Can Lymphatic Drainage Massage Help Treat Cellulite?
Cellulite is a skin or cosmetic condition that is characterized by subcutaneous fat deposits which cause bulging, pitting, or dimpling of the skin. It happens mostly around the thighs, and more often occurs in women after puberty. It can be deformative and create anatomical changes on the skin. Cellulite is classified by 3 grades:
Grade 1: No clinical symptoms, but on close examination, there are anatomical changes. This is the most mild form of cellulite.
Grade 2: The affected skin is pale in color, has a lower temperature and decreased elasticity. This is in addition to the anatomical deformity found in grade 1.
Grade 3: There is visible roughness of the affected area of skin (similar to the texture of an orange peel), in addition to all signs of grade 2.
The results of whether or not lymphatic drainage massage can treat cellulite is mixed and a little controversial. Some believe that with the increased functionality of the lymphatic system and better flow of the lymph fluid, there is a likely chance that it could be extremely beneficial for treating cellulite. The lymphatic system removes wastes, toxins, and proteins from the body, so a higher functioning lymphatic circulation is thought to prevent the fluid from solidifying and binding together with the collagen fibers in fat cells, which is what is thought to create the physical aspects of cellulite.
However, it should be noted that cellulite is not just fat. Clinically, cellulite is caused by a variety of factors, including water retention, accumulation of toxins, inflammation, and connective tissue deformity. Many believe there is no simple way to treat cellulite, so using lymphatic massage as a singular treatment likely won’t do the trick; however, it could be a helpful addition to any cellulite treatment plan.
Some believe lymphatic massage is most helpful in the earlier stages, or grade 1, when it’s easier to remove toxins and excess water from the body. Many physicians and therapists note here, however, that every person’s body is different and some people may experience immediate and more permanent results while others may see none at all. A “happy medium” and a more common outcome is a temporary resolution (about one to three days) when used as a singular treatment.
Generally speaking, patients will need to be tested for underlying conditions of what causes the cellulite and then undergo treatment or make necessary changes according to those conditions. However, lymphatic massage is a beneficial addition to any routine since it removes harmful toxins and excess fluid.