Ever since I can remember, or rather since my body started to change when I was a teenager, most of my insecurities came from my body hair and my cellulite. While I got over my body hair-caused insecurities much easier, my cellulite bothered me a lot for many years.
That rigid orange-peel-like skin that shows up on our butt, thighs, and even belly, is sometimes visible even under my yoga pants… it just killed me whenever I looked at it. Part of the problem might be, while I can remove hair from anywhere, cellulite can’t be just “shaved off.” Even my model friend suffers from it and she’s skinny and works out a lot. Fun fact: 80% of adult women experience cellulite, and it affects each of us differently.
I tried so many things over the decades, as I suffered from cellulite for more than 15 years—diet, specific workouts, wrapping myself in foils, sweating chambers, expensive magic creams and drink powders. Nothing seemed to help until I found Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems.
But what is cellulite? Science says it’s a consequence of alterations that develop in the lymphatic system that lead to an accumulation of substances in subcutaneous tissue. This can cause the accumulation of fluids and other substances in the cellular tissue, creating the appearance of cellulite.
In Ayurveda, cellulite is viewed in a more holistic light (as with everything) and in a way that offers practical solutions to an issue that Western medicine currently has mostly band-aid treatments, and few real solutions.
Ayurveda looks at cellulite as excessive, undigested toxic waste, a result of imbalance of Kapha dosha. When there is an imbalance of Kapha dosha that accumulates, the lymphatic system is not able to function properly, and thus, lymphatic drainage does not occur effectively, leaving toxins and fluid (Ama) to build up as little pockets of fat. This issue can be traced back to imbalanced Agni, which means that the digestive fire is either not strong enough to process food properly, resulting in accumulated Ama, or the diet and lifestyle is so unhealthy and processed that even a healthy digestive fire cannot compete with it. Thus, the Agni grows weak and sluggish over time and as a result, the presence of Ama increases, leading to more and more imbalance and more and more rigid cellulite.
The Ayurvedic solution is to treat the root of the problem, not the symptom. So I started to follow the Ayurvedic protocol to get rid of my orange-peel skin. My cellulite-reducing routine consisted of strengthening my Agni, getting my lymphatic system pumping, reducing intake of toxic food and supporting the efficient removal of accumulated toxins in my body.
A Kapha-balancing diet will also gradually assist the body in removing the toxins, that naturally will reduce cellulite as well.
To be honest, the Ayurvedic routine that I followed looks more like a nicely planned self-care routine. It starts with a diet that is kind to the body. Eat like you love yourself. It also includes workouts, cleanse, and self-massage. I think if you live with love and compassion toward your self and your body, these affect will naturally occur , regardless if you know that you’re following Ayurvedic protocols or not.
Some cellulite-reducing routines that Ayurveda recommend are:
- Abhyanga (self-massage) with Kapha Oil
- Garshana (dry brushing)
- Ayurvedic Cleanse
- Kapha Reducing Diet + Herbs
- Vyayama (exercise)
To support Kapha in my body with a Kapha-balancing diet, I increased my daily water intake, added more ginger to my drinks and recipes as it promotes circulation (be careful as too much of it will overstimulate Pitta dosha). I drank licorice tea, consumed light and warm foods, ate at least three times a day, and reduced the intake of fats and sugars. Another great way to support your Kapha is with detoxifying Kapha tea. Take 1/4 teaspoon each of dry ginger, dill seed, fenugreek seed, 1 clove , and 1 cup water. Mix all the ingredients. Boil water and add the herb mixture to it. Steep for 5 minutes and drink it.
Kapha churna is also very supportive when it comes to diet. This seasoning can be made by grinding fenugreek, cumin, black pepper and ginger into a powder. It reduces ama when taken in normal quantities. Don’t take it in excess as these hot spices can aggravate Pitta. You can use this as seasoning for salad or other food, once a day.
While I still have some cellulite left on my thighs, I am sure it will all get cleared up. I started to follow this protocol as a part of my daily routine about a half year ago and the results were instant and getting better each day. I have no plans of going back to a “normal” diet and lifestyle as Ayurveda has so many benefits it is totally worth to include it in our lives in every way possible.
Treating our bodies with love and care will result in life long changes, and it’s something we shouldn’t give up over time. No one will be there with us the whole time during our lives, but our own selves, so each of us should treat ourselves as we deserve – as the main character of our story. (Which we truly are). Especially if you take care of others, you need to take care of yourself, too.
Following these Ayurvedic tips to reduce your cellulite will not only help to get rid of the orange skin, but result in overall better feeling about yourself, elevated mood, better health, glowing skin and increased health in general.
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Photo: Monica Kozub via Unsplash