Monday, April 28, 2008

Cellulite Treatments: Eight Methods of Cellulite Prevention (Part Two)

The Best Way to Get Rid of Cellulite is Prevention

In my previous post we started a list of eight different methods you could employ to help prevent cellulite. We were only able to get to methods 1 -4 with the first post due to the sheer length of the post (I didn't want reading it to be an all-day affair), so I decided to break it up into Parts 1 & 2, although leaving it as one long post could be a great cure for insomnia.

Again, using preventative measures to reduce cellulite is definitely the most profitable way to go. The great thing about it is that there are ancillary benefits of going the preventative route; taking these steps can many times lead to weight loss and skin rejuvenation as well. So without further adieu, let's dive in...

Eight Methods of Cellulite Prevention (Part Two)

Method # 5: Use Amino Acids to Aid in the Production of Elastin & Collagen

Elastin & collagen are the "dynamic duo" of skin health. As we all know, cellulite formation is all about the type of condition your skin is in, so it would behoove us to know exactly what the building blocks are for healthy skin versus unhealthy skin. Healthy skin contains healthy levels of both collagen and elastin.

So what is collagen? Collagen is basically a fibrous protein that aids in the support of other tissues of the body (think tendons, cartilage, skin, etc.). And what is elastin? Elastin is another type of protein that is primarily responsible for providing flexibility to the skin. Elastin is what makes your skin "snap back into shape" when it is pulled or stretched.

Now why did I take you through the definitions of both of these proteins? Because they are essential to maintaining the health and strength of the dermis (the second layer of skin that houses the connective tissue). But, we still have to back up a step, because in order for collagen & elastin to be present, the building blocks for these proteins have to be present first. This is where amino acids become very important, because they are the foundational substances upon which the body's proteins are built. Including a supplementation of essential amino acids in your diet will greatly aid in the production of elastin and collagen, which can greatly assist in strengthening your skin's defenses against cellulite formation.

Method # 6: Promote Strong Blood Vessels

The breakdown of the skin's strength does not originate first with the skin itself; it comes rather from weakened blood vessels. As I briefly summarized in my post on cellulite reduction, a healthy circulatory system means that your blood is able to fully provide nutrients to all of the different vital areas of the body. Without strong blood vessels, the nutrients in the blood are inefficiently transported, causing only a small percentage of nutrients to effectively reach the body's cells. Over time, this causes the skin to weaken and not be able to withstand the ever-stubborn cellulite from forming. Stretch marks can also be a by-product of under-nourished skin due to cell malnutrition.

The best way to strengthen the blood vessels is through a combination of nutritional supplements that perform internal functions geared to that purpose (this would require a competely different post to explain in detail), as well as possibly the use of procedures such as skin brushing, or even the use of certain topical skin creams (again, these things require more detail than one post can justifiably undertake).

Method # 7: Prevent Prolonged Inflammation

Although inflammation of the skin is actually a defense mechanism built into the body to aid in the recovery of damaged skin (i.e., infection, injury, sunburn), prolonged inflammation can cause damaging effects. Prolonged inflammation will actually "sabotage" the skin by doing the very same damage to the skin that it was initially intended to prevent, including deterioration of the cell walls. To keep this from happening, it would be a good idea to apply some level of anti-inflammatory products that can be taken either internally or externally (topically) to soothe the inflamed area, and prevent potential damage from occurring later. Once again, to delve into the details of which type of anti-inflammatory product to use would be far beyond the scope of this post, but it is advisable to do thorough research on the best one to use, including dosage amounts (and duration) and potential side effects.

Method # 8: Stimulate Stronger Connective Tissue

The combination of body chemicals known as hyperpolymerized glycosaminoglycans ("GAG's" for short) are the building blocks that comprise the body's connective tissue. Glucosamine, perhaps a more familiar term to those who are nutrition & weight loss savvy, is metabolized into GAG's, which are essential to the production of connective tissue. When the connective tissue of the body is strong, it is able to act as a "fortress" against stubborn fat cells that would otherwise occupy the space that would be available if the connective tissue were to break down. Connective tissue that has been damaged or broken down creates an unhealthy dermis, which when compromised, easily clears a pathway for the fat cells to float to the surface, creating the famous dimpled appearance of cellulite.

