Friday, March 28, 2008

Cellulite Treatments: Is Endermologie an Effective Solution?

Is Endermologie® a Viable Cellulite Treatment?

The world of cellulite treatments can a convoluted maze to the newcomer. It seems as if everyone has some type of product or procedure to promote that will help you get rid of cellulite. How can you separate the fake from the authentic? How do you even know if any of these treatments or procedures are going to work? It takes a good history of documented testing for a cellulite treatment to pass muster, especially in the eyes of the FDA and other watchdog-type organizations. Lotions, potions, and solutions-in-a-bottle date back to the days of the snake oil salesmen, so it's important to have some type of measurement of effectiveness before a cellulite treatment can make valid claims.

Enter Endermologie®. Sorry for the gigantic "®" after each mention of the word "Endermologie®", but it's necessary to keep myself out of legal trouble. An alternate spelling is "endermology", but we'll stick to the one with the "®" behind it, if for nothing else than the fact that it looks more official (LOL). Endermologie® is basically a machine-assisted procedure conducted by a certified endermologist (what a coincidence) that provides a type of skin therapy to help aid in reducing the appearance of cellulite. The technique was developed by French plastic surgeons in the 1980's, and was initially used to treat scar tissue. This burgeoning scar treatment proved to be successful, and later expanded to be used for more cosmetic purposes, i.e., cellulite reduction.

How is Endermologie® Used to Treat Cellulite?

Endermologie® is administered with the help of an Endermologie® machine. The treatment is entirely non-invasive (no surgery required), but rather uses motorized rollers on the surface of the skin. The rollers literally fold and unfold the skin at regular intervals and provide an effect that's similar to a deep tissue massage. While the machine is operating, a display screen provides real-time data on different aspects of the procedure, such as thickness of the tissue & improvements or changes in the condition of the tissue. This aids in helping the endermologist determine the effectiveness of the procedure.

This treatment is performed primarily as a means to create a smoother look in the areas of the skin that are affected by cellulite. There are minimal side effects to the procedure, the main ones being possible soreness and/or bruises in the treated areas. Again, since the effects of the treatment have often been compared to that of a deep tissue massage, anyone that has ever experienced a deep tissue massage can tell you that it can be a temporary discomfort with a hope for a longer-term benefit.

But even the longer-term benefit doesn't last forever. After extensive study, the FDA has approved the claim that Endermologie® can produce only a temporary reduction in the appearance of cellulite. Endermologie® treatments must occur on a regular basis for sustained results to be seen. Anywhere from 14 to 28 total treatments are needed for optimal results, with the treatments occurring on a weekly basis, or even twice a week. Each treatment session lasts approximately 30 minutes (give or take). Some treatments employ isometric exercises as well, with the patient performing different movements to isolate certain muscle groups for greater stimulation of the fat cells.

Benefits of Endermologie®

As stated in my post about cellulite reduction, one of the main contributing factors to cellulite development is poor lymphatic drainage. The benefits of the Endermologie® procedure is the effect it has on "shaking up" those sedentary fat cells. Through the machine-assisted process of folding and unfolding the skin by way of a gentle suction motion, the fat cells are stimulated, loosening up the congestion of lymphatic fluid and in effect helping to "flush" the system of toxins and waste. Most patients report feeling invigorated and relaxed once the treatment is finished. It normally takes about 6 treatments to see any noticeable difference in the skin's appearance, and gradual improvements will be seen if a consistent treatment schedule is maintained. Endermologists also highly recommend drinking plenteous amounts of water to the tune of eight 8-ounce glasses of water both before and after each treatment session.

It is commonly reported that the results of Endomologie® are more marked in people who already maintain a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and regular exercise. This is not to say that people who live a more sedentary lifestyle cannot benefit from Endermologie®, but it is always better to have more cards stacked in your favor through maintaining a health-conscious lifestyle.

Cost of Endermologie®

Of course, one of the most obvious questions about using Endermologie® as a cellulite treatment is "How much is this going to cost?" The average going rate for a treatment session is between $50-70 dollars. To achieve the optimum level of effectiveness, it will take between $1,200-2,000 worth of treatment sessions (about 15-20 sessions total). Once you have hit the "plateau" (optimal effectiveness level), monthly maintenance procedures (1 session per month) are recommended to maintain the level of cellulite reduction that you have achieved.

Hopefully this post has given you a good "primer" on one of the most prominent cellulite treatments, Endermologie®. Use this information as a guideline to form your own opinions about the next step you need to take. Cheers for now...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cellulite Reduction

Methods of Cellulite Reduction

A perennial "hot topic" in the world of diet, health & exercise is cellulite reduction. A plethora of information exists explaining seemingly every conceivable way to reduce cellulite, and anyone attempting to find answers to this problem can feel overwhelmed by all of the options that are available to them.

The search for solutions to the "cellulite dilemma" can often be frustrating, many times leaving you with more questions than answers. This post will hopefully bring some clarity and simplicity to the vast subject of cellulite reduction, and focus on the essentials that will help you make more informed decisions about what to do to help diminish cellulite.

Let me start off by saying that one blog post cannot possibly contain the entire myriad of ways to diminish cellulite, but I'll give it an honest try--either until I cover the most common cellulite reduction methods, or until I just get tired of typing. :) That being said, let's move into some specifics.

The Importance of Lymphatic Drainage in Cellulite Reduction

Without getting ultra-technical about it, suffice it to say that lymphatic drainage is simply the body's way of ridding itself of toxins and waste as the circulatory system does its job of carrying nutrients to all parts of the body. Lymph actually comes from tissue fluid, which originates as blood plasma. As tissue fluid distributes nutrients to all cells of the body, lymph basically acts as the "garbage man", taking waste out of the cells by way of lymphatic capillaries and, deeper within the human system, lymphatic vessels.

