WHAT IS LPG?
LPG therapy, also known as Endermologie, has been developed in France in 1986. In LPG treatment, the tissues are mobilized by suction and using motorized rolls. Originally LPG was developed for treating scar tissues resulted from burn injuries. Nowadays the treatment is carried out over 100 000 times daily, in the areas of sports, therapy, aesthetics and wellness. Cellu M6 Keymodule 2i offers many different programs for different purposes. The mode of action of the device can be modulated in terms of rolling direction, rolling speed, strength of suction and treatment intervals. There are 14 treatment heads to choose from. LPG is used by common people as well as top athletes or models around the world in over 95 countries. Over 37 000 devices have been sold, from which over 100 to Finland. LPG is a safe and natural technique based on mechanical effects. It affects soft tissues, metabolism, hormonal action and nervous system. Positive effects of LPG have been shown both in practice and also scientifically.
TREATMENT IN PRACTICE
Watch youtube video about LPG treatment
If the treated area is large, an LPG treatment suit is usually used. Through the elastic suit, the treatment feels more comfortable and doesn’t cause a pinching sensation. If the treatment is applied straight to the skin, the treatment time is shorter. Typically, approximately 50 minutes are spent to treat the whole body. The time spent to treat half of the body is usually 25 minutes, and local scars are only treated for a few minutes per session. The treatment usually feels relaxing. If any place feels painful, the strength of suction can be lowered or the program changed for example to pulsed mode, which feels more comfortable.
AREAS OF LPG TREATMENT
LPG in sports
LPG has been used by athletes for a long time, especially in France, where over 10 000 devices have been sold. LPG combines both soft tissue mobilization and treatment of swelling. For this reason, LPG suits well to the hard exercise period, when muscles feel stuffy and recovery is prolonged. Lactic acid removal has been shown to be increased by 30 % due to LPG treatment. LPG prevents delayed onset of muscular soreness, speeds up recovery from injuries and supports the tissues to build up as functional as possible.
LPG treatment areas in sports:
- Prevention of sports injuries (reduction of muscle tightness)
- Preparation for exercise or competition (relaxation or stimulation)
- Optimization of performance (strength, flexibility, technique)
- Treatment of sports injuries
- Support for recovery
Massage or LPG?
LPG differs from massage to some extent and for an athlete it may be difficult to decide whether to turn to LPG or massage treatment. LPG mobilizes superficial fascia effectively and thus is very suitable in situations where the muscles are thoroughly tight. Connective tissues in lower back (thoracolumbar fascia), upper trapezius, tractus iliotibialis and lower calf (fascia cruris) are anatomical examples of areas which are treated effectively by LPG. Because of connective tissue continuum, LPG also suits well to treat tightness in the deeper muscles. However, optimal results are obtained easier if the LPG is supported by deep tissue massage. It might be possible to achieve the required painless range of joint motion by LPG only, but aggressive treatment over a long time period tends to have negative effects on muscular power and stability. Appropriate dosage of LPG often increases muscular power slightly, whereas traditional massage usually doesn´t have this effect. Unlike massage, LPG reduces swelling, so LPG is also useful in speeding up recovery. Sometimes LPG is suitable for soft tissue mobilization as it stands, and sometimes together with massage. As for treating muscle tightness, the effect of LPG or manual therapy may not last long if the initial reason for tightness is not taken into account. Thightness may result eg. from static muscle work or bad condition of deep muscles making surface musculature overactive and tight.
LPG in therapy
LPG is used for acute or chronic overuse injuries resulted from repetitive micro tears (overuse), injury, or surgery. LPG reduces swelling, pain and muscle tightness, which creates better circumstances for joint mobilization or exercise therapy. Reduced swelling and increased metabolism give more oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Thus formation of new tissue is promoted.
Scar tissues and adhesions tend to form on injured soft tissue, which disturbs metabolism, circulation and tissue gliding. Shrunken, thickened and hypomobile myofascia results in decreased muscle power, reduced joint mobility and impaired proprioception (sense of position and motion). LPG increases flexibility of connective tissue and is also effective for old scar tissue. LPG is a physiotherapy method and is thus included in national social security system in Finland.
Therapeutic LPG is used for:
- Soft tissue injury (sprains, cramps, twists, over use injuries, bruises)
- Circulation problems
- Skin disorders (e.g. psoriasis)
- Before and after liposuction
- After surgery
- Old scar
- Muscle tightness
- Stress, sleeping disturbances
LPG in aesthetics
Goals in aesthetic LPG treatments are:
- Exit of fat from the fat cell
- Smoothening and prevention of cellulite
- Reduction of swelling
- Recovery of the body’s shapes (highlighting of myofascial contour)
- Firming and prevention of loose skin
- Smoothening and prevention of wrinkles
- Brightening of the skin
Mode of action:
LPG in ultrasound
Research has shown, that treatment by Cellu M6 Keymodule (especially Roll´in, where the rolls spin inwards) stimulates β-receptors in the surface of the fat cells. Activation of β-receptors increases transfer of fat out of the fat cells (alpha receptors take part in moving of the fat into the fat cells). β-receptors tend not to transfer fat out of the fat cells for example in the buttock and hip adductor area, in other words, in typical cellulite areas.
