'Cup away' your cellulite?
Can anything other than lipo suck away your ? Andrea Wren turns to Chinese Medicine's 'cupping' method in the hope of a non-invasive cure
Remember Gwyneth Paltrow turning up at a film premiere covered in what looked like octopus-sized love-bites a few years ago? She had been 'cupped'. Her marks were the result of her skin having been sucked up, quite literally, into vacuums created by the action of heated glass cups placed across her back.
Cupping therapy isn't a 'new' discovery. 'The oldest recorded medical textbook, written in approximately 1550 BC in Egypt, mentions cupping,' says Clinton Sandall, practitioner and instructor of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
'It is used for many conditions like headache, back pain, joint and muscular pain, infertility, sexual disorders, rheumatic diseases, hypertension, but it is especially good for detoxification and circulatory problems.'
Upon hearing this, the first thing I did was survey my thighs. Lumpy? My granny's porridge looked smoother than these babies!
Cellulite, as we girls know, describes the fat deposits under the skin that give the 'orange-peel' appearance. Diet, lifestyle factors, pregnancy and exercise can all help or hinder. Simple genetics can also mean some of us just have it, whatever we do.
There are many forms of cupping therapy, says Clinton, but for cellulite and fat breakdown in particular, it is 'massage cupping' which works best. 'Negative pressure on the skin, formed through the heated cups, releases the rigid soft tissue. This helps drain excess fluids and toxins, loosen adhesions and lift connective tissue. It brings blood flow to undernourished skin and muscles.'
There are no needles involved, so what did I have to lose? I found South Manchester-based cupping practitioner Alison Levelsey (www.the-soulcoach.com) and booked four sessions in a bid to iron out the bumps. But how effective could it be for my thighs?
'You will normally begin to see a change after two 20-minute sessions,' Alison informed me. 'Though how many sessions it will take to be dimple-free will vary for each client, depending on the level of cellulite. By session four, the client should see a difference to the orange peel effect and the area treated should be slimmer.'