Monday 20th June, 2022

Does vibration get rid of cellulite

Yes vibration can can help with cellulite. Clinical trials show that vibration can not only improve the appearance of cellulite, but can also reduce the measurement of affected areas such as buttocks and thighs. However, this only works if applied in certain ways, and far too often claims and recommendations are totally inappropriate, meaning if you follow them you’ll get no benefit, waste your money, and potentially hurt yourself.

In this article we’ll show you simply how vibration actually helps reduce cellulite, then discuss the practical ways you can use this to reduce your own cellulite.


What is cellulite and how does it form
How does vibration help reduce cellulite
How to practically and effectively use vibration to reduce your cellulite
Our recommendations

What is cellulite and how does it form

Normal skin vs cellulite
In cellulite the fat cells are enlarged stretching the tissue that contains them

What is cellulite

This diagram shows cellulite compared with normal skin. The yellow balls are fat cells. You can see that in the cellulite the balls are much larger, and are stretching the tissue that contains them giving the dimpled appearance.

Why does cellulite form

Why does this happen in some parts of your body while others remain normal? Scientists have found that the parts with cellulite have reduced circulation (about 35% less than normal) (1)⁠. Because the circulation in these tissues is reduced the fat is deposited but then not used as it should be, so it builds up.

How does vibration help reduce cellulite

We’ve read a lot of crazy claims such as that vibration causes fat cells to selectively die off, or that massage guns disperse or smash the fat cells, but the way vibration works is very simple. When applied correctly vibration is scientifically proven to increase blood flow. If this is continued over a period of time the increased blood flow will allow your body to use these abnormal fat stores.

What did the clinical trials find

We found seven clinical trials where vibration was used to treat cellulite (1–7). We’ve outlined what each did and what they found in a table in the appendix. In summary vibration gave:

  1. a visual improvement- eg. reduced dimpling, improved smoothness
  2. decreased thickness of fat and measurement of affected areas such as thighs and buttocks.
  3. decreased symptoms
  4. increased skin temperature (due to increased circulation)

Will using vibration on your cellulite reduce your weight

Using vibration will not reduce your weight. Correctly applied vibration will just allow your body to use fat stores it previously found difficult to access. You will still have the same amount of fat. It will just be stored more evenly around your body.

Will you see an instant change?

You will not see an instant change when using vibration. We have seen claims such as that the fat cells are flattened, scattered or broken up so your body can absorb them, but these are totally ridiculous. The vibrations will just create the environment for your body to gradually use the abnormal fat stores. In the clinical trials they used applications of therapy ranging from daily to several times a week, for a total of 10 to 25 applications to get their results. As we’ll discuss later, this means that you will need to do at least some therapy yourself or it will get very expensive.

How to practically and effectively use vibration to reduce your cellulite

Now you understand how vibration helps, let’s look at how it can be applied. There are two ways vibration can be applied:

  1. Whole Body Vibration (WBV)
  2. Local Vibration
Vibration platforms or plates enhance exercise for general weight loss rather than target cellulite

Whole body vibration

The main example of whole body vibration is the vibration plates people stand on. Although they vibrate they don't help cellulite the way we’ve discussed, and Just standing on the machines being vibrated will not help cellulite.

What they do is make your muscles work harder when you exercise so you use more calories. Essentially they are a weight loss device (when combined with exercise) which means they help reduce fat across your whole body. If you reduce your total body fat some of it will be cellulite, but using a vibration platform will not help target the specific areas of cellulite. That is why in the marketing material for these you will see claims that it helps in conjunction with exercise and other things.

Do vibration plates increase circulation

Vibration helps cellulite by increasing circulation, so do vibration plates cause any increase in circulation that may help? Some trials show no increase, while some show a small increase likely due to the extra muscle activity to maintain stability with the vibration. To put it into perspective you will probably get a greater increase just going for a walk, and the vibration will not specifically affect the areas of cellulite that suffer from poor circulation (8–10)⁠.

Locally applied vibration

This is where vibration is applied directly to the tissues concerned. It was done this way in the seven successful trials of using vibration on cellulite that we were able to find. To apply vibration this way you have two choices.

This picture shows the massage chair actually used in one of the clinical trials

General (non specific) applications

These are devices designed to apply vibrations to larger areas of your body. Examples include massage chairs, massage cushions, or even sitting on a vibration plate to apply vibrations to your buttocks. The advantage of these is that they are easy to use and can do a large area at once. The disadvantage is that they are generally less effective and it is difficult to apply the massage directly to the areas in need. For example, how do you apply vibration to the inside or top of your thighs using a chair massager?

