Does Percussion Massage Help With Cellulite?

Does Percussion Massage Help With Cellulite?

If you’re like many people, you’ve probably noticed cellulite — or ripply and dimply skin — on at least one part of your body. Cellulite is entirely natural, but many people look for ways to minimize its appearance, often using creams and other treatments. But what about tools like massage guns? Does percussion massage help with cellulite? 

In this post, discover what we know so far about percussion massage and cellulite, including the benefits, research, and what to know before trying it out.

What Causes Cellulite?

Cellulite refers to bumpy, textured skin in areas where we typically carry a little extra fat. Many people describe cellulite as being dimply or “orange-peel-like” in texture. And contrary to what you might’ve heard, having cellulite doesn’t mean you’re out of shape or unhealthy. In fact, it means you probably have a pretty normal human body. 

Anyone can get cellulite, but women experience it at higher rates than men do. Specifically, the Cleveland Clinic reports that 80 to 90% of women and around 10% of men have it.

The causes of cellulite aren’t certain. But what we do know is that it’s harmless, and it’s simply how many bodies store fat underneath the skin.

Risk Factors

There aren’t any direct causes of cellulite, but some factors may be linked to it. The main ones include:

  • Having female biology: As mentioned above, most women deal with cellulite at a much higher rate than men do.
  • Genetics. Genetics can influence your metabolism, as well as the way your body distributes fat.
  • Diet and lifestyle factors. Diet and exercise can play a role in how cellulite shows up for certain people.

Does Percussion Massage Help with Cellulite? 

Percussion massage offers a range of health benefits — and in theory, some of these benefits can promote the appearance of healthy skin and combat cellulite. 

Here’s what the research on massage and cellulite shows so far.

Research on Massage and Cellulite

A 2020 study conducted over six months looked at whether or not massage could help with cellulite. For the first 12 weeks of the study, 40 healthy female participants regularly used a vibration massage tool on the back of their thighs. At the 12-week mark, there appeared to be improvements in the participants’ cellulite.

After this point, the volunteers were split into two groups. One group stopped the massage, and the others continued. This step was to see whether or not the benefits would regress and the cellulite would bounce back without regular massage.

The cellulite returned to normal levels relatively quickly in the group that stopped massage. But for those that stuck to their routine to the end, the benefits continued to grow.

Another 2010 study involving 60 subjects looked at the benefits of three different types of massage for cellulite and fat. The three massage types were:

  • Mechanical massage
  • Manual lymphatic drainage massage
  • Connective tissue manipulation

The results showed that all three techniques lowered fat values in patients with cellulite.

Massage May Boost General Skin Appearance

As a whole, massage may be able to support the appearance of supple, smooth, and healthy skin. Here’s how it works.

May Promote Lymphatic Drainage

Certain types of massage can boost lymphatic flow, which may help soothe puffy skin. And because healthy lymph flow could lower the amount of fluid under the skin, it may help with the appearance of cellulite.

Boosts Circulation

Percussion massage can support oxygen-rich blood flow to targeted areas, which is vital for healthy, vibrant skin.

Plumps the Skin for a Smoother Appearance

Massage’s ability to stimulate the muscles and boost blood flow can bring a healthy plumpness and glow to the skin. It’s important to note that this effect won’t last long-term, but it can improve the look and feel of your skin for a short while after your session.

How to Try a Percussion Massage Gun for Cellulite

If you’ve got a percussion massager on hand, you can use it to gently support circulation and the look of plump, healthy skin in areas with cellulite.

To start:

  • Turn your massage gun on to a low setting.
  • Start by gliding the massage gun along the tops of each of your thighs for 10 to 45 seconds.
  • Stand up and reach behind your body to reach your glute and hamstring area. Pass over the glutes and hamstrings for 10 to 30 seconds on each side.
  • Sweep your massage gun across your upper leg muscles for a few more seconds, taking time to focus on any areas of special concern.

What Else Can Help with Cellulite?

Massage is just one possible way to support healthy-looking skin and combat cellulite. But what treatments do medical experts recommend? 

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, here are some of the best methods to help with cellulite long-term:

  • Acoustic wave therapy. This uses sound waves to break up tissue involved in cellulite.
  • Laser treatment (Cellulaze™). This is a minimally-invasive treatment that breaks up bands of tissue under the skin.
  • Other treatments such as Subcision (Cellfina™) or vacuum-assisted precise tissue release.
  • Exercise to build muscle and help skin look smoother.

The Bottom Line on Percussion Massage and Cellulite

Cellulite is a common and natural condition, and it’s just one way that many of our bodies store fat. When it comes to remedies, some research suggests that massage may help with its appearance when used consistently.

With that in mind, here are some takeaways to remember before you try massage for cellulite:

  • Percussion massage can support healthy-looking skin through better blood flow and plumping effects. 
  • Early studies show that massage may improve cellulite, but the benefits can diminish after stopping the massage regimen. For best results, regular massage is the way to go.

If you want to improve skin texture and fight cellulite, it’s important to note that massage isn’t the only thing worth investing in. If your cellulite is troubling you, be sure to talk to your dermatologist to see which treatment options they recommend.

To get started with therapeutic massage at home, you can pick up a powerful and compact massage gun like the MedMassager Accuvibe Micro or Accuvibe Mini today. Or, view MedMassager’s other restorative home massage units here.

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