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Weight Loss Massage

Is There Such Thing as a Weight Loss Massage?

Question:

I know I could stand to lose some weight. I’ve tried dieting and exercise, but I can’t seem to find a program I can really stick with. And of course, as soon as I stop a diet, I gain back all the weight I lost and then some. I’ve seen a lot of stuff on the internet about weight loss massages. Is there really such a thing? I feel like it’s probably too good to be true.

Answer:

The idea that you could just lie there and be massaged by a qualified professional and watch the pounds melt away is an attractive one. Unfortunately, it’s not founded in reality, and there is no evidence that massage – on its own – can cause you to lose weight.[1] However, massage therapy can be a powerful and effective tool in your weight loss arsenal. A weekly massage could become an important part of your self-care as you embark upon your weight-loss journey, providing you with the emotional health and support you need to stick with a good diet and exercise plan.[2]

With regular massages, you’ll gain improved body awareness and a better overall sense of well-being. These two things can trigger something of a cascade effect – small changes that trigger other changes in your lifestyle. Massage also decreases depression and anxiety, two conditions that can lead to over-eating and weight gain.[3]

Massage may also provide physical support to help you lose weight. It improves your circulation and the supply of nutrition to your muscles. Regular massage also improves the range of motion and flexibility in your joints and muscles, and shortens the recovery time you need between workouts. This can help you stick to that exercise plan. Even if massage itself doesn’t cause weight loss, it can indirectly help you achieve your goals.[4]

Start with weekly sessions for a month or two to get yourself in the habit. After that, you can get continual benefits from monthly maintenance sessions. Swedish massage is ideal, because it relaxes your nervous system and puts your body into the restorative state it needs so it can heal itself and recover after exercise. Talk to your massage therapist about your goals, and give them a copy of your fitness plan so they can incorporate their treatment into your regimen.[5]

You can also use massage as a way to treat yourself without guilt. After a long, hard week exercising and maintaining a strict diet, it’s easy to convince yourself that you deserve a slice of cake or a candy bar as a reward. Massage is a reward that benefits you and keeps you on track to achieve your goals – and also happens to be free of fat and calories.

References:

[1] Massage St. Louis: “Massage Therapy and Weight Loss,” http://www.massage-stlouis.com/massage-therapy-and-weight-loss

[2] Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals: “Weight Loss and Bodywork,” https://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/weight-loss-and-bodywork

[3] Massage St. Louis: “Massage Therapy and Weight Loss,” http://www.massage-stlouis.com/massage-therapy-and-weight-loss

[4] Ultimate Weight Loss Australia: “Massage and Weight Loss,” http://www.weightloss.com.au/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-lifestyle-articles/massage-and-weight-loss.html

[5] Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals: “Weight Loss and Bodywork,” https://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/weight-loss-and-bodywork

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