Can Massage Therapy Really Help You Lose Weight?
Health & Beauty / /
Losing weight while lying on a massage table?! It simply sounds too good to be true. But… that’s not exactly how it works.
“In my 15 years as a massage therapist, I've helped a lot of people lose some serious weight,” says Wil Lewis, massage program director at New York City’s Chillhouse. But he also added that massages are not the only ritual that helped clients lose weight. Massage is just a method for setting clients up for success by putting them in the proper physical and mental position to effectively exercise and diet.
In his experience, Lewis says that massage therapy can make the process of weight loss, which is seen as quite tough, more positive and encouraging, so that people will stick with it. Plus, a massage can be seen as an excellent non-calorie reward when you reach your goals.
Another more tangible way massage can help you lose weight is by making exercise easier. If you’re feeling uncomfortable sweating and moving, losing weight isn’t going to be easy for you.
“Nothing can be more de-motivating than being bedridden for six to eight weeks while you heal an Achilles tear or a torn labrum,” says Lewis. “Massage therapy keeps muscles tuned up, eliminates the tension before it turns into an injury, and reduces delayed onset muscle soreness. When it feels good to be in your body, it makes it easier and more fun to sculpt your body.”
Except for making weight loss more accessible, there are massage techniques that can help in improving a person's physical appearance and mobility. Manual lymphatic drainage is one of those, which aims to reduce swelling and edema.
“If you feel like you're retaining water, lymphatic drainage is a fantastic tool to flush out the extra fluid and make you feel less puffy,” he says.
Another technique is Body Insight Method, a form of neuromuscular therapy. This type of massage works by reengaging deactivated muscles. When particular group of muscles disengage, in order to compensate, the surrounding muscles will work overtime leading to possible injury and poor flexibility and posture. If certain muscles are disengaged, they’ll not be active in burning fat. Their reactivation can improve the athletic performance, which can lead to improved toning.
Once you’re in the appointment, do not feel intimidated. Tell your therapist know what your goals are and make a plan to achieve them, even if it is about improved flexibility, pain reduction, or posture improvement. Also remember that only lying on that massage table won’t give you the expected results, but when combined with a healthy diet and exercise, it can help you get closer to your goals.