benefits of massage for weight loss
Alternative Weight Loss Methods, Healthy Weight Loss Tips, Uncategorized

6 Ways Massage for Weight Loss Can Help You Reach Your Goals

There are many ways to go about shedding pounds, and many people overlook utilizing regular massage therapy for weight loss. A massage alone will not cause you to lose weight, but many of the benefits of getting a massage can assist in the weight loss process. They can also help you maintain your weight loss long-term.

Transforming your body and shedding pounds is achieved through cohesive lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, proper sleep, and a positive outlook. Massage therapy can help you make these changes by boosting your overall physical and mental health in various ways.

General Benefits of Massage Therapy

There are so many benefits of getting a massage. It is important to note that a massage can impact everyone differently. However, some of the most common benefits of a massage include:

  • Pain management
  • Stress reduction
  • Increased energy
  • Boosted mental well-being
  • Increased immune function

Much of this is owed to massage therapy’s ability to reduce inflammation and increase circulation throughout the body. The more blood flow to an area of the body, the more nutrients, healing, and renewal that part of the body will experience. But simple relaxation plays a major role too.

Read more: 10 Lifestyle Changes Needed For Effective Weight Loss

Specific Benefits of Massage for Weight Loss

Weight loss looks different for every person. Some people may already eat a healthy diet, but lack exercise and need to start slow by walking 10 minutes a day. Some may exercise five days a week, but only get four hours of sleep a night. This can cause them to not have the energy they need to achieve the results they could get from their workouts if they were well-rested.

It is not enough to excel in one aspect of health if you are slacking in the others. For good health and subsequent weight loss, you must look at your life holistically to understand the true state of your mind and body. An excellent way to assess this is by cultivating a positive mind-body connection, something massage therapy has been proven effective at doing.

In order to lose weight, assess your lifestyle to see where improvements can be made. It’s the same when considering a massage for weight loss purposes. The way a massage benefits one body may be different for another body. What do you need in order to lose weight? Do you need motivation? Do you need to cultivate mindful eating habits? Do you need to get in better shape to take your fitness routine to the next level? Here are some ways massage therapy can help you achieve those goals:

Massage for Weight Loss Increases Body Circulation

A major benefit of massage for weight loss is its promotion of proper blood circulation. This is key to good health, because proper blood circulation delivers oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and promotes healing. Being inactive is associated with poor circulation, which you may have felt at times when you lose circulation in your feet after sitting for too long.

Especially if someone is leading a sedentary lifestyle and looking to become more active, getting a massage to kickstart circulation is a great way to tell the body “we’re about to get moving, so get ready.” Circulation is also key for digestion and a healthy metabolism. If there are blockages or inadequate circulation in the body, the digestion process will suffer, and bloating, constipation, or even weight gain can occur as a result.

Massage for Weight Loss Encourages Positive Eating Habits

Massage therapy has been proven to be an effective therapeutic treatment for eating disorders, as it improves the mind-body connection and promotes mindfulness. If food cravings and emotional eating are factors in your weight loss journey, incorporating a regular massage into your schedule can be beneficial.

Many poor eating habits are associated with hormonal/biochemical imbalances that can cause a person to eat for reasons other than hunger — for example, when stressed or anxious. High cortisol (the stress hormone) and low serotonin (mood regulator hormone) and dopamine (reward-processing hormone) levels are biomarkers for the tendency to overeat or eat junk foods. Massage therapy has been shown to decrease cortisol levels by an average of 31 percent, increase serotonin by an average of 28 percent, and increase dopamine by an average of 31 percent.

The world today is full of culinary temptations, and people have an array of healthy and not-so-healthy foods at their disposal with a simple grocery store visit. Falling into poor eating habits is an easy way to give in to stress, anxiety, depression, and other factors throwing the body’s hormones off balance. Regulating the hormones through massage therapy can be vital to getting your hormones and stress levels in balance, so you can start implementing weight-loss strategies, like healthy eating habits, into your lifestyle.

Reflexology involves applying pressure to particular parts of the foot believed to correspond with organs and specific parts of the body.

Massage for Weight Loss Promotes Restful Sleep

Most people need seven to nine hours of sleep a night to function at their best. In addition to improving memory (good sleep hygiene has been associated with a lower risk of dementia), mood, and immune function, sleep is also key to a properly functioning metabolic system. And, it’s key to having enough energy for regular exercise, which is crucial for lasting weight loss.

Chronic sleep loss and chronic fatigue play a big role in your energy levels and the way you feel about yourself. Fatigue can make it hard for you to make healthy food choices and stick to your healthy eating plan. It can also increase food cravings and affect the way the body stores carbohydrates.

Regular massage can improve sleep by relieving stress and anxiety and helping you relax. If you suffer from pain or tension that interrupts your sleep, massage can provide targeted relief. A massage here or there probably won’t help too much; you need to get regular massages to really reap the benefits of massage for weight loss.

Read more: 5 Best Natural Weight Loss Tips

Massage for Weight Loss Improves Mental Health

Weight loss is never just physical. Your mental state is so closely intertwined with your ability to achieve lasting weight loss. Losing weight is often accompanied by lifestyle changes that can be draining on one’s mental health. For many people, weight loss means addressing mental, physical, and social barriers getting in the way of their goals. This could mean seeking help for symptoms of depression, getting surgery for a physical ailment, or asking your family to help support you on your weight loss journey.

There are many aspects of one’s life that may need to be addressed in order for real weight loss to happen. This can take a mental and emotional toll, and in some instances impede the weight loss process. Making sure that your mental health is being conditioned as much as your physical health is key to see the results you desire.