Using a General Purpose Massager
Specific localised application using a hand held massager

Specific localised applications

This is where usually a hand held device is used to apply vibrations directly to the area needed. If a decent vibration massager is used this is much more effective than using a device such as a chair or cushion. However, a lot of hand held massagers are not very effective, so later we'll show you how to get a good one.

Our recommendations for using vibrations to reduce cellulite

Dr Graeme's comments

Graeme’s comments

We’ve seen that cellulite is caused by the circulation in those tissues becoming poor or sluggish, so the fat stores are not used and allowed to accumulate. The goal is to reduce cellulite by using vibration to increase the circulation for long enough to allow your body to access and use those stores. We make the following recommendations based on the science and professional usage of therapeutic vibrations. Keep in mind that this is general information only, to be discussed with a professional familiar with your own needs.

The overall strategy

As a general strategy you will be regularly applying therapeutic vibration to the affected areas. This will increase the circulation in those tissues, allowing your body to use those fat stores properly. Over a period of time those abnormal fat stores should diminish. Once they have reached normal levels we recommend that regular but less frequent applications of vibration be used to maintain sufficient circulation.

As discussed, using vibration this way will only help to normally distribute your fat. Regular exercise and a healthy diet will help reduce your total amount of fat and increase your lean muscle mass.

How often to apply vibration, and for how long

Use two minute applications to each part

The most efficient way to increase circulation is to repeatedly apply the massager for two minutes to each part. Scientific studies show that when effective vibration is applied the blood flow will increase to a high level in about two minutes, then when the vibration stops the blood flow slowly tapers off over about 30 minutes (11)⁠. That means for each application of vibration you get 30 minutes of residual increased blood flow. Because of this you will get far more increased blood flow if you apply the vibration for two minutes at a time several times a day rather than do one long application.

Use regular application over time

It takes time for your body to use up the abnormal fat stored. For this reason the trials went for periods of time such as a month. Anticipate a period such as this to see decent results, then the need for some ongoing maintenance to maintain sufficient circulation so the abnormal fat deposits don’t build up again.

Suitable vibration to use

To get good results the vibration needs to be strong enough to penetrate and have their therapeutic effects. This tends to rule out a lot of cellulite wands and massagers on the market. Also vibration around 50 Hz (cycles per second) has been found to be the most effective for increasing circulation (11)⁠. For further information please see our article The scientifically proven effects of vibration massage- with clinical applications

What to use and how to apply the vibration

The trial results show that you will still get some reasonable results using a general massaging device such as a massage chair. However, a proper hand held massager will be able to deliver more effective therapeutic vibrations directly to the areas needed.

Suitable hand held massagers to use

You need a professional standard vibration massager able to deliver 50 Hz (cycles per second) vibration. Please see our article How to choose a hand held massager for further advice. This is very important because manufacturers of hand held massagers have a long history making equipment that looks good on shop shelves but is ineffective. Also, massage gun advocates make irresponsible claims such as that their machines smash up or disperse fat cells, while their machines are far less effective and potentially dangerous. We show you some ideal machines below.

Using quad head massager on thigh
Using our quad head massager showing how easy it is to use on your thighs

How to apply the vibration

Basically to apply vibration you just need to place the vibrating head or pad on the part and keep it there without moving or pressing in, while the vibrations penetrate. For complete details please see our article How to use a hand held massager.

The ideal massagers to treat cellulite

The ideal massagers to treat cellulite are professional standard machines capable of delivering 50 Hz vibration (the best for increasing circulation) and capable of delivering the vibration to a reasonable area at once (otherwise it will take a long time). We picture here some examples so you know what you are looking for, then show you our model that is ideal for the purpose.

Using the Ultimate Quad Head Massager
Using the Ultimate Quad Head Massager is so easy, while it's four heads deliver quality therapeutic vibration

Our massager that is ideal for cellulite

Our Ultimate Quad Head Massager was built to be used by professionals such as chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physiotherapists. These professionals use our massagers themselves, and because they are easy to use and economical prescribe them to their patients. Their ease of use and effective therapeutic vibration make them ideal for home use on cellulite to.

  • They are very easy to use
  • Their ergonomically designed handle makes it easy to massage anywhere on your body.
  • They give excellent quality therapeutic vibration
  • With four strong vibration heads it can give quality massage to a larger area at a time, making it much quicker to treat all the areas that need it.

Find out more or get an Ultimate Quad Head Massager

Video: Dr Graeme demonstrating our massagers


DrGraeme massagers were originally built by Dr Graeme for use in his clinic, and to prescribe to his patients for additional self use at home. Now these are used by colleagues and other professionals for similar purposes. If you are a professional and wish to know more about this therapy, or possibly get a sample massager to trial please check out our practitioner page.

