Is Cellulite the New Frontier for Massage Therapists?

“Body-Contouring,” once the realm of estheticians, is the hottest new trend for massage therapists.
With massage venues becoming as prevalent as chiropractic offices, massage therapists are looking for ways to expand their offerings into markets catering to anti-aging, detoxification and cellulite reduction.

It is commonly believed that cellulite is caused by excess body fat. It actually has more to do with the connective tissues that shape the fat cells and keep them in place.
Cellulite is an unsightly combination of fluid retention, enlargement of fat cells and an alteration of connective tissue.

Vertical bands of connective tissue are anchored from the outer layer of your skin to the deeper layers.
Fat deposition stretches these bands, causing bumps and dimples to appear on the skin surface.
In addition to creating a more attractive figure, massaging the connective tissue associated with cellulite helps rid the body of toxins and may improve overall health.

Many factors contribute to Cellulite

  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor circulation and lymph flow
  • Unhealthy eating
  • Alcohol habits
  • Pregnancy
  • Hormones
  • Medications
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Acidic toxins in the body

Think of your fat tissues as a storage site that protects vital tissues from pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals and metabolic toxins.

Cellulite exists mainly in women, and is an enduring challenge with no known permanent solution.

There are many cellulite treatments on the market today, including lotions, herbal supplements and body wraps, hand held massagers, laser therapy, injections and surgical procedures such as liposuction.
Many are costly and time consuming and often provide only a temporary decrease in the appearance of cellulite.

Manual and mechanical methods of body contouring decongest stagnant lymphatic fluid and breaks up adhesions under the skin that contribute to the dimpled, uneven appearance of cellulite.

Body contouring sessions can also tone muscles and lift and firm sagging tissue.
The most popular areas that women want treated include the hips, buttocks, thighs and abdomen.

In addition, many therapists also focus treatment on the chest, arms, neck, head and face.
This can improve circulation and lymphatic flow in the upper body, which generally suffers from a lack of exercise.
It can also provide quite dramatic results to diminish the appearance of wrinkles, lift and tone sagging tissues in the lower face and neck, and significantly improve skin tone and texture.

This gives a more relaxed, natural lift to the face.

While there are some precautions and contraindications for specific medical conditions, such as lymphedema associated with breast cancer surgery, body contouring massage can be safe for most healthy individuals.
It is much less dangerous than surgical procedures such as liposuction.
However, there is a market for performing this service both before and after a liposuction procedure to enhance results.

Body contouring sessions are generally performed to one area of the body such as hips, buttocks, thighs and lower abdomen for thirty minutes, three times per week for six weeks.

It is important to take measurements and before / after pictures so the client can be more aware of their progress.Many people will not see results for the first three weeks so refrain from repeating measurements too soon.
In addition, most women find that they will drop one or two dress sizes without a significant reduction in their weight.

One of the ways you can enhance results is to get your clients to eat more vegetables and make sure they are drinking at least one gallon of water daily. Alkaline, ionized waters such as Kangen® greatly enhance this process.

In addition to soda pop many bottled waters, coffee, sports and energy drinks are very acidic and tax the body’s alkaline reserves.

According to Dr. Lynda Frasseto of the University of California, we store excess metabolic acids in our fat cells and can thus liberate these acids when we alkalize.

I have seen several cases of dramatic loss of inflammatory belly fat in people drinking Kangen® water.

Other ways to enhance results include asking the client to soak for 15 minutes in a hot bath with two cups of Epsom salts prior to treatment.

The magnesium in the salts relaxes the muscles and enhances circulation via vasodilation.

Taking a thirty minute walk or jumping fifteen minutes on a mini-trampoline in your office prior to the sessions will also increase circulation and get the lymph moving.

Encourage this activity on the days between treatments as well.

Another way to enhance results and decrease therapist fatigue is the use of a mechanical massage device that is commonly used by physical therapists and chiropractors.

One of the best examples on the market is the patented gyratory action and directional stroking of G5® cellulite spa machines.

This 50 year old technology does the hard work for you yet can penetrate deeply in a more efficient and comfortable manner than hand massage.

The patented applicators of various shapes for G5® technologies are the ultimate multi-taskers with composition of both hard rubber and soft sponge.

These machine can be enhance both massage and body contouring latter can be used to enhance exfoliation and apply cellulite creams. Smaller applicators are available on some models for use on the neck and face.

With manual and mechanical body contouring treatments being much safer and cost- effective than liposuction this therapy will only grow in demand as more massage therapists begin to promote this remedy for their clients with bumpy lumpy fat.

G5 Massager Review by Elizabeth Walker, BS, DC

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