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Wood Therapy: Can This Holistic Treatment Reduce Cellulite?

Updated: Jan 19

Wood Therapy helps redefine body contours, reduce cellulite, and facilitate weight loss.

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This procedure employs anatomically-sculpted wooden implements to improve the body's size and proportions while advancing overall health. Wood therapy helps redefine body contours, reduce cellulite and facilitate weight loss.

Wood therapy is a vigorous massage technique that utilizes wooden, handheld tools, such as rolling pins and vacuum-suction cups. Purportedly, wood therapy is centuries old and originated in Asia.

The technique of wood therapy has seen a surge in popularity, primarily in South America, where people call it maderoterapia. Madera is Spanish for wood.

Practitioners of this technique claim that it can reduce or eliminate cellulite. Other purported claims include:

  • increasing lymphatic circulation

  • reducing wrinkles

  • alleviating stress

  • providing a whole mixed bag of other benefits

Researchers have not studied or proven any of these claims about the benefits of wood therapy.

Purported Benefits of Wood Therapy

Since wood therapy is a massage technique, it may be safe to assume that you will experience the benefits of a massage, such as relaxation and alleviation of tight muscles.

It may even reduce the appearance of cellulite. When done correctly, massage therapy can support lymphatic drainage, which may reduce cellulite’s appearance, at least temporarily.

Massage can also help stretch and elongate skin tissue, which may also make the skin appear smoother.

There is, however, no evidence that you can maintain these benefits long-term or that utilizing wooden tools enhances them.

Wood therapy doesn’t typically combine agents, such as creams containing retinoids or caffeine, with a massage. These topical agents might provide better results than wood therapy or massage alone.

Other topical preparations may also help prolong benefits when you combine them with a massage. These include herbal preparations that contain ingredients, such as turmeric, black pepper, and ginger.

These ingredients reduce inflammation and promote lipolysis, a process that breaks apart fats in the body.


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Is Wood Therapy Effective?

Researchers haven’t scientifically proven wood therapy to be effective for the treatment of cellulite.

However, massage may have benefits for cellulite reduction. Since wood therapy is a type of massage, it may also be beneficial for reducing the look of cellulite, at least temporarily.

What to expect after a Wood Therapy Session?

If you wish to try wood therapy, make sure you use an experienced practitioner. People have reported that the wooden tools can be painful, especially if the massage therapist is inexperienced.

For this reason, it may make sense to avoid having wood therapy done on your face or very sensitive areas of the body.

The practitioner will use a variety of wooden instruments. Some of these look like highly textured or grooved rolling pins. Others have a contoured shape or look like bells.

A practitioner will use the bells as suction devices.

To achieve any benefit, you may be required to have treatments done several times a week over 3 to 4 months. Some practitioners indicate that at least 10 to 12 sessions will be required before you can see any results.

Often these sessions will combine multiple sculpting techniques and may last 1 hour or longer, depending on your tolerance level.

Prices will vary considerably by geographic location. Typically, you can expect to spend at least $150 per session. You can also purchase wood therapy kits to try out at home.


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Other ways to Reduce Cellulite

Cellulite can be stubborn, but there are proven methods you may wish to try to remove it. They include:

  • Coffee scrubs or creams containing caffeine. Topical treatments alone will not affect the look of cellulite since the ingredients they use need to penetrate the skin deeply. Coffee scrubs or creams containing caffeine, when you combine them with massage, may reduce the look of cellulite temporarily. They do this by stimulating lipolysis, increasing circulation, and reducing the water content of the skin.

  • Topical creams containing retinol. Retinol with massage may reduce cellulite by increasing collagen production and by thickening the outer layers of skin.

  • Radiofrequency. The radiofrequency technique delivers thermal energy to the subcutaneous layer of the skin via topical electrodes. It increases tissue temperature, triggering lipolysis, and stimulating collagen production.

  • Acoustic wave therapy. This non-invasive treatment utilizes pressure waves to break up the fibrous bands of connective tissue that pull down the skin and cause cellulite to form.

  • Laser treatment. There are several types of laser treatments for cellulite. Laser treatments are non-invasive or minimally invasive. They use targeted laser energy to break up fibrous bands under the skin. Some also thicken skin. Skin that has cellulite tends to get thinner, so this treatment may be beneficial.

  • Subcision. This procedure exists under the brand name Cellfina. It is a medical procedure by a board-certified dermatologist who inserts a needle under the skin to break up fibrous skin tissue bands.

  • Vacuum-assisted precise tissue release. A board-certified dermatologist also carries out this technique. They will use a device that contains small blades and cuts fibrous bands of tissue under the skin.

The Bottom Line

Wood therapy is a massage technique that uses variously shaped wooden tools. Practitioners of wood therapy claim that it has a multitude of benefits, including the reduction of cellulite. Research hasn’t tested or proven this claim, however.

Since it’s a type of massage, wood therapy may have benefits such as relaxation. It may also help support lymphatic drainage, reducing the look of cellulite.


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