With Matthew Richardson, R.Ac.
Unwanted cellulite can be very tricky to get rid of. It occurs as a result of a build up of fatty tissue closer to the surface of the body that creates an uneven or dimpled appearance on the skin. This tissue commonly accumulates on the hips, thighs, abdomen and on the back of the upper arms. We are often looking for the right cream or exercise that can change the tone of the skin and remove the uneven look but it can be very difficult to find a cream that is actually effective.


How is it treated?

Cellulite forms in areas with the least circulation so without activity, it is very hard to budge. Traditional Chinese Medicine can be very useful in treating these low circulation areas. On the surface of the skin, ‘cupping’ is used to stimulate the blood flow and lymphatic drainage in the local area, while acupuncture is used on the meridians and local area to stimulate a deeper healing. This treatment works by externally stimulating the skin and tissue, while internally improving how the circulatory and metabolic systems works so that less cellulite is produced.

What is Cupping?

Cupping involves the use of small glass cups that are gently suctioned onto the body causing the skin and superficial muscle layers to be lightly drawn upward into the cup. This lifting or pulling motion on the tissues is very relaxing and stimulating to the skin and muscles, and increases circulation in the area. The cups are left in place for about 10 minutes and are gently moved over those stubborn areas that require extra attention. This is called “gliding cupping” and is particularly useful in the treatment of cellulite.

What to expect from in a cellulite treatment

As with all Chinese Medicine treatments, a detailed intake is required so that the treatment can be specifically tailored to your body’s needs. From there the treatment will generally follow this protocol:


  • Beginning with a 5 minute Tuina massage, applying the correct oils to the skin and stimulating circulation
  • Continue with 10-15 minutes of cupping by moving the cups gently over the area of cellulite to stimulate blood and lymphatic flow
  • Continue with 20 minutes of acupuncture which will help to stimulate the local area and internal organs to reabsorb the body fluids, increase circulation, improve digestive function, and meet your individual health needs
  • Ending with 5 minutes of Tuina massage for relaxation and to help reinforce circulation to external tissues


Additionally, diet and nutrition advice will be offered in order to improve digestion and reduce production of excessive fatty tissues. Generally, treatment plans range from 7 – 10 treatments for significant and continuous results.