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What is Pressotherapy™?

Allison Boelcke
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pressotherapy™ is a body treatment that is typically used to reduce or eliminate cellulite. Cellulite consists of small pockets of fat that are located just beneath the skin’s surface that results in slight lumps or indentations on the skin, particularly on the legs and buttocks in women. The treatment is based on the concept that deep physical stimulation may be able to break down the build up of fat pockets underneath the skin and give skin a smoother appearance.

Spas or beauty salons are generally the most common places that offer Pressotherapy™. The process begins with an electronic cuff that is attached to a computer, then placed securely around each leg. A trained technician then turns on each electronic cuff, which fills with air and sends light pressure onto each leg. The pressure is designed to simulate a deep massage that uses enough pressure to reach beneath the surface of the skin. Each Pressotherapy™ session typically lasts around 30 minutes and is recommended to be repeated weekly for about eight weeks.

Advocates of Pressotherapy™ believe the deep skin pressure and stimulation may help to promote proper blood flow. If blood flows properly throughout the body, it is thought to possibly prevent swelling of internal body tissues by ensuring they are exposed to as much oxygen as possible. Receiving enough oxygen may help restore any damaged tissues and make the skin feel tighter and prevent loose or floppy skin.

In addition to being used for cosmetic purposes to smooth the texture of the skin, Pressotherapy™ may also be implemented as an option for certain medical conditions. People who have medical conditions that cause poor blood circulation, such as hypertension or diabetes, may have the therapy performed to attempt to promote better blood flow. Proper blood flow can help relieve numbness or pain in the limbs and prevent skin discoloration from lack of blood flow.

Critics of Pressotherapy™ believe the treatment is unnecessary and expensive. The main problems the therapy claims to solve, cellulite and poor blood circulation, can often be treated with other more affordable options. Performing light physical activity, such as walking or swimming, can help reduce body fat and lessen the appearance of bumpy areas of the skin’s surface. Exercise may also improve poor blood circulation by constantly pumping the blood throughout the body. Dietary changes, such as reducing the amount of sodium, can also prevent the body from holding onto excess water and promote blood flow and tightened skin.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Allison Boelcke
By Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke, a digital marketing manager and freelance writer, helps businesses create compelling content to connect with their target markets and drive results. With a degree in English, she combines her writing skills with marketing expertise to craft engaging content that gets noticed and leads to website traffic and conversions. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By anon1006033 — On Jan 17, 2022

Thanks for the detailed post!

By westlakenj — On Feb 23, 2013

Pressotherapy devices are commonly known as compression pumps. They are used for muscle and sports recovery for athletic performance, as well as edema reduction, and lymphatic drainage. They range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.

By lighth0se33 — On Sep 20, 2011

I tried Pressotherapy™, but I did it to relieve my edema instead of reduce cellulite. My legs felt heavy, and they were swollen with fluid.

I went to the spa, where I laid down with my feet elevated while a lady put white leggings over my feet and legs. Then, she put me in what looked like huge inflatable boots.

They inflated and deflated alternately. It was a nice feeling. I could feel a good amount of pressure, but it didn't hurt at all.

When the treatment was over, my swelling had disappeared. I probably will only come back on days when it returns, because this treatment is too pricey to use as a preventive measure.

By shell4life — On Sep 20, 2011

kylee07drg - My best friend owns a salon, and she is set up to give Pressotherapy™ treatments. She has had lots of requests for it, and she's even tried it herself.

She said it's hard to tell a difference after just one treatment. After four, she started to see smoother skin on her thighs. After eight, she noticed a big difference. She had her eighth treatment just last week, so I don't know yet what happens in the weeks following treatment.

Since she owns the equipment, she was able to have the treatment done by another stylist in the salon for free. I would try it, but I simply cannot afford it.

By kylee07drg — On Sep 19, 2011

Why not just massage your legs yourself? I have heard that this can reduce the appearance of cellulite as well.

I tried a self-massage, and my skin looked smoother right away. However, by the next day, it looked all lumpy again. I would imagine the same thing would happen with Pressotherapy™.

Has anyone tried it? I'm just curious as to what happens after eight weeks have passed. Does the cellulite return?

Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke, a digital marketing manager and freelance writer, helps businesses create compelling content to connect with their target markets and drive results. With a degree in English, she combines her writing skills with marketing expertise to craft engaging content that gets noticed and leads to website traffic and conversions. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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