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- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Ayurvedic Medicine
- American Council on Exercise: Exercise and Cellulite
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Ayurvedic medicine might by a completely foreign concept for you, but it has actually been around for thousands of years. This ancient Indian medicine is used as an alternative therapy to treat various medical conditions that can include sexual health, emotional health and physical health. Using natural herbs and lifestyle modifications, Ayurvedic medicine has an approach for treating cellulite. Talk to your healthcare provider before implementing changes in your diet or exercise plan.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Ayurvedic medicine is an Indian medical practice that is used in modern medicine as an alternative therapy 1. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the word "Ayurvedic" means life and knowledge 1. This form of treatment is intended to balance the mind, body and spirit to treat and prevent illnesses. Ayurvedic medicine emphasizes holistic healing through massage, herbs, dietary changes, oils, minerals and behavioral changes.
Cellulite looks like small valleys and hills on the skin and most commonly forms on the buttocks, legs, arms and stomach. Skin is held to underlying structures by connective tissue cords that separate fat cells into compartments. The American Council on Exercise notes that men have crisscross and horizontal compartments and women have honeycomb compartments in their connective tissue, which makes it easier for fat to protrude 3. When fat cells accumulate, they push upward against the connective tissue and form the dimpled skin you recognize as cellulite.
Ayurvedic treatment focuses on using herbal remedies that can be digested or applied to cellulite. Gotu Kola, dandelion, milk thistle, parsley, iodine and ginger are used by Ayurvedic practitioners for flushing out toxins, improving circulation and repairing cells. Gotu Kola is used only as a paste that you apply directly to cellulite, while the other herbs can be eaten or added to hot water to make tea. According to Ayurved Health Care, you can remove cellulite by applying vitamin K directly to the affected areas 2. Speak with your physician before using any herbal treatment.
Another component of Ayurvedic treatment involves dietary changes. A diet that is high in fat from fried foods is known as a kapha diet -- this type of diet can cause cellulite and may lead to obesity. The goal is to eat a kapha decreasing diet. Avoid olive oil, cheese, butter, fried foods, cold food, cold drinks and sweets.
Daily exercise helps to reduce excess body fat while also strengthening muscle tissue. This approach is used in Ayurvedic medicine and is also supported by the American Council on Exercise 3. Cardio or aerobic exercise enables your body to burn calories, which can lead to fat loss. Strength training exercises such as push-ups, squats and lunges help maintain your muscle mass while forming new muscle tissue. Ayurveda practitioners may also recommend the dandayamana dhanurasana, ardha chandrasana, utkatasana and salabhasana yoga poses.
Ayurvedic massage uses herbal oils, powders and gloves to reduce cellulite. Gharsana and udvartana are two distinct types of massages. Gharsana is performed with silk gloves to improve circulation and break up fat deposits. Udvartana uses an herbal mixture that can include almond oil with various powders to enhance the skin’s texture and purportedly reduce cellulite.
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