Lose Belly Fat, Tone Muscle, and Get Healthier: Can Massage Help You Lose Weight?

If you want to lose weight, diet and exercise are the usual recommendations. Lately, there have been claims that getting massages regularly can also help you shed off unwanted pounds. Is there really such a thing as weight loss massage? If so, can the technique massage fat away?

Health Benefits of Massage

The health benefits of massage are well- documented. Massage therapy maintains proper function of internal organs by improving blood circulation. If you are suffering from chronic aches and pains, massage can help relieve discomfort by removing tightness or “knots” from the affected areas.

Massage is also effective for relieving stress. Diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, type2 diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks have been linked to excessive stress. Massage has been proven to help relieve stress through a number of ways.

Massage helps the body produce mood-enhancing hormones called endorphins which make you feel better. When you are stressed out, muscles around your neck, shoulders, upper back, and lower back areas become tight thereby preventing smooth blood circulation. Techniques such as Shiatsu and Swedish massage are effective in loosening up tight muscles.

This is why people who are stressed out at work often book an appointment with a licensed, professional massage therapist when they get their paycheck. It is worth the money because they feel much better after one massage session.

However, are there benefits of massage for weight loss? Can massage help you lose weight?

5 Ways That Massage Can Help You Lose Weight

You may have come across ads that promote weight loss massage therapy. The proprietor claims they have discovered a technique that can “break down fat tissue” and consequently be removed through sweat or the excretory system.

Others claim they have invented and patented a machine or piece of equipment that can massage fat away. You may have seen these unbelievable but entertaining campaigns on the shopping network.

The truth is there are benefits of massage for weight loss. However, these are “indirect” meaning the benefits can help support a weight loss program but not directly result in a decrease in body weight.

Therefore, just like diet and exercise, massage should be part of your weight loss program.

There are 5 ways in which regular massage can help you lose weight:

1. Massage Improves Delivery of Nutrients

In order to lose weight, you must enter into a calorie deficit. If you used to total 5,000 calories, your diet and exercise program should result in a lower amount of calories at the end of the day.

Combining regular physical activity with a calorie-restrictive diet composed of healthy meals is a proven way of achieving a calorie deficit.

For the reason that massage improves the level of blood circulation, you can be assured that your muscles, internal organs, and the various systems of the body receive all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from the healthy foods that you eat.

How does having an improved delivery system help you lose weight?

With the right nutrition, your circulatory and excretory systems are able to function properly. They work effectively to help your body get rid of dangerous toxins and substances that can lead to illnesses, various disorders, including cancer.

You will be able to efficiently dispose of waste products that if accumulated can further compromise your health, affect your metabolism, and lead to weight gain.

2. Massage Reduces Levels of Cortisol

When you are stressed, your adrenal glands release a hormone called cortisol. The purpose of cortisol is to support the level of performance needed to overcome the stressor.

For example, if you are faced with tight deadlines, cortisol will help increase your focus and concentration so you can finish the task on time. A boxer who is behind on the scorecards leading to the final round of the fight will need cortisol to help him improve reaction time and overcome fatigue.

However, prolonged levels of cortisol in the body are not healthy. It has been proven to have the following negative side effects:

  • Increased amounts of fat around the abdominal area.
  • Inhibits proper functioning of white blood cells which leaves the body susceptible to infections.
  • ​Loss of muscle mass and decreased bone density.
  • ​Decreased level of cognition.
  • Poor quality of sleep.
  • ​Imbalances in glucose levels.
  • ​Impaired focus and memory.
  • Increase in blood pressure.

Collectively, these negative side effects can result in unwanted weight gain. If you are perennially stressed out, you may be influenced to adopt unhealthy habits such as assuming a sedentary lifestyle and consumption of “junk” foods.

Over time, your metabolism will slow down. You will notice that it becomes easier to put on weight than taking it off.

As mentioned earlier, massage helps produce mood-enhancing hormones called endorphins which make you feel good. They can lower stress levels and keep the adrenal glands from releasing cortisol.

It is a better idea for stressed-out people to spend their hard-earned money on a massage therapy session than on bars and restaurants that serve alcohol and unhealthy food.

3. Massage Removes Toxins from the Body

Relaxing Massage

You don’t have to be a smoker to be at risk of developing free radicals inside your body. Second-hand smoke and other pollutants in the air, water, and the food you eat bring in toxic substances that can become free radicals and affect your health at the cellular level.

Exercise can help you remove these toxic substances from your body through sweat. Massage can likewise remove these toxins by promoting more efficient functioning of your circulatory system.

The circulatory system works by removing toxins from your kidneys and urinary tract. You will be able to dispose of these dangerous substances through sweat and urine.

If these substances remain in your body, it will encourage the accumulation of fat or adipose tissue in highly-susceptible areas such as the lower abdomen, arms, lower back, thighs, and gluteus.

4. Massage Enhances the Recovery Process

There is a reason why many world-class and high-performance athletes include massage therapy in their training programs. Regular massage can enhance the recovery process so that the athlete can continue to train at optimum levels.

If regular massage is good enough for a top-level athlete, it will certainly produce great weight loss results for you!

The muscle soreness you feel after every workout is a result of lactic acid build- up. Whenever you strain, the body releases a combination of water and protein to the area which is under stress. The water and protein produce inflammation which functions to keep the area from being injured.

Let’s say you can perform 6 reps with 50 pounds on the Barbell Curl. If you decide to do more than 6 reps, that becomes a workload that the arms are not used to. By the eighth repetition, inflammation starts to form on your biceps which make it more difficult for you to complete another rep.

One of the best ways to remove lactic acid from the muscle is massage. It improves circulation and removes tightness. In combination with the right anti-inflammatory foods and vitamins, you will be able to recover faster and train again at potentially higher levels.

5. Massage Helps Improve Physical Performance

Although there is no type of massage that can directly lead to weight loss, there are specific techniques that can improve physical performance.

Lymphatic Drainage is a massage technique that helps reduce the level of swelling due to water accumulation. Women are more susceptible to swelling due to water accumulation, especially in the ankles, legs, and waist areas.

While it does not lead to weight loss, Lymphatic Drainage sessions can lessen the size of the circumference around the swollen areas, reduce pain, and improve mobility and flexibility.

Body Insight Method is another massage technique that can potentially improve physical performance. This massage procedure helps reactivate muscle groups that have remained dormant due to lack of activity.

For example, in our daily activities, we may be engaging the muscles of the front thighs more than the hamstrings which are located in the back of the leg.

Body Insight Method will focus on activating the hamstring muscles so that there will be no strength imbalance when you perform movements such as squats or lunges in the gym.


While massage does not directly contribute to weight loss, it will give much- needed support to your weight loss program.

First, by ensuring the efficient delivery of nutrients, regular massage treatments will help your organs and internal systems perform better and keep you healthy.

Second, massage will remove cortisol and toxic substances from your body which can slow down metabolism, encourage weight gain, and increase the accumulation of fat around the abdominal area.

Third, by incorporating massage techniques such as Shiatsu, deep-tissue, Lymphatic Drainage, and the Body Insight Method, you can speed up the body’s recovery from exercise so you can continue to train at optimal levels.

Weight loss is not easy but it is also not impossible. A weight loss strategy that includes diet, exercise, and massage will not only assure you of results but also long-term health and overall wellness.

About the Author William Connor

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