Author: Dr. Oreste Di Mattei Di Matteo

Date: 21/11/2019

Pressotherapy is a type of treatment used for:

  • Cellulite
  • Drainage
  • Reduction of oedema (venous and lymphatic)
  • Circulatory problems

The treatment uses air pressure tubes which you put your legs and arms into and which then inflate with air that can be adjusted. Always consult a doctor first as there are some contraindications.

Pressotherapy is nothing more than pressure therapy. The principles behind this therapy are the application of pressure in order to produce a strong circulatory stimulus on a specific area of the body. The use of automated equipment makes it possible to apply alternating pressure.

Pressotherapy is a detoxifying treatment, which, through effective lymphatic drainage, helps to promote the elimination of toxins from the body in a natural way. The revitalisation and oxygenation of the tissues can help to lose excess pounds and redefine the shape of the body, legs, belly and arms, improving skin tone.

What is pressotherapy for?
Pressotherapy is often recommended for:

  • Treatment of cellulite
  • Alternative to liposuction
  • Weight loss
  • Detoxification
  • Shaping
  • Redefining the profile of the body
  • Relieving pain and swelling
  • Improving skin tone

How does Pressotherapy work?
Pressotherapy involves a computer-controlled compression system that operates with air pumps. The device has five separate chambers, which are positioned around the limbs. The inflatable parts are programmed to act on the displacement of the venous and lymphatic flow, starting from the ankles and moving on to the thighs. Inflatable tubes can also be used for the arms. Designed to increase blood and lymphatic circulation, pressotherapy improves the circulation of extracellular fluid, reduces abdominal swelling, general swelling and oedema, alleviating tired legs and improving the flow of oxygen throughout the body.

Who should use pressotherapy?
Pressotherapy can be used by those who:

  • would like lymphatic drainage in order to detoxify the body
  • want a non-invasive body reshaping
  • suffer fluid retention
  • need drainage before or after aesthetic leg surgery  

How many pressotherapy treatments are required?
For best results, we recommend a series of treatments, which can range from 8 to 15 sessions, depending on your specific needs. A minimum of 1 treatment per week, lasting 30 minutes.

Pressotherapy and cellulite
The use of pressotherapy can help with weight loss and cellulite reduction as it can improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, thanks to the elimination of toxins and the removal of excess fat. Pressotherapy can have a smoothing effect on the skin, thus reducing the look of "orange peel" skin. When there is an issue with cellulite, of any degree, pressotherapy is among the most used therapies. Cellulite normally appears in areas such as the hips, thighs and buttocks, although there are cases where accumulations of cellulitealso appear on the ankles, knees, calves, abdomen and upper parts of the body. With pressotherapy, many of the effects of cellulite appear reduced.

Pressotherapy and diet
Pressotherapy can be a great ally of your diet to lose weight, as massaging helps to stimulate the lymphatic system to eliminate toxins. Pressotherapy combined with diet and exercise can help to achieve good results. This is because lymphatic drainage has a number of advantages, such as accelerating the process of removing toxins from the body. What is more, it is also proven to promote the firming of the skin even in the event of large weight losses.

Pressotherapy and muscles
It is a great complement to tone muscles and joints, and if the patient practises regular exercise, such effects are improved. It can help to relax muscles, relieve spasms, pain and injury, and combat muscle fatigue, which is why the treatment is also used by athletes. When applied in the abdominal area, one of the benefits is the stimulation of movements that also facilitate intestinal flow, helping to combat problems of constipation.

Lymphatic drainage massage by hand or pressotherapy?
Compared with a lymphatic drainage massage by hand, pressotherapy allows for:

  • Greater in-depth action
  • More effective and constant stimulation
  • Its intensity to be adjustable

The benefits of pressotherapy
You do not need to have health or aesthetic issues to undergo pressotherapy. The most likely to benefit are those with cellulite, fluid retention, obesity, tired legs, those suffering from circulatory disorders and those who prefer an alternative method to liposuction without surgery.

Does pressure therapy have any contraindications?
Despite all the positive aspects of this procedure, pressotherapy does have some contraindications. 
It cannot be used in the event of:

  • Thrombosis
  • Thrombophlebitis
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Haemophilia
  • Fragile vessels

The procedure cannot be used in the case of:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • During menstruation
  • Fractures
  • Skin inflammation
  • Pregnancy
  • Blood vessel injuries
  • Presence of pain or numbness
  • Epidermal suppuration

Other major contraindications include:

  • increase in venous and lymphatic return.
  • Acute infection of the limb in question
  • Kidney failure
  • Oedema
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Liver diseases
  • Heart failure

Where there are conditions for which pressotherapy cannot be used, other treatments must be used instead.

Pressotherapy has few side effects, so it can be used alone or in combination with other treatments.
Pressotherapy can be combined with other treatments to detoxify, firm, tone, improve circulation and increase lymphatic drainage. It can be used as an alternative to liposuction, and in combination with other treatments.

Related articles


Does pressotherapy have any contraindications? In general, this treatment is proposed because it is easy and suitable for all ages , but we must...


Are there any benefits with pressotherapy? Pressotherapy is a treatment that uses controlled compression by using air pumps. It is proposed as a...


How was pressotherapy developed? Pressotherapy was developed with the intent to treat mainly circulatory disorders with a: lymphatic origin venous...