Can Massage Help Weight Loss?

Category: Health
Last updated on: 07/09/2018
Image of an empty plate with sad face

Losing weight is difficult. Because most of what we need to do to effectively lose weight is often unappealing and demanding. Eat fewer yummy foods. Exercise more seriously. The general rule seems to be that to lose weight we need to have less fun! Massage however is one of the few enjoyable ways to assist a weight loss programme.


How Does Massage Help Reduce Weight?

Almost every type of therapeutic massage will increase blood circulation around your body, reduce stress and make you feel like you have been doing something a bit healthier in your life. All of these things contribute towards making you fitter, not fatter.


Faster Metabolism

Increasing the rate of blood circulation around your body through massage means that waste toxins are removed from your body faster and more effectively. A faster metabolism means less excess fat is stored, which means a thinner you.


Reduced Comfort Eating

Many of us put on excess weight when we have been working too hard or have been anxious and worried. This phenomenon is commonly known as ‘comfort eating’ and can contribute to unexpected weight gain over just a few weeks. Massage is well known to help reduce stress levels and increase the balance of happy hormones in our bodies. If you begin to feel more comfortable about your life in general, then you are much less likely to feel the need to comfort eat to improve your mood.


Motivation For Healthier Living

As well as improving the appearance of your skin, and especially reducing the effects of excess cellulite, massage helps tone muscles. Most importantly, getting regular therapeutic massages can make you feel mentally healthier. And as you begin to feel like you are living a healthier lifestyle, you are more likely to be motivated to actually eat better and exercise more. Whilst a single massage may not burn enough calories for you to notice less fat, it will certainly help both mentally and physically to overall fat loss.


Best Types Of Massage For Weight Loss

In addition to the benefits that general therapeutic massage can bring, there are some specifically targeted massage techniques which have been designed to target weight loss.


Slimming massage / Lymphatic drainage

The secret behind slimming massage and lymphatic drainage techniques is to get the body’s lymphatic system working better and harder. Stimulation of lymph nodes through targeted massage techniques increases blood flow throughout the whole body and speeds up the removal of toxins and other excesses. Pinching and stretching movements can also be applied to improve the appearance of areas of your body which are storing excess fatty tissues, which clump together to form cellulite patches.

This type of massage therapy can also help ease the symptoms of oedema, which are sometimes found in people who are overweight or obese. Oedema can be caused by long term immobiltity, poor eating habits and an inefficient lymphatic drainage system. 

An anti-cellulite massage can be quite painful at times but it should always be bearable.


Stomach Massage

Any full body massage can include a stomach massage. A skilled masseuse will apply light circular strokes, following the same direction as your digestive system naturally progresses food through your body. This can aid the efficiency of digestion and further reduce the amount of excess fat that is stored. It can also help you feel less bloated. The stomach is a particularly sensitive area of the body and should not be massaged hard. Your stomach massage should never hurt and if it does, you should let your massage therapist know straight away.


Essential Oils

Certain essential aromatherapy oils are believed to hold natural qualities that can aid digestion and other natural fat reducing processes within our bodies. Three of the most popular essential oils which can impact factors associated to weight and fat are grapefruit (increases metabolism), ginger (great for digestive health and stomach massage) and peppermint (aids digestion and quashes hunger pangs).


Self massage at home

Some forms of massage are very easy to apply yourself at home in between getting professional treatments. This allows you to keep up the regularity and increase the overall long-term weight loss benefits through massage.

We recommend that you mix a few drops of one of the essential oils mentioned above with almond or avocado base oil. Avocado base oil is great for improving skin appearance generally. Wait around 60 minutes after your evening meal and then apply the following self-massage technique to aid digestion and improve metabolism.

  • Lie flat on your bed facing up
  • Gently apply the oil mixture to your belly, moving your hands in a large circular motion, tracing the area above your large intestine.
  • Your fingers should reach from just below the bottom of your rib cage down to just above the top of your hips.
  • Repeat this large circular movement, applying gentle pressure, slowly for about 3 minutes.
  • Then move your hands smoothly and slightly inwards, towards the area covered by your small intestine.
  • Repeat the movement, this time with smaller circles, for another 3 minutes.
  • Increase the pressure to a level that feels comfortable, but do not think of this as a deep tissue massage.
  • Repeat on a daily basis for the best results.


Infographic: What Happens To Your Body During Weight Loss Massage?

From the moment you start receiving your weight loss style massage, your body starts reacting internally. These reactions continue well after the end of your massage. Some of the ways that your body will start to change internally and externally are shown below.

An infographic showing the various ways in which you can use massage therapy to help accelerate your weight loss targets and journey




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