Over Christmas holiday in Colorado, my family and I decided to go to the local hot springs. It was just what we needed to warm up our bones from the chill of being outside all day cross country skiing. There were people of all shapes and sizes. What I happened to notice on almost every woman and teenage girl was the appearance of cellulite on her thighs. I began to pay attention to who had more cellulite and who had less. No woman was immune to its effect. There were even female athletes with washboard stomachs that had cellulite on their thighs. I found this to be very upsetting that so few women did not have cellulite. What is it in our culture that is promoting this unsightly bulging and what do we do to prevent it? Is exercise the key or is it something more than that?
What really is cellulite and how do we get rid of it? After doing some research on how to get rid of these deposits naturally, I found that women in Europe have been going to health spas and have been using creams to get rid of cellulite or “unsightly fat deposits” for at least twenty years. American doctors deem this type of fat as a problem, but do not treat it as a “disease of the connective tissue” as the medical community in Europe does.
Cellulite is a gel-like substance made up of fat, toxic waste material and water that is trapped between fibrous tissue just beneath the surface of the skin. Cellulite is primarily a feminine problem due to the higher percentage of fatty tissue in women and because of the greater elasticity of the skin. The fat layer under the skin pops up between this fibrous tissue causing a “bulging of fat” in the subcutaneous layer. In a healthy woman without cellulite, the fat would stay in the dermal layer. This problem happens when the blood vessels deteriorate and deprive the skin of important nutrients. Secondly, the fats clump together and bind to proteins. Water engorges the cells due to the toxicity in the fat tissue. The water dilutes the toxic waste matter and creates a gel-like substance that creates the orange peel appearance of the skin. It can be said that cellulite is an inflammatory process due to:
1. Decreased circulation in the area
2. Loss of capillary networks
3. Excess fluid retained
4. Fat deposition usually hormonally mediated
5. Vascular changes within the dermis.
6. Toxic waste material being stored in less vascular areas of body in the fatty tissue.
7 Steps to Detoxify your Thighs
Some Doctors say that cellulite is caused by damaged, dehydrated skin. I believe this is one cause of cellulite, but it is not the whole truth. The first step to diminishing cellulite is to repair our damaged skin cells and connective tissue. We can do this by following these seven essential steps.
1. The first step for change is to use antioxidants to eliminate free radical damage and promote microcirculation. Vitamin C and Vitamin A are the most important antioxidants for the skin. You cannot grow collagen without Vitamin C. Vitamin A is one of the most important nutrients for keeping the skin healthy and firm.
2. The second key is to increase circulation throughout the body. Gingko biloba increases microcirculation and thus, rids the body of stored toxins. Dry brushing is an important addition to our detoxification regime. Dry brushing for five minutes daily is equal to one half hour of exercise. Use a dry vegetable bristle brush in a circular motion from the toes to the heart. This acts as a manual lymphatic pump to flush toxins and sustain healthy circulation. Use circulation generating essential oils like rosemary and birch to begin breaking up the fatty deposits. Put 20 drops each in 4oz. of a carrier oil such as sesame or almond oil and rub onto buttocks, thighs and hips daily.
3. Eliminate high mucus forming foods and most dairy products especially if not organic. The lymphatic system has a direct impact on the appearance and condition of your skin. When the lymph becomes clogged with mucus forming foods, the toxins cannot be carried away and many of these waste products end up being laid down and trapped in the skin. Cellulite forms when stagnant lymph filled with toxins get stuck in the fatty accumulations just beneath the skin. Non organic dairy products contain high amounts of synthetic hormones that disturb our sensitive hormonal system.
4. Regulate your hormones with specific nutrient rich oils. High amounts of estrogen in the body determine where fat will be put down, especially in the hips, buttocks and thighs. Remember, estrogen builds the body, as in pregnancy. It also promotes excess water retention in the tissues. If the lymphatic system is sluggish, the toxins get stuck in the storage bins of the thighs. Essential fatty acids also hydrate the skin by strengthening the walls of the cells. The oils keep the skin well hydrated. This is important due to the fact that Essential fatty acids regulate the hormones of the body. When hormones are balanced, the cells hydrate correctly. It is also easier to maintain proper weight. One simple way to do this is to rotate organic flax oil and evening primrose oil with the waxing and waning of the moon. This will regulate the estrogen and progesterone in the body naturally. After menopause other oils should be used. If your hormones are really out of balance, I recommend weekly acupuncture treatments and specific formulas to assist with this. A hormonally balanced woman is usually a healthy woman.
5. Open the pathways of elimination by stimulating the detoxification of the liver, kidneys and the large intestine. When a vacuum cleaner is filled with toxic debris it will not run. We need to clean out our system so that it will function more efficiently. When we are constipated, our system of elimination is “backed up”. The other organs then have to do “double duty”. Sometimes when this happens, too many toxins inundate the system at once and the liver has to store away this waste material for a later day. It does this by storing waste matter in a fat lobule. The liver then sends it away from the major organs and into areas of the body where there is little circulation. These toxins will remain at this location, safe from the important bodily functions. A French herbalist named Maurice Messegue did exhaustive research on cellulite control with women from all over Europe. Only when these women gave up foods containing pesticides and chemicals (most processed food) were they able to decrease the amount of cellulite in their bodies. By stimulating the function of the liver with milk thistle, dandelion or specific individual detoxification formulas targeting the liver, kidneys and the lymphatic system, we can help them function more efficiently. At my clinic in Austin, Texas, I use individual formulas and nutrients specific to each patient to break down the stuck waste material in the cells. General ways to do this are to squeeze one half of a lemon in water three times daily to break down mucus and stimulate the liver. Next, I suggest taking organic, raw apple cider vinegar (1 tablespoon in 8 ounces of water) before meals to stimulate digestive processes and alkalinize the body.
6. Stimulate your metabolism. Drinking three cups of green tea daily is one of the best ways to do this. Not only does it stimulate your metabolism, have loads of antioxidants, but it has the ability to emulsify fat! The second ingredient to improving our metabolism is to use cayenne in our lemon juice daily. Cayenne stimulates our digestion and improves our circulation. Don’t use cayenne if you have heat symptoms such as hot flashes or constant thirst.
7. Take saunas and hot baths regularly. The most important secret of cellulite detoxification is to heat up and break up the fatty deposits. Heating up the body stimulates the elimination of toxicity and increases your metabolism and circulation. After taking a hot bath, you need to squeeze and twist the thighs and buttocks with your thumb and first two fingers. Do this gently, but firmly. By doing this, you are breaking up the fat and dispersing it into the bloodstream. Then, use firm strokes toward the heart to move the blood and lymph. You can use the dry, vegetable bristle brush for this part. If you don’t have access to a sauna, hot baths are wonderful. Add essential oils like juniper, grapefruit and rosemary to stimulate the liver and eliminate toxins. Other additions can include Epsom salt and baking soda. Use two cups of Epsom salt and one cup of baking soda in the bath. Epsom salt draws out toxins in the body while baking soda alkalinizes the system. Soak for twenty minutes until you sweat. When you get out of the bath, massage your tummy, buttocks and thighs, then rest. Do this at least three times per week.
To conclude, detoxifying one’s thighs is not a simple quick fix pill. Most women will agree that staying healthy needs to be part of a lifestyle change. A grain, vegetable and fruit filled diet with small amounts of meat, fish and legumes will keep us filled with energy, strong and thin. Daily walking and yoga keep our body supple and strong in addition to the steps above. By incorporating all of these factors into your daily life, you will have amazing success at diminishing those unwanted bulges. Our body just needs the right nutrients, the right diet and proper detoxification.