The way to stimulate the production of these vital GAG's is to increase the level of glucosamine that is available for the body to metabolize, as well as adding an ample supply of B-complex vitamins and various trace minerals to the mix to provide the essential nutrients the body needs to faciliate GAG production. This can be done through proper supplementation, which simply amounts to a visit to your local nutritional supplement store.

Hopefully the past two posts have given you a better insight into the type of effort required to maintain a preventative posture where cellulite reduction is concerned. Use these points in your own journey to prevent cellulite, and remember--when it comes to learning new methods of cellulite reduction, more tools in your arsenal are always better than less.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cellulite Treatments: Eight Methods of Cellulite Prevention (Part One)

Before the Cellulite Treatment...Let's Talk Prevention

Although my previous two posts have focused on a particular cellulite treatment (i.e., Endermologie® and Ionithermie), the disadvantage of these procedures (and others) is the fact that it's always a method to remedy something that has already occurred. In other words, you have seen cellulite appear on your body somewhere, and now that it's here, you have to do something to hopefully reduce its appearance. This may lead you to turn to different cellulite creams and lotions or anti-cellulite treatments and procedures to basically put a "band-aid" on the situation. While you may achieve a limited measure of results by taking this route, its fundamental flaw is that every method of cellulite reduction you try will still only be an after-the-fact action, instead of taking a more proactive approach to prevent cellulite before it happens. I'm a firm believer in the old adage: "An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure." This certainly applies in the case of taking preventative measures to reduce cellulite.

With this in mind, I am offering eight methods to implement that can prevent cellulite. If nothing else, these methods should make you aware of the different factors that come into play in the development of cellulite, hopefully allowing you to "head it off at the pass", and do as much "damage control" as possible. The fight against cellulite is a rough battle, but here is some ammunition to help you in your journey.

Eight Methods of Cellulite Prevention (Part One)

Please note that this post will only cover four of the eight methods; we will cover the other four in our next post.

Method # 1: Keep Your Cells Hydrated

It's no big mystery that one of the biggest factors in maintaining healthy skin is by maintaining adequate hydration. The importance of this cannot be understated. When the cells of your body do not have an acceptable level of hydration, they become weak and unable to compete with the bullying fat cells that are attempting to "muscle their way" to the skin's surface. And when this happens, you know the outcome...cellulite rears its ugly head.

Proper hydration is vital to the overall health of your skin. Even in the case of Endermologie®, most endermologists agree that one of the most effective aspects of the overall treatment regimen is the fact that the patients are encouraged to drink large amounts of water both before and after the procedure. When your skin is hydrated, its appearance is smooth and silky, while dehydrated skin has an inconsistent look. An obvious side benefit of proper hydration as well is the fact that your body will be a lot less susceptible to sickness due to the cleansing benefit of water in flushing out unwanted toxins from the body.

Method # 2: Be Aware of Free Radical Damage

If there's one thing that can wreck your skin, it is free radical damage. This occurs constantly from such things as second-hand smoke (and obviously smoking), excessive exposure to the sun, and inadequate diet. Skin that has been damaged from free radicals is at a much greater risk for developing cellulite than skin that has not been damaged. The tissue damage that comes from free radicals plays a key factor in the reduced resiliency of the skin, making it easy for cellulite to "bully" its way into prominence.

Method # 3: Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate

In a nutshell, exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells, either by some type of slightly abrasive material being applied to the surface of the skin (think loofah brushes, pumice stones or soaps with that "gritty" stuff in them), or by more extensive methods such as gentle chemical solutions that dissolve the dead skin cells. Either method can be used to achieve the same results. Scientists have proven that the body regenerates all of its cells approximately every seven years, and exfoliation is a method that aids in that process as well. It should be noted that the rate of cell regeneration slows considerably the older we get, so exfoliation is a good way to make room for vibrant new cells.

So how does all this tie in to getting rid of cellulite? Every time you exfoliate, you send a signal to your body to create new skin cells; these new cells are much more capable of standing up against the stubborn fat cells that insist on making themselves so evident on the skin's surface.

Method # 4: Keep Your Cells Strong

Cell membranes are the "walls" of the cell that keep healthy nutrients in and pollutants out. If the membranes are damaged, it is no different than a military fortress with the walls broken down; they will be susceptible to attack. How does that attack show up? Think "cottage cheese thighs". The best way to ensure the health and strength of your cells' membranes is to feed them with the nutrients they need to get the job done; this includes antioxidants such as Vitamins A, E, and C, as well as other more potent antioxidants such as grape seed extract. This is definitely a more "internal operation" as far as preventing cellulite is concerned, but an overall balanced approach to cellulite reduction is the best way to go.

