly reduce the appearance of it with these four suggestions.

Boost your collagen. Collagen is an important protein used to make the connective tissue in your skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Structural changes in the skin's tissues, including weakened collagen and elastin fibres, makes cellulite more apparent because the skin becomes thinner and less able to conceal the irregularities created by the superficial fat and connective tissue just below its surface.

These changes can occur from hormonal imbalances, aging and even dehydration. Gotu kola can also be helpful in stimulating the production of the protein molecules from which collagen is formed, and increase oxygen supplement delivered through the capillaries. It is also helpful in tightening loose skin after weight loss, decreasing the inflammatory response, and promoting tissue healing. I recommend taking 100mg 1-2x a day. A collagen boosting supplement, such as silica or a collagen powder can improve skin texture, and aid nail and hair growth (take 1-2 capsules or 1 scoop of powder daily).

Shed the last 10lbs. One of the culprits behind an increase in cellulite is weight gain. However, cellulite can be a "skinny girl's" problem as well because of location where most women store excess fat deposits -- their lower body. Many of my patients first notice it when they have had a sudden increase in weight if it wasn't there before and since fat cells can only fat cells either shrink or expand, an increase in their size will indeed intensify the appearance of cellulite.

An interesting study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that fat tissue distribution in the thighs was significantly correlated with insulin resistance (a pre-diabetic state). A separate study found that diet and exercise together shed fat both between the muscle and under the skin of the thighs, producing a better effect than diet alone on reducing cellulite. Exercise can also strengthen flaccid, weak muscles and improve skin tone. So a healthy diet, higher in protein, good fats and lower in carbs to reduce insulin in conjunction with a regular strength training routine can go a long way towards decreasing cellulite.

Lower inflammation. I had a patient that found after applying the methods to reduce inflammation after shoulder surgery, including high dose EPA 6:1 fish oil, Wobenzyme, and Arnica -- she saw an interesting side effect ... her cellulite diminished. An increase in inflammation overall can contribute to poor circulation, reduced lymphatic drainage, and in turn make the appearance of cellulite much, much worse. The enlargement of fat cell chambers and shortening of fibrous tissue in the thighs is almost always accompanied by inflammation, water retention and swelling. In addition to an anti-inflammatory diet, a daily dose of Omega-3 oils (one tbsp twice daily) reduces inflammation and improves insulin sensitivity. It also aids fat loss, especially when combined with exercise.


Reduce excess estrogen: Estrogen balance is essential for achieving and maintaining fat loss -- it's also the main instigator of a growing cellulite problem. Premenopausal women with too much estrogen tend to have the pear-shape body type with more weight at the hips. The reason for this? It once again comes down to fat both the type and the amount.

When stimulated, alpha receptors cause fat cells to produce fat while beta receptors breakdown fat. However women have almost nine times the amount of alpha receptors for every one beta receptor in their hip and thigh region. This is also the area with the most estrogen receptors. As if this wasn't bad enough, compared to our male counterparts, estrogen makes fat whereas testosterone breaks down fat and women have a lot more estrogen and just a fraction of the percentage of testosterone that men do. In addition to cellulite, excess estrogen will also fuel gallstones, varicose veins, uterine fibroids, cervical dysplasia, endometriosis, or ovarian cysts.

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  • Seaweed Bath

    The participant was told to take seaweed baths twice a week for 20 minutes. Although her skin seemed a bit tighter directly after soaking and decreased the appearance of her cellulite, results were short lived. As soon as her body cooled down and her skin softened, her cellulite reappeared like normal. <b>Result:</b> Temporarily reduces cellulite. <br> Art: Raydene Salinas

  • Coffee Scrub

    The participant was told to mix coffee grounds with hot water in the shower and scrub for 10 minutes twice a week. Coffee increases circulation (and therefore, helps reduce the appearance of cellulite), and the participant reported that it was fairly easy to apply the scrub. She even noted that it had a refreshing smell. After 4 weeks of the coffee scrub, she noticed that her skin was firmer and smoother. <b>Result:</b> Pure coffee scrubs are an effective cellulite treatment. <br> Art: Raydene Salinas