Fibrous (orange peel) cellulite is rough. Treatment with LPG (especially Roll´in and Roll up major) flattens the uneven cellulite (connective tissue), and therefore the circumference of the treated area will diminish. The majority of the lymphatic vessels are located between the skin and muscle, so they can be easily reached by LPG. Reduction of swelling can be effectively boosted especially by bringing about movement and creating changes in pressure in the extracellular space. This facilitates the fluid drifting into the lymph capillaries (Especially Roll up minor in pulsed mode) and transfer of lymph in the larger lymph vessels (collectors) towards lymph nodes (especially Roll up in continuous mode). LPG has been found to increase the local blood circulation and lymph circulation. Disturbed circulation and related local accumulation of toxins have been thought to be one of the reasons for cellulite formation. By improving the lymphatic circulation, LPG has a role in prevention of cellulite. LPG also increases circulation, which increases the supply of oxygen for tissues. Accordingly, some customers have mentioned the increased warmth in their skin after LPG treatment series.
LPG can be used to shape the contour of the body, which is mainly formed by the myofascial system. The effect can be directed broadly through the connective tissue (Roll in and Roll up major).
In firming up and prevention of loose skin, the combination of pulsed vacuum and the rolls spinning outwards (Roll out) is used. The movement in the skin activates the formation of collagen and elastin, which formation is reduced through aging.
In face treatments, specific ”lift heads” are used. The mechanism of effect is mechanic too. Brightening of the skin is mostly based on peeling the skin surface and increasing circulation.
LPG in aesthetic body treatment (lipomassage)
Technology has been developed from the 80´s also when it comes to LPG devices. The most important improvement has been the use of independently acting rolls (rolls for example spin inwards when the treatment effect is deeper compared to one way spinning form). The rolls of the new Cellu M6 Integral are wider and the space between the rolls is larger, which gives a larger treatment area with the motorized rolls in shorter time.
In aesthetic whole body treatments, one of the most important things is the amount of treatment. Usually one’s first observations are a smoother skin and the trousers becoming too large at waist level, which may be observed after 1-3 sessions. This may be the other way around too. Orange peel type tissue may even temporarily become more evident, if the tissue is swollen. After swelling is reduced, mobilization of harder cellulite may be initiated. Typically, the first results which can be observed are achieved somewhere after 6-8 sessions. The number of treatment sessions recommended is at least 10, preferably 15-20. To maintain results, it is suggested to take 1-2 treatments a month. Appropriate treatment interval is 2 (-3) times a week. Treatment time is 30-60 min (I myself usually do 60 min sessions). The components of treatment dosage are duration, number and interval, but the procedure of the treatment also has an impact on tissue stimulus.
In an especially mobilizing way of treatment, where the rolls spin inwards, the therapist should be active. The producer of the device (LPG Systems) and importer (Alaset Import) arrange courses, which give a good ground for professional LPG work. In addition, if the therapist is experienced, it´s easier to plan treatment e.g. as for the emphasis of treatment goals. An educated and experienced therapist may utilize different treatment programs and techniques better. In the treatment, isometric muscle contraction should be used to bring the fat tissue more superficial.
In aesthetic treatments it´s essential that the initial condition is “bad” enough, in order to have potential to achieve visible results. Otherwise the aesthetic changes are difficult to notice. When hard cellulite is present, it´s easier to detect changes compared to when soft cellulite is present. If swelling is abundant, the circumference of the waist or thigh may be decreased by a centimetre or two after the first session. In some rare cases the change could be a few centimetres. In those cases, lymphatic vessels might have been blocked e.g. by scar tissue. A typical place where vessels could be compressed is the adductor canal, where tightness of sartorius and adductor mangus is able to disturb circulation and cause swelling in the lower limbs. Thus, if swelling is a problem, optimal results are not always reached if the treatment is targeted to fluid only, and scar tissues and tightness are ignored.
There are many issues which affect the results of LPG treatment. Traditionally, an unhealthy way of living in terms of food and lack of exercise has been thought to be the key element of cellulite problems. Still, cellulite occurs in slim marathon runners too, so also other things must affect the formation of cellulite. Causes of cellulite have been proposed to be e.g: nutrition, exercise, acidity, stress, hormones, medication, smoking, alcohol, gender, hereditary.
Image analysis of LPG treatment effects on the skin (samples colourised).