Cellulite and Ayurveda
By Dr. Sajimon George BAMS. AAA. ATMS
Cellulite is a lumpy fat deposit that commonly manifests on thighs, buttocks, hips and waist.
Cellulite is almost exclusively a condition that affects women, occurring in 85% to 98% of women after puberty.
Since cellulite is the visible manifestation of multiple pathologic processes, one cannot reasonably expect a single agent to effectively treat this disease. These lumps are actually collections of fat that are pushing against the connective tissue under the skin, as a result, the dermis (the layer of skin beneath the outermost layer) weakens in cellulite-prone areas, paving the way for swollen fat cells to protrude to the surface.
This causes the surface of the skin to have an unattractive appearance. Cellulite is a localized effect but it is very difficult to eliminate. The longer it sits there, the harder it is to remove.
In general cellulite arises from a number of age-related physiological changes in women.
- Poor diet
- Slow metabolism
- Lack of physical activity
- Exhaustive dieting
- Hormone changes during pregnancy etc
- Hormones secreted in response to stress
- Total body fat
- Thickness and color of skin
- Poor circulation
- Lymphatic drainage
Ayurvedic View of Cellulite
Ayurveda understands Cellulite as a condition caused by vitiated meda or dhathu in the junction of Twak (Skin) and Mamsa (Flesh).
When the fire or agni is malfunctioning, the metabolism as a whole becomes sluggish. The Vitiation of fat dhatu is resulted by the influence of toxins, or ama made by improperly functioning fire or agni. By correcting agni or fire in the fat or meda dhatu, the Cellulite condition is treated.
While designing treatment protocol, Ayurveda looks to restore balance holistically thus the mind, emotions, body type, and lifestyle of each patient is taken into account. Vasa or loose fat is an Upadhatu (secondary structural unit) of body. Vasa is a dilute or thin form of Meda or fat dhatu under skin.
Due to vitiation of agni, partially digested or undigested nutrients and body tissue (ama) are produced and achieve a toxic nature. This accumulates in the gut and is then spread through subtle channels of the body and Vasa is affected. This results in cellulite.
In a healthy state, Vasa acts as a lubricant for the body tissues, adds complexion, nourishes other tissues of the body and strengthens the tissues. This is the reason why vitiated Vasa can make a strong negative impact on complexion and appearance.
Ayurvedic Therapies for Cellulite
Ayurveda has many ways to treat cellulite. One of the special therapies called Panchakarma is useful in correcting the basic pathology of cellulite. These procedures cause detoxification of the liver resulting in improved fat metabolisms.
Medicated Powder Massage: Massage using special herbal powders reduces cellulite accumulations, stimulates the nervous system, improves blood circulation, lymphatic drainage and enhances the skin’s texture and appearance.
Steaming and other heating procedures: This procedure is useful in the removal of blockage of subtle channels or srothas. Oils are never used in cellulte.
Virechana or Medicated purgation: Is a cleansing method, performed by giving some herbal purgatives which regulate fire principle or agni.
Vasthi or Enema like procedure: Designed to clean the lower alimentary canal and most effective Ayurvedic treatment bringing cleansing of subtle channels or srothas spread all over the body. This is very effective in regulating abnormally increased fire principle. Special ingredients may be added to it making it a lekhana vasthi which can cause scraping of fat from the system and reduces chances for further accumulation of fat beneath the skin.
Recurrence of cellulite is common. To prevent a recurrence, follow proper dieting and exercises after treatment procedures.
Lifestyle Tips for Cellulite
Exercise Ayurvedic medicine recommends any exercise that includes movement of the legs and thighs as good for reducing cellulite. Not only does it help reduce the appearance of cellulite as it burns the fatty acids that cause the cellulite, it also helps improve the blood circulation and helps remove the toxin away from the skin.
Yoga Yoga postures that develop strength and promote stamina are ideal. An Ayurvedic yoga teacher will design a routine based on the individual.
Diet According to Ayurvedic medicine, people who eat a lot of fried food and fat can lead to a malfunction of fire principle leading to cellulite.
- Light and warm foods are ideal
- Judicious use of pepper and ginger. These prevent Ama, but don’t overdo it. Too much hot spices can aggravate your Pitha and fire principle
- Drink liquids regularly, but avoid cold beverages.
Useful Herbs for Cellulite
Ginger Ginger, or Zingiber officinale. It promotes circulation.
Ocimum Sanctum Holy Basil Tulsi, botanically identified as Ocimum sanctum, and also described as holy basil. Its qualities are laghu (light)–and Ruksha (dry) which makes it useful in restraining fat.
Tribulus Errestris Prevents water retention.
Centella Asiatica Improves circulation.
Glycirhiza Glabra (Liqorice) and Guggul or Commiphora Mukul are also useful foe cellulite.
AYURCLINIC Services – Indian Natural Therapies
Ayurveda Homeopathy Yoga Meditation
Working with you to achieve health and wellbeing.
Call +61 3 9078 2940 to book an appointment or contact us for more information.