AND boost your infection-fighting lymph system at the same time
Being a woman, I know only too well the frustration at 'orange peel' cellulite that seems impossible to shift. (I should point out, that even the skinniest of minis can suffer this problem, so you're not alone!)
In this post, I’d like to share with you some natural techniques that I use at home to combat the dreaded cellulite and the feeling of water retention and 'puffiness' Also, tips to get rid of that horrible sluggish, sensation to feel boosted, energised and lighter.
A number of things can cause a stagnant lymph system and cellulite. Sadly, it generally tends to affect women more than men.
Be it genetics, hormones, dehydration, post-flight, post-surgery, reduced immunity or too much over indulging, the body can react by holding on to water and fluid and making you feel puffy, swollen, bloated and sluggish.
This can also be painful, due to the pressure of swelling and tenderness under the skin. It can feel like a bruise when touched or massaged, even with the lightest pressure.
This could be a sign of sluggish lymph.
If this sounds like you then these tips are a must try.
I'm a massive advocate of the benefits of lymphatic drainage massage and recommend regular sessions to my clients, but you can get some of the benefits at home in just 5 minutes!
A brief background on your lymphatic system
Lymph is fluid that circulates in the lymphatic system. It helps to:
- clean the blood and remove toxins from the body
- brings bacteria to lymph nodes to be destroyed
- transports fats from the digestive system to be excreted
- forms part of our immune system, in the defence against infection
The main collection of lymph nodes are found behind backs of knees, inner elbows, side of throat, under arms, clavicle and groin areas.
There are a several ways to encourage a healthy flow of lymph, to help cleanse your system and reduce problems like cellulite.
7 SIMPLE TIPS YOU CAN DO AT HOME
1. Start your day with a cup of hot water with a slice/ squeeze of fresh lemon
This immediately helps to hydrate the body and helps to expel gas from the intestines to reduce abdominal bloating.
2. Drink at least 2-3 litres of mineral/ filtered water daily
When the body is dehydrated, the body’s cells hold on to any water and fluid for dear life!
If you want to release the stagnant fluid and toxins in the body, you need to keep hydrated and flush it out with drinking clean (non fizzy) mineral water.
Your skin will look and feel better too, I promise, and it goes along way to ridding any dark circles under the eyes too!
3. Daily dry skin body brushing
My personal favourite - instructions below.
4. Hot and cold showers
Alternating the water temperature and end with a cold blast to invigorate yourself.
Swimming, yoga and rebounding are particularly beneficial in boosting lymph.
6. Drink herbal teas
Nettle and dandelion are perfect.
7. Drink herbal lymph formulas
Herbal Ingredients to try: poke root, marigold, cleavers, heartsease, blue flag, burdock, yarrow - get from a herbalist or health food store.
How to body brush to get rid of unwanted cellulite.
At first it feels a bit ‘prickly’ and ‘scratchy’, after a couple of goes and getting the pressure and ‘sweeping’ frequency right, it feels really great on the skin.
I always feel invigorated and can literally feel the lymph moving!
My skin feels so soft and smooth after I have body brushed, better than any exfoliating scrub, as no need for nasty chemicals.
The body brushing not only boosts the lymph, but also removes the dead skin cells so that your skin can breathe.
Sometimes, time permitting, I then moisturise my skin with a natural oil, such as coconut oil or mixed with an essential oil.
Juniper, cypress, grapefruit, fennel essential oils mixed with a carrier oil, such as grape seed or sweet almond oil (caution here if you have nut allergies) are nourishing and perfect lymph boosting oil for the skin and feet.
Skin brushing is one of the easiest and most important steps in any detoxification programme, as skin is the largest organ in the body.
Healthy Skin is important for the absorption of nutrients, protection of the organs and elimination of waste and toxins through sweating (healthy skin can excrete pounds of waste from the body daily). It is therefore, important that the skin is looked after, kept clear and in good condition.
Benefits of Skin Brushing
- Stimulates circulation (helps move blood around the body more efficiently).
- Stimulates nerve endings, which helps balance the glandular and nervous system.
- Moves the lymph to help stimulate expulsion of waste products, toxins.
- Helps breakdown and clear impacted lymph (cellulite).
- Helps reduce water retention.
- Helps unblock clogged lymph nodes, which help with immunity.
- Reduce puffy or swollen arms and legs especially post flying.
- Removes dead skin and impurities to leave soft, smooth skin.
- Unblocks pores to enable nutrients to be absorbed and toxins expelled.
- Breaks down fatty deposits (cellulite) and builds a better distribution of fat.
- Energises tones and detoxifies the whole body.
According to research, just 5 minutes of energetic skin brushing equates to 30 minutes of jogging, as far as muscle tone is concerned!
How to Skin Brush
- Take 5 minutes in the morning BEFORE your shower (before bed can be too stimulating for sleep).
- Use a dry brush, don't wet it or use in shower
- Repeat daily for the first 3 months
- Then 2-3 times a week thereafter
- Use a natural vegetable fibre bristle brush with a long, detachable handle (synthetic fibres build up static electricity in the body)
- Bristles should be firm and feel a little abrasive at first (this will soften the more you use)
- Don't share skin brushes
- Wash it regularly with natural soap or a few drops of Tee Tree Oil and let the bristles dry fully
Watch me explain the technique in the short video below.
- Start gently if you’re new to skin brushing and gradually build up firmness (always start at your feet)
- Brush upwards towards your heart
- Use firm, quick sweeping motions
- Sweep each area about 7-10 times
- Soles of your feet – toe to heal
- Up each leg - pay attention to back of your knees and groin
- Up the back of your buttocks, up in your lower back and trunk
- Brush your abdomen in clockwise motion to follow the direction of your colon (avoid genitals!)
- Brush palm and back of one hand
- Continue sweeping up arm to shoulder
- More stimulation may be needed on inner elbow and under the arms
- Repeat on both arms
- Downward strokes on your scalp, back of head, neck and throat
- Sweep chest, avoiding the nipples!
- Use long handle on brush to sweep across the back of your shoulders and upper back
- Do not use large skin brush on face. A smaller, softer brush (like a new soft toothbrush) can be used here
- Avoid broken, infected, irritated or damaged skin and avoid varicose veins
After Skin Brushing
- Shower to remove dead skin cells.
- Alternate the shower from hot to cold will also boost the lymph and enhance the effect of the skin brushing.
- Always finish with cold water (as much as you can stand)
- Towel dry and feel energised and invigorated.
- Lymphatic Drainage Massage can be beneficial as a treatment to have alongside body brushing.
Another unusual tip is to blow up balloons as this helps the lymphatic flow (one of my lovely clients’s recently shared this tip with me. Even I learn something new everyday!
Many clients enquire about Lymphatic Drainage Massage with me because they feel 'sluggish’, or that they're 'holding on to water’, or are suffering with odema or lymphodema.
Post-treatment, I give them this same advice, that all these simple techniques can go a long way in providing some relief. You have nothing to loose, give them a go!
Have you got any great tips to get rid of cellulite that I haven't mentioned? Let me know in the comments below.
Love Gemma x
P.S. I post great recipes, articles and advice on my social media pages, follow me!