Well, that's all for right now; I will continue with the remaining four cellulite prevention methods in my upcoming post.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cellulite Treatments: Ionithermie

What is Ionithermie?

My previous post about Endermologie® inadvertently started a series of posts about different treatments and procedures that are available to aid in cellulite reduction. In this post we will cover a somewhat controversial treatment known as Ionithermie.

Ionithermie has often been mistakenly spelled "Lonithermie", due to fact that the capital "I" at the beginning of the word can be mistaken for a lower-case "L". Regardless of the spelling, Ionithermie has been touted as a remarkably effective way to reduce the appearance of cellulite, improve muscle tone, and increase the elasticity of the skin. Invented over a quarter of a century ago by a French biochemist, the treatment is heralded as an excellent way to detoxify the body and increase metabolic activity. Whether these claims can hold up to the scrutiny of such watchdog organizations as the FDA remains to be seen; nothing conclusive has been published as of yet.

The Ionithermie Detox Treatment

Ionithermie is categorized as a "cosmeceutical" treatment, although the FDA does not formally recognize such a category. Proponents of Ionithermie claim that the strength of the treatment lies in the detoxification methods that are used in the procedure. Treatments are performed by certified Ionithermie therapists (who would've guessed). A small hand-held machine known as an ionic massager is used which transmits low-level amounts of Galvanic and Faradic electrical currents (a whole other article) to the skin through a conductive aromatic clay that is applied to the skin. This thermal clay (as it is also known) is made up of varying all-natural compounds, which can include organic freeze-dried vegetable extracts, ribonucleic acid, micronized algae, guarana, seaweed, and others. The electrical stimulus passes through the thermal clay, causing the skin to absorb the nutrients that are in the clay. The Galvanic current provides positive and negative ions that assist in "pushing" the nutrients from the organic clay into the treated area of the skin, while the Faradic current is used to stimulate the muscles and tissue in the affected area as well.

The different ingredients in the organic clay compound basically "seep" into the skin by way of the gentle Galvanic and Faradic electric currents in a process known as "electrophoresis", and immediately they begin to detoxify the treated area, stimulating blood and lymph circulation. My previous post about setting the stage for cellulite reduction through maintaining a healthy circulatory system bears repeating once again, as even in Ionithermie the treatment is designed to encourage better lymphatic drainage and more efficient blood circulation. As the various all-natural substances enter into the layers of skin below the epidermis, the fatty tissue is broken up in a process known as lipolysis. This is believed to be a key factor in reducing cellulite, and increasing the smooth appearance of the areas of the skin that are most affected by cellulite. The main areas of treatment are the hips, thighs, buttocks, knees, arms, and bust.

Benefits of Ionithermie

It is important to note that the primary benefit promoted by Ionithermie enthusiasts is that of detoxification. The organic materials that comprise the thermal clay are lauded for their ability to remove toxins in the human system, as well as replenish much-needed minerals into the system.

Another benefit is loss of inches. Clinical studies have shown results of up to 8 inches of loss per treatment, although the average documented loss is around 4.5 inches. While these results have been clinically proven, the FDA has not yet endorsed or approved the practice of Ionithermie.

Many people also report an improvement in the smoothness and consistency of their skin after repeated Ionithermie treatments. Others report a feeling of relaxation as well.

The average Ionithermie treatment session lasts about 30 minutes, and it is usually recommended that a person receive a repeated series of treatments if they have more advanced stages of cellulite formation. The primary place to get the treatment performed is at any spa that offers the more sophisticated types of cosmeceutical treatments. The average price for a session is between $130 to $170 dollars, usually with a per-treatment discount if you buy multiple blocks of sessions at one time.

Potential Side Effects of Ionithermie

There are only a few minor side effects associated with receiving Ionithermie treatments, and they include redness or sensitivity of the areas of skin that were treated. Since everyone's skin is different, and some people's skin is more sensitive than others, the same exact treatment may affect two different people (and varying skin types) two totally different ways.

My hope is that this post has given you a good introduction into Ionithermie, another popular method of cellulite reduction. Stay tuned for more posts about various cellulite treatments in the coming weeks.