Appendix: summary of clinical trials using vibration massage to treat cellulite

NOTE: You may need to scroll the table below left/right for more information


What they did




30 or 60 minutes vibration daily for three weeks

Reduced grading+ of cellulite


Used 17.5-46 Hz vibrations for 30 or 60 minutes a day for three weeks

Reduced grading+ of cellulite. Increased skin temperature

Sub optimal vibrations


15x 30 or 60 minutes locally applied 18-39 Hz

Reduced grading+ of cellulite, increased skin temperature

Sub optimal vibrations


24 weeks of using hand held vibration wand.

Visual improvement

Used a device marketed as a cellulite wand, but no where near a serious therapeutic device.


15 applications of 18-39 Hz vibration over three weeks.

Decreased symptoms. Increased skin hydration.

Sub optimal vibrations


4 weeks of 17.5-46.5 Hz vibrations

Decreased measurements for thighs, hips and waist

Vibrations only 0.5mm so extremely poor penetration


10 sessions of whole body vibration

Increased skin temperature

+ Please see gradings below (reduced grading is better):

Grading cellulite

For research or description cellulite is graded as follows. Where the grades were reduced in the trials that means that the cellulite improved.

  • Grade 1 – you can’t see cellulite with the naked eye, but the changes on your skin are still going on microscopically.
  • Grade 2 – the skin shows paleness, lower temperature, and decreased elasticity after compression or muscular contraction. There is no visible “orange peel” roughness to the skin.
  • Grade 3 – this is when the lumps and bumps are starting to make themselves visible. Thin granulations in the deep levels of the skin can be detected by palpitation. All Grade 2 signs are present.
  • Grade 4 – more visible, palpable, and painful lumps are present, adhering to deep structures in the skin. The skin has a noticeable dimpled, wavy appearance. Additional microscopic changes are detected. Grade 4 signs are present, and cellulite is constantly visible to the patient.


  1. Piotrowska A, Czerwińska-Ledwig O, Stefańska M, Pałka T, Maciejczyk M, Bujas P, et al. Changes in Skin Microcirculation Resulting from Vibration Therapy in Women with Cellulite. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19(6).
  2. Piotrowska A, Czerwińska-Ledwig O. Effect of local vibrotherapy in sitting or lying position in two time protocols on the cellulite grade and change of body circumferences in women with cellulite. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2022;21(5):2130–9.
  3. Pilch W, Czerwińska-Ledwig O, Chitryniewicz-Rostek J, Nastałek M, Krȩzałek P, Jȩdrychowska D, et al. The Impact of Vibration Therapy Interventions on Skin Condition and Skin Temperature Changes in Young Women with Lipodystrophy: A Pilot Study. Evidence-based Complement Altern Med. 2019;2019.
  4. Sadowski T, Bielfeldt S, Wilhelm KP, Sukopp S, Gordon C. Objective and subjective reduction of cellulite volume using a localized vibrational massage device in a 24-week randomized intra-individual single-blind regression study. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2020;42(3):277–88.
  5. Piotrowska A, Czerwińska-Ledwig O. Effect of Three-Week Vibrotherapy on Selected Skin Parameters of Thighs and Buttocks in Women with Cellulite. Cosmetics. 2022;9(1).
  6. Pilch W, Nastałek M, Piotrowska A, Czerwińska-Ledwig O, Zuziak R, Maciorowska A, et al. The effects of a 4-week vibrotherapy programme on the reduction of adipose tissue in young women with cellulite – a pilot study. Rehabil Med. 2018;22(4):18–24.
  7. Cristovam DN, Botelho S, Andrade MF, Marques J, Sousa L. Whole-body vibration in the reduction of the cellulite. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2019;21(5):278–85.
  8. Robbins D, Yoganathan P, Goss-Sampson M. The influence of whole body vibration on the central and peripheral cardiovascular system. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2014;34(5):364–9.
  9. Games KE, Sefton JEM, Wilson AE. Whole-body vibration and blood flow and muscle oxygenation: A meta-analysis. J Athl Train. 2015;50(5):542–9.
  10. Fuller JT, Thomson RL, Howe PRC, Buckley JD. Effect of vibration on muscle perfusion: A systematic review. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2013;33(1):1–10.
  11. Maloney-Hinds C, Petrofsky JS, Zimmerman G. The effect of 30 Hz vs. 50 Hz passive vibration and duration of vibration on skin blood flow in the arm. Med Sci Monit 2008;14(3):CR112-6.

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Dr Graeme

About Dr Graeme

Several years ago Dr Graeme, a Chiropractor practicing in Victoria, Australia was looking for a serious hand held massager his patients could use at home to get the extra quality massage they needed. The ones he found in the shops and on-line for home use looked nice but were not serious, and... read more

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