A scale representing massage for weight loss.

Can You Use Massage for Weight Loss?

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Published: 2nd May, 2023

When combined with healthy lifestyle habits, massage can be a powerful addition to your weight loss regimen. Not only does it promote lymphatic drainage, which detoxifies the body, but massage can also support recovery from workouts and help you sleep better, which are crucial components to any weight loss journey.

Find out how to use massage for weight loss, which massages are most beneficial, and what you can expect when you add this practice to your routine.

How Massage Aids Weight Loss

While getting a massage won’t directly help you shed excess pounds, it does make the process of weight loss more enjoyable and efficient. From promoting lymphatic drainage to aiding workout recovery, here’s how massage helps you lose weight.

Promotes Lymphatic Drainage 

Deep tissue massage encourages the drainage of lymph nodes and the movement of lymph fluids (waste and toxins) around the body. According to Wil Lewis, massage program director at New York City’s Chillhouse, if you are prone to retaining water, lymphatic drainage can help flush out the extra fluid and make you feel “less puffy.” And according to this 2014 study, lymphatic massage resulted in a small reduction in hip circumference in women who got the massage weekly for 14 weeks. This type of massage can also minimize the appearance of cellulite by reducing how much fluid presses up against your skin.

Stimulates Metabolism

Another way massage helps you lose weight is by stimulating metabolism. Getting a massage has been shown to improve circulation, which maximizes the supply of nutrients and oxygen to muscles. This helps your body burn calories more efficiently. Studies show that abdominal massage may also aid digestion.

Aids Workout Recovery 

This increased circulation also helps to enhance workout recovery by relieving muscle fatigue and soreness and increasing the range of motion. Studies have revealed that applying heat is even more effective than cold therapy at treating delayed-onset muscle soreness associated with exercise. If you’re a fan of hot stone massages, schedule one after your workout as a reward. Chances are, it will help you commit even harder to a regular exercise routine. ​

Reduces Stress and Poor Sleep

Stress can wreak havoc on our overall health by making it harder to sleep and easier to overeat. When we are stressed, a hormone called cortisol spikes to initiate fight-or-flight mode. While this biological response can be useful in a dangerous situation, it can be detrimental when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, as cortisol is a significant appetite stimulant. Studies also show that when we are stressed, our bodies metabolize slower, making it harder to shed excess weight.

Like too much stress, too little sleep can also affect our overall health and our weight. According to research from Harvard, lack of sleep is associated with higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, another appetite stimulant, and lower levels of the hormone leptin, which makes us feel full. This is a dangerous combination if we’re trying to lose weight.

Fortunately, getting a massage can help lower stress and improve sleep as shown in numerous findings. This 2020 study found that just ten minutes of massage was enough to reduce stress and induce relaxation by boosting the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). In another study, subjects receiving 30-minute massages twice a week for five weeks experienced improved sleep and an increase in serotonin levels, which is a precursor to melatonin, the sleep hormone. 

How to Use Massage for Weight Loss

Massage for weight loss is most beneficial when added to a healthy routine of eating well, sleeping adequately and exercising regularly. Getting a massage after exercising is a great way to enhance your workout and keep you committed. But are all massages conducive to weight loss? 

What Are the Best Massages for Weight Loss?

There are various types of massages focusing on different health goals. If you’re trying to lose weight, the following types of massage may help:

  • Deep tissue or lymphatic drainage massages: Detoxifies the body, reduces water retention, minimizes the appearance of cellulite and increases flexibility after a workout
  • Abdominal massage: Aids digestion and stimulates the metabolism
  • Swedish massage: Provides stress relief, improves circulation and increases overall relaxation for better sleep
  • Hot stone massage: Accelerates workout recovery, decreases stress, and improves sleep

Do Massage Chairs and Beds Aid Weight Loss?

There are numerous benefits to having a massage chair or massage bed in your home, but one of the most obvious benefits is easy access. When you don’t have to schedule an appointment or take time out of your day to travel to a spa, it’s easier to add massage to your daily routine, whether your goal is to sleep better, ease muscle soreness after exercising or reduce stress. 

If you’re using the CERAGEM V6 and V4 beds, you also have the luxury of experiencing the all-in-one benefits of acupressure, deep-tissue massage, stretching, and hot stone therapy in the comfort of your own home. The beds are equipped with patented scanning technology to assess the specific needs of your body and deliver a customized massage, which is designed to boost circulation and penetrate deeply with thermal therapy up to 149°F. 

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply maintain a healthy lifestyle, adding massage therapy to your routine can be a game changer in helping you feel more comfortable in your body. Find out more about all of the Ceragem products.

Visit CERAGEM today.

Erica Garza is an author and essayist specializing in health and wellness. She has written for TIME, Health, Glamour, Parents, Women’s Health, VICE, and the Telegraph.

Sources

Women’s Health – Can Massage Therapy Really Help You Lose Weight?

National Library of Medicine – Longitudinal evaluation of manual lymphatic drainage for the treatment of gynoid lipodystrophy

Institute for Integrative Healthcare – How Massage Can Help Your Clients Lose Weight

National Library of Medicine – Effects of abdominal massage in management of constipation–a randomized controlled trial

MDPI – A Role for Superficial Heat Therapy in the Management of Non-Specific, Mild-to-Moderate Low Back Pain in Current Clinical Practice: A Narrative Review

National Library of Medicine – Stress, cortisol, and other appetite-related hormones: Prospective prediction of 6-month changes in food cravings and weight

National Library of Medicine – Daily Stressors, Past Depression, and Metabolic Responses to High-Fat Meals: A Novel Path to Obesity

Harvard Medical School – Snooze more, eat less? Sleep deprivation may hamper weight control

Science Daily – Ten minutes of massage or rest will help your body fight stress

Institute for Integrative Healthcare – Insomnia, Serotonin and Massage

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