There’s an, erm, interesting story in the paper today – according to a psychologist in Venezuela, cellulite is caused by a strict upbringing, repressed emotions and unexpressed creativity. I actually don’t quite know what to make of this story, nor can I find out where it originated, but considering I’m the most emotionally repressed person alive and I don’t have much cellulite, I’m not hugely convinced. Yes, yes, I’m aware that using yourself as an example to prove or disprove an idea is bad science, but still in my head I’m saying ‘okay,’ in a slightly worried tone and backing away smiling.
It’s a bizarre stuff, cellulite – people love to impose mythical significance on it. ‘It’s a build up of toxins,’ say many alternative therapists – but trust me, if you biopsy cellulite you do not find left over hamburger or gin and tonic, you find a mix of far more normal things; ie fat and fluid held in little boxes of skin fibres called septa. Three things can therefore cause cellulite – carrying excess fat or fluid (which causes the excess to ‘spill out’ of the top of the box) and doing things that damage the septa like smoking, sunbathing, eating and drinking badly as this triggers them to thicken, stiffen and shorten creating that bumpy look. How emotions fit into any of that I’m really not sure.
Hydrohealing – A New Treatment Option
Despite my relative lack of the stuff (thank you weight training) I was still intrigued when I was offered the chance to visit the new hydrohealing centre offering water treatments in London’s Notting Hill. After all, it’s a place which treats you with water! What’s not to love? Of the many exciting treatments on offer was one called the HydroBlitz which was aiming to increase tone and tackle cellulite. This was my mission for the afternoon.
I appeared at the spa and was confronted with what looked like a giant version of a baby changing table and a paper bikini. Putting one on and climbing precariously onto the other, I lay down on my front. You get covered in oil and then, the water treatment starts. Now by the name I had been expecting some kind of high pressure jet firing water at my butt – instead I got slightly dribbly water sensation (ensure you go to the bathroom first) and a sucky nozzle! Basically, the treatment uses water to rev up the circulation and the suction to gently lift the skin – and those septas I was talking about – encouraging the release of any excess fluid plumping things out.
It’s a bizarre sensation kind of like being worked on by an over-zealous vacuum cleaner, but it’s not unpleasant – except around muscley areas. If there’s no fat to lift, the suction hurts a bit – although as I squirmed and grimaced things were made much better by my therapist telling me ‘sorry if it’s uncomfortable but your legs are so toned I’m having trouble getting anything for the suction to work on’…..cue immediate head swelling to about three times normal size. It rapidly went down again when she got to my stomach though as there she had plenty of area to work on and the sensation become more akin to the tickling from a small child! Once you get off the muscley bits it’s actually very soothing and doing my back nearly sent me to sleep. The treatment finishes with a manual lymph drainage treatment which encourages the fluid they have released to depart the body…..About 45 minutes later I was feeling nicely relaxed and had very smooth skin.
But what about the toning and cellulite part of things you ask? Hmmm – I didn’t feel anything different in that area after my treatment, not even in a ‘removing fluid’ kind of way. Admittedly it’s one of those treatments where they say you need a course of a few – six is the normal amount – to get results so I wasn’t expecting to see a miracle, but just feeling a bit tighter and less poofy would have been nice. I can see in theory why it would work to reduce the look of lumps and bumps if your cellulite is mostly caused by fluid, but in practice nothing really happened on my legs. Oh, and although they don’t claim it does don’t think it’s going to melt fat – after all it’s a sucky hose thing not a magic wand. My advice, perhaps use it as a nice relaxing. smoothing body treatment and, if it does tackle your cellulite think of that as a bonus. It costs £75 for 60 minutes. Find all the details – including the amazing sounding Hydromicrodermabrasion – on their website hydrohealing.com
Main image: Freedigitalphotos.net