For all the reasons mentioned above, regular massage can be one piece of the puzzle to achieving mental strength and stability. In cases where stress, anxiety, and depression are a leading cause for weight gain, there should be particular focus on the endocrine system. Massage therapy balances out hormones by releasing tension and promoting circulation in the body. These hormonal glands are associated with poor mental health when not regulated properly, and they also improve metabolism when balanced.

A massage also strengthens the mind-body connection. It’s a great way to relax the mind and allow it to simply connect with various parts of the body. It creates a meaningful link between the mind and body to help you execute physically what you have been mentally telling yourself to do for quite some time.

Massage for Weight Loss Enhances Physical Ability

Losing weight means changing the way you move your body. To lose weight you have to move more often, get regular cardiovascular exercise, strength train — any way of moving that works for you. Increased activity can lead to sore muscles that you may not have experienced when you were sedentary. This is usually worse when you first start an exercise program, but it is sometime the reason people give up — even though it’s only temporary.

Massage can help ease those temporary aches and pains so you can keep going. And, if you progress to more advanced training, massage can help you recover faster and avoid injury. Avoiding injury is key to staying in the game for the long-term and reaping the weight-loss rewards of an active lifestyle.

Massage for Weight Loss Promotes Self-Care

Booking a massage, buying an at-home massager, or learning some techniques to perform your own massage at home are all ways of showing your body you care about it. Weight loss does not happen overnight; it takes time, energy, and mindfulness to create real improvements in the physical and mental processes that contribute to successfully shedding pounds.

The mind-body connection is a constant bidirectional flow. In order to change the body, you have to care for it and allow the mind and body to cultivate a caring connection. It’s very easy to be critical of and harsh on your body when trying to lose weight. This is not an effective way to go about it. You have to be kind to yourself and love your whole person.

A massage is a great time to close your eyes and observe what the body is telling the mind and the mind is telling the body, kindling a healthy connection. Also, just take some time to relax for yourself. You deserve it!

massage for weight loss
The main benefit of massage for weight loss is simply relaxation and stress-release. Stress is a leading cause of weight gain.

Types of Massage for Weight Loss

The type of massage you choose should be determined by your body’s needs. Here are some massages for weight loss to consider:

  • Deep tissue massage – This type of massage gets into the deeper layers of the muscle and tissue. Many athletes and sports massage therapists incorporate deep tissue techniques to target problem areas and release blockages in circulation.
  • Swedish massage – A Swedish massage uses less pressure than a deep tissue massage. It involves longer massaging strokes across the body and is great for relaxation.
  • Lymphatic massage – A lymphatic massage for weight loss gently encourages the movement of fluid build up in the lymph nodes. This removes toxins and waste from bodily tissues. A lymphatic massage is a great way to further promote circulation in the body. Lymphatic fluid does not flow automatically like blood; it takes muscle contraction or gentle massaging to release. Lymphatic massage for weight loss may be a key strategy; the best way to determine that is to speak with your doctor.
  • Hot stone massage – This type of massage is especially relaxing and helps with alleviating muscle tension. A massage therapist places smooth, heated stones strategically on the body to release tension and increase blood circulation. The therapist also uses her hands to conduct a massage similar to a Swedish massage while the stones work their magic.
  • Trigger point massage – This is ideal for chronic pain and problematic physical conditions getting in the way of losing weight. A trigger point massage combines long, flowing strokes with deeper, pressurized work to release tension and alleviate pain. A lot of times, pain in the body can be shooting or spread throughout larger areas due to tissue and nerve aggravation. A trigger point massage therapist can help pinpoint exactly where the source of the pain lies.
  • Reflexology massage – This type of massage is good for those not interested in being touched all over. It focuses on the feet, hands, and ears and works similarly to a trigger point massage by releasing pressure points to regulate the body’s energy levels.
  • Aromatherapy massage – If you’re looking for a mood and mental health boost, an aromatherapy massage is an excellent option. The massage therapist incorporates essential oils into the massage working them mostly into the back, neck, and head areas.
  • Sports massage – Although this is usually associated with athletes, a sports massage is also beneficial for anyone putting their body through challenges and working muscles in new ways. A sports massage is not the most relaxing experience as it tends to target areas of tension and pain. Aside from addressing soreness in the body, this type of massage also increases flexibility and improves physical performance. If you are ready to take your fitness regimen to the next level, this is a helpful tool to boost your physical capabilities.
  • Shiatsu massage – This is similar to a Swedish massage. It involves long, flowing strokes and promotes relaxation while releasing tension in the body. A massage therapist during a Shiatsu massage will also allot more time to problem areas as needed.

Does Stomach Massage for Weight Loss Actually Work?

Tummy rubs are always nice, but a stomach massage isn’t going to do anything to help you shed pounds. You can’t rub away belly fat — that’s just silly! A stomach massage may help relive digestive issues, such as gas and bloating, that could be causing a distended belly. But this is not related to belly fat, which can only be helped by lifestyle changes.

How to Find a Weight Loss Massage Therapist

First determine what type of massage you are interested in and what areas of the body you want to target. Searching your local spas and salons is a useful way to find a convenient and typically experienced massage therapist.

Normally, these business’s websites will explain the types of massages offered and the therapists’ specialization. Be sure to find someone who is licensed. The American Massage Therapy Association is also a great resource to find a licensed massage therapist. Speak to your massage therapist beforehand to ensure they are the right fit and understand your needs.

Read more: 3 Ways to Quickly Break Your Fast Food Addiction


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Jody Braverman, NASM-CPT, NASM-FNS, PN1

Jody Braverman is a certified nutrition, fitness, and weight loss expert who has been working in the health & fitness industry for over two decades.

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