The following article was published in American Spa.

Christa Feist, owner of Body Slim Spa, answers some commonly asked questions about the cellulite treatment that is sweeping the nation.

CELLULITE is the most widespread and least tolerated aesthetic complaint for women. It is highly underrated as just being aesthetically displeasing. Being concerned about appearance of cellulite may seem superficial but it is in fact a pathology that results in disease. Cellulite is actually a progressive degeneration of the subcutaneous tissue. There is an alteration of the biochemical and metabolic reaction in the interstitial or extracellular matrix, which affects the microcirculation, which then results in abnormal fat tissue. Fat is not the cause of the disease but is affected by it. The interstitial matrix has an increase of acidosis, which then results in an increase of free radicals, leading to poor microcirculatory arterial blood flow, which adversely affects the circulation within the capillaries and veins. There is a loss of collagen fibers as a result of abnormal fibroblast function and lipedema results from an increase in free water and, if untreated, Lipo-lymphedema occurs.

Knowing the type and stage of cellulite helps me determine the appropriate treatment protocol. Cellulite may be classified into different types and stages, which include edematous, adipose, interstitial fibrous, and localized adiposity, each with their own signs and symptoms.

Q. What is Ionithermie, and how does it work?

A. It is a clinically proven treatment that was developed not only to reduce the appearance of cellulite but to also firm the skin and tone muscles. The treatment smoothes and tightens the skin, provides immediate results, detoxes the body at the cellular level, increases circulation, and speeds up the metabolism. There are two types of gentle stimuli used, a conductive clay, and other products containing active ingredients that penetrate at the cellular level. During the treatment, the cell wall becomes permeable, which enables the fat to empty into the lymphatic system to be flushed out. The body is detoxed and remineralized by the natural ingredients of protein amino acids and trace minerals infused in the clay. The connective tissue is smoothed, the fascia adhesions are released, the circulation increases as a result of the cellular detox, and the lymphatic function improves, the connective tissue is smoothed and the fascia adhesions are released.

Q. Can Ionithermie help clients who already have cellulite, or just act to prevent future cellulite?

A. Everyone has some degree of cellulite. Whether the cellulite is visible or in an early stage, in which it wouldn’t be visible, Ionithermie can help. By detoxing the body, Ionithermie eliminates cellulite as well as keeps it from forming.

There are five stages of cellulite:

Stage 1 The changes that occur at this stage are usually invisible to the naked eye, and symptoms may not yet have manifested. This step begins when the blood circulation or lymphatic drainage to the subcutaneous layer of the skin is impaired. When this happens, the surrounding tissues are weakened. Poor blood circulation and reduced venous flow causes fluid retention and lymphatic blockage. This causes waste entrapment in cells and connective tissues, which lay the foundation for cellulite. In this stage, three to six treatments are recommended.

Stage 2 In order to see the cellulite, crossing the legs or pinching the skin makes it visible. Poor circulation leads to leakage of blood out of the weakened capillaries into the nearby tissues. This causes pressure on the tissue, reducing circulation and fluid drainage. The skin becomes more tender and discolored due to broken veins. The cosmetic appearance of cellulite is not yet visible. In this stage, five to ten treatments are recommended.

Stage 3 The cellulite is visible without pinching the skin but not harden. The fat tissues start to swell and push against the outer skin as a result of the build up of lymphatic fluids. The first noticeable signs of cellulite appear. In this stage, 10 to 15 treatments are recommended.

Stage 4 The cellulite is visible and lumps and bumps are felt with areas that are colder to touch. As a result of lymphatic fluid stagnation, the septae which is the connective tissue that gives cellulite its characteristic orange peel appearance, becomes thicker. The lack oxygen and nutrients further exacerbate this condition, leading to increased thickness of the septae. As this occurs, the fat cells are squeezed and trapped, leading to decreased circulation and further increasing the visibility of the orange-peel appearance. In this stage, 15-20 treatments are recommended.

Stage 5 The skin has s tight appearance and the tissue feels very firm and the skin feels cold to the touch. Cellulite is now at its fully matured stage. Fat cells are completely trapped and stored and cannot be flushed out due to lack of proper blood circulation and a sluggish lymphatic system. Finally, the thick septae, stagnant fluids, and trapped fat cells result in the dreaded bumps and lumps of cellulite. In this stage, 20 plus treatments are recommended.

Q. Have clients seen any actual inch-loss?

A. The inch loss is actual fat that is measurable. I have seen clients lose as much as 18 inches on their very first treatment. The more treatments the client does, the more dramatic the results will be. It is very typical for clients to drop two sizes in a matter of just weeks.

Q. Are there any side effects?

A. There aren’t any harmful side effects. The treatment is safe and painless. The client will experience positive results such as increased energy, increased metabolism, unhealthy food and beverage cravings disappear, improved circulation, improved lymphatic drainage, increase in muscle tone and definition, an overall feeling of well-being, and of course cellulite reduction and the unveiling of their natural form is revealed as the problem areas disappear.

–Christa Feist, RN