Yes it is true! While there is no magic way to lose weight, massage therapy is a wonderful and very relaxing way to lose extra inches away and it can even help reduce cellulite.
Massage helps people lose weight in two ways: through your body’s hormones and the actual act of massage on your skin and tissue. Stress is one of the triggers of weight gain. If you have been dealing with a lot of stress, you may have noticed those inches creeping onto your belly.
The first way that massage can help weight loss is by reducing your levels of cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone. This is the hormone that is responsible for that spare tire, or belly fat. And when your cortisol levels go down, your body makes more ‘feel-good’ hormones, serotonin and dopamine.
You still don’t believe me? It’s a scientific fact! In 2010, a study examined 60 people to see how effective different kinds of massage can be to reduce fatty tissue. They were divided into three different groups and received manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), connective tissue massage or mechanical massage treatment.
You may be interested in the results… everyone lost weight! That’s right. Each of the groups noticed their belly fat was reduced, as well as the amount of fat on their abdomens and waist-to-hip ratio. People who received connective tissue manipulation noticed the greatest improvement in their thigh circumference while those who had mechanical massage had the best results for abdominal fat loss.
I always recommend a balanced approach to life and health, so I do want to recommend that if you do want to lose weight and reduce stress, massage helps. But so does managing your time and giving your mind and body all the tools to help you feel better, from drinking enough water and eating healthy food to getting enough sleep, having fun with family and friends, and of course, exercising as well. When your body is moving you increase those feel-good hormones.
The idea is not to focus on a weigh scale, but how you feel inside and out. And yes, a massage can help you feel rested and lose inches too. Read more in a future blog about the other benefits of massage for weight loss.