Aromatherapy and Cellulite

Aromatherapy and CelluliteCellulite is the term commonly used to describe the uneven dimpling or “orange peel” skin caused by superficial pockets of trapped fat. This condition appears in 90% of post-adolescent women but is rarely seen in men. It is mostly found on the thighs, buttocks and abdomen and in fact is not related to obesity as it occurs in women of all sizes.

When one looks at the anatomy of the skin one sees that underneath the epidermis and dermis there are three layers of fat. It is in the most superficial of these layers (the hypodermis or subcutaneous fat layer) that cellulite develops. This layer is structurally unique from the others because its fat lobes are organized into chambers by surrounding strands of connective tissue. It is hormones, not exercise and diet, that primarily regulate fat storage and metabolism in the subcutaneous fat layer. The fat cells that are found in the two reserve fat layers situated underneath the subcutaneous fat layer are dispersed differently in a loose network and the fat storage and metabolism in these layers is predicted by genetics and influenced by the two basic elements of lifestyle, diet and exercise. These layers are not responsible for the formation of cellulite. The subcutaneous fat layer is organized differently in men and women. In men the chambers are arranged as small diagonal units whereas in women the chambers are arranged as large vertical chambers. Obviously much more fat can be stored in these chambers as opposed to the smaller ones found in men.

“Edematous-fibrosclerotic panniculopathy” is a medical term used to describe cellulite. In the past decade, there has been extensive research to clarify the possible causes, and many authors agree on the following points: Adipose cells (fat cells) swell due to fat storage; Capillary walls become excessively permeable causing localized accumulation of fluid; Inadequate lymphatic drainage slows the removal of excess fluid; Adipose cells cluster and are bound by collagen fibers, which further impedes blood flow; Connective tissue strands stiffen, pulling down on their anchor points; Changes in blood flow, lymphatic drainage, fat, and connective tissue result in cellulite – a bumpy or dimpled appearance of the skin.

There are a number of factors involved in the formation of cellulite: Firstly the hormonal factor. Cellulite develops in women mainly during periods of hormonal change such as puberty, pregnancy, menopause, premenstrual syndrome and the initial months on birth control pills. Hormones play a large role in regulating the changes in blood flow, lymphatic drainage, fat, and connective tissue — all factors that play a role in the formation of cellulite. Cellulite can form regardless of one’s lifestyle choices of diet and exercise however without a healthy lifestyle the overall appearance of the cellulite can worsen over time. Also as one gets older there is a loss in the thickness and tone of the connective tissue within the dermis and superficial fatty layer with the result that cellulite becomes more visible and flabby.

In spite of the millions of products on the market claiming to reduce or eliminate cellulite there is no simple easy fix and it takes commitment and a lifestyle approach to make any changes to the appearance of cellulite. Follow a diet that is purifying and avoid foods that contribute to toxins building up; Drink plenty of water; Exercise to stimulate circulation and speed up the metabolism, this will also help to improve muscle tone and firm the tissue; Ensure that there is a proper elimination of waste through the skin, kidneys and intestines; Relaxation is important, stress needs to be handled or eliminated in order for one’s body and mind to work in harmony; Massage. Massaging the cellulite areas will help to stimulate the circulation in those areas. Incorporating essential oils into an anti-cellulite regime can be helpful in assisting lymphatic drainage and improving circulation. Skin brush daily — it improves the circulation and lymph drainage. Once a week have a Body Scrub to help remove dead skin cells. Daily apply your oil, cream, lotion or gel with essential oils to the affected areas.

Essential oils to consider include:
Carrot Seed (Daucus carota) – thought to nourish and improve the elasticity of the skin.
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) — has good decongestant properties.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) — has good diuretic properties
Geranium ( Pelargonium graveolensCitrus paradise) — has astringent, diuretic and general tonic properties
Juniper (Juniperus communis) — has good diuretic properties.
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin ) — is an astringent and decongestant and helpful in promoting good skin condition.
Rosemary ( Rosmarinus officinalisct. Verbenone — skin regenerating qualities.

Please make sure that you take into consideration any possible contraindications such as pregnancy with the oils used. See the article on Contraindications to essential oils in the blends on the Articles Page.

Blends For Cellulite

Blend 1 Blend 2 Blend 3 Blend 4
3 drops of Grapefruit 3 drops of Geranium 2 drops of Carrot Seed 4 drops of Grapefruit
2 drops of Juniper 2 drops of Fennel 2 drops of Fennel 2 drops of Patchouli
1 drop of Carrot Seed 1 drop of Patchouli 2 drops of Rosemary

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