  • Cocoa Butter + Raw Cane Sugar + Coffee Grounds

    The participant was told to create a scrub using cocoa butter, raw cane sugar and coffee grounds. She recommends performing the scrub in the bathtub or another area that can easily be cleaned up afterwards, since it is a messy treatment. After scrubbing her skin for 10 minutes, there was an immediate reduction in the look of the skin, and it was much less dimpled. The effect lasted a day or so. <b>Result:</b> This moisturizing scrub is a temporary but messy cellulite treatment. <br> Art: Raydene Salinas

  • Honey

    The participant was told to rub honey on the affected area. According to the participant, the first two attempts felt like a trip to the waxer -- she put too thin of a layer on and each attempt to rub the honey into my dimpled flesh resulted in hair-pulling agony. Even with an ample squeeze from the teddy bear container, it was a bother and added an arbitrary extra step to her morning routine, with little to show for other than a sticky toilet seat and really nice smelling thighs. <b>Result:</b> Did not reduce cellulite and is potentially painful. <br> Art: Raydene Salinas

  • Epsom Salt + Eucalyptus Oil

    The participant was instructed to create a scrub using epsom salt and eucalyptus oil. After the first few uses, she noticed an exfoliating and moisturizing effect on her skin. Despite the softening of the affected area, the cellulite remained intact. <b>Result:</b> Did not reduce cellulite but effectively exfoliated and moisturized. <br> Art: Raydene Salinas

  • Apple Cider Vinegar + Juniper Oil

    The participant was instructed to combine apple cider vinegar and juniper oil and apply the combination to the affected area for 20 minutes several times a week. She found the best way to get the concoction on was by using paper towels. According to the participant, the smell was overwhelmingly awful and she had to stand to avoid transferring it to any fabrics. She did feel some tingling on the skin where it was applied and noticed a resulting smoothness, but no change to the cellulite. <b>Result:</b> Did not reduce cellulite and had a potent stench. <br> Art: Raydene Salinas

  • Self Massage

    The participant was instructed to massage the affected area in a hot bath twice a week. After the 30-day trial, the treatment helped the cellulite area feel smoother and less bumpy. She noticed that the upper thigh was slightly less uneven to the touch and felt as smooth as the rest of her leg. <b>Result:</b> Minimally reduces the appearance cellulite. <br> Art: Raydene Salinas

  • Lemon Juice + Cayenne Pepper

    The participant was instructed to combine lemon juice and cayenne pepper in water and drink the mixture 3 times daily. After the 30-day trial, she reported a significant firming of the affected area. Although she's not sure if her results are due to the placebo effect, she felt that the cayenne pepper cocktail made her feel better overall. <b>Result:</b> Effectively reduce cellulite. <br> Art: Raydene Salinas

  • Vacuum Therapy

    The participant was instructed to soak the affected area in baby oil and use a hand vacuum to smooth the area. Although at times she reported seeing a slight difference directly after the procedure, she sometimes felt that it actually made the cellulite worse. <b>Result:</b> Did not reduce cellulite and may even make it worse. <br> Art: Raydene Salinas

  • Corn Oil + Grapefruit Juice + Dried Thyme

    The participant was instructed to make a scrub using corn oil, grapefruit juice, and dried thyme. After massaging this into the affected areas for 30 days, she felt that it was a very messy procedure with little to no results other than softer skin. <b>Result:</b> Did not effectively reduce cellulite but resulted in softer skin. <br> Art: Raydene Salinas

  • Juniper Oil + Olive Oil

    The participant was instructed to combine about juniper oil with olive oil and massage into the affected area daily. The first week, she didn't notice a very big change. Her skin looked about the same, but was definitely much smoother! By the fourth week, she really began to see the most visible change. The smaller cellulite dimples had faded, and she could also see it beginning to have an affect on the overall look of her thighs. <b>Result:</b> Effectively reduced cellulite and resulted in softer, firmer skin. <br> Art: Raydene Salinas

  • Dry Brush + Coconut Oil

    The participant was instructed to rub coconut oil on the affected area and then use a dry brush to massage and smooth the cellulite. She reported that the treatment left the skin feeling sensitive and chaffed. Despite the sensitivity, she noticed a significant reduction in cellulite after the 30-day trial. <b>Result:</b> This is the most effective way to get rid of cellulite. <br> Art: Raydene Salinas

  • Dry Brush + Coconut Oil

    Participant saw a significant reduction in cellulite after 30 days. <br> Art: Raydene Salinas

 

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