The point to all of this is that if there's any malfunction in this system, you will have toxins and waste remaining in the cells of the body, which many believe can be a contributing factor to the development of cellulite. The reason for this is that poor lymphatic drainage causes excess fluid build-up, putting pressure on the body's fat cells and not providing enough space between them. This compression of fat cells causes damage to the nearby connective tissue, which can contribute to the formation of cellulite.

In light of this, if we back up a couple of steps, we can see that a healthy circulatory system plays a major part in eliminating toxins and waste from the human system. It stands to reason, then, that the health (or non-health) of a person's circulatory system can somewhat indirectly be a factor in the development of cellulite. Think about it: Poor circulation leads to poor lymphatic drainage, which leads to a risk of fat cell compression, which is a typical environment for cellulite development.

If we follow this line of thought, it seems obvious that exercise would then be a key factor in contributing to cellulite reduction. The main reason is that it is widely known that exercise increases effective blood flow throughout the body, and it is a primary factor in maintaining a healthy circulatory system. We will discuss the particulars of which type of exercises are most effective in future posts.

Building Lean Muscle: A Key to Cellulite Reduction

Since exercise is pretty much a "given" as far as being a good way to curb the appearance of cellulite, the next question is usually "What type of exercises should I do?" It is advisable to focus on exercises that will build lean muscle mass. Lean muscle provides a more solid support system for the skin, essentially reducing the inconsistent dimpled look of cellulite. In addition, a by-product of building lean muscle through exercise is also an increased metabolism, which will cause less fat storage...the benefits of this are pretty self-explanatory.

One thing to remember: No one treatment, product, or activity can fully guarantee the removal of cellulite. A multi-faceted approach to cellulite reduction is the most balanced way to go about dealing with it. All of the different cellulite reduction methods that are available mainly serve as a means to improve the appearance of cellulite in those problem areas. Don't get me wrong, however; exercise can only help you in the long run, cellulite or not.

My hope is that with this post you will now have a greater understanding of some of the "why's" behind cellulite formation, and that you will now be better armed to embark on your own journey towards cellulite reduction. Until we meet again...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Welcome to Getting Rid of Cellulite!

Tips and Information to Help You Get Rid of Cellulite

Welcome to Getting Rid of Cellulite! This site was created as an information portal for all things pertaining to cellulite, including treatments and exercises to aid in reducing the appearance of cellulite, as well as different types of therapy for cellulite reduction and removal...hey, the list goes on & on. The primary purpose of the site is to provide as much "ammunition" as possible to help anyone who's interested in achieving a better look in those problem areas where the dreaded "C" can appear.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is basically pockets of fat separated by the connective tissue that resides under the surface of the skin, causing the skin to look dimpled or pitted in appearance. The primary places that cellulite is seen in the body is around the hips, thighs, and buttocks. Some of the (somewhat crude) informal terms for cellulite include the following:

  • Orange peel skin
  • Cottage cheese thighs
  • The mattress effect
  • Hail damage
  • Dimple skin

What Causes Cellulite?

Cellulite is still somewhat of an enigma, even in scientific circles. Several factors are considered to be contributors to the creation of cellulite, including metabolism, hereditary conditions, and the presence of various hormones that can foster the production of cellulite. Some of these hormones include the following:

  • Estrogen
  • Prolactin
  • Adrenaline (believe it or not)
  • Various thyroid hormones

Many scientists and nutritionists believe that diet has a lot to do with the development of cellulite. While the jury is still out on this point, it is a known factor that part of the cause of cellulite is the presence of waste and toxins below the epidural layer of the skin, which can sometimes be caused by improper diet. These wastes and toxins can get trapped within the connective tissue beneath the surface of the skin, and when this happens, the tissue can harden, contributing to the dimpled look of cellulite.

Cellulite is traditionally a concern for women more than men, although men can also get cellulite. It is a common assertion that basically all females display some form of cellulite after they reach puberty. As a matter of fact, women comprise over 95% of all cellulite cases. This is mainly due to the fact that the physiological make-up of women is just different than men, especially in the area of body fat percentage; it's normally higher in women than in men. The primary hormone that is believed to be a major contributor to the development of cellulite is estrogen. Other hormones play a part as well (see the previous list of hormones).

An often overlooked contributor to the problem is simply the process of aging. As we get older, the body slows its production of collagen, which is what our connective tissue is made of. Once this happens, the subcutaneous (or, beneath-the-skin) fat cells begin to put more of a "squeeze" on the connective tissue, creating an even more pronounced appearance of the dreaded "dimpled look". Although the science behind this is fascinating, the results in the human body can simply be aggravating.

The "Quick Pinch" Test

The fastest way to tell if you have cellulite is to simply pinch the skin in your upper thigh area. If it looks dimpled or pitted, chances are you have cellulite. But don't depair, however...there are several tips and techniques you can utilize to reduce the appearance of cellulite; this is what we will focus on with this blog. One word of caution: Avoid the "quick fix" mentality that would tempt you to do something drastic, like crash dieting, to achieve speedy results. These types of hasty actions are hardly ever productive, and most of the time they do more damage than good.

Cellulite Treatments

There are basically two primary "schools" of treatment for cellulite: medical treatments and spa treatments. Medical treatments are just as the name implies; they are facilitated by a doctor while spa treatments are less technically complex and can be performed by a more general health care professional. Some examples of medical treatments are liposuction and mesotherapy, while endermologie is a popular spa treatment. We will be explaining these procedures in greater detail in future posts.

In summary, I hope you have a better feel for what to look forward to with Getting Rid of Cellulite. Remember to bookmark this page as we will be adding new content on a regular basis. Until we meet again...have a great one!