It may seem too good to be true that massage can help with a weight-loss program. However, there are indeed many ways in which massage therapy can support your exercise and weight-loss goals.
Massage is unlikely to have a direct impact on weight loss, such as physically bursting fat capsules as some have claimed. But these 6 benefits are real.
#1 Massage Loosens Tight Muscles
To begin with, massage will improve your flexibility by loosening tight muscles. Muscles that are therapeutically manipulated will experience an increase in blood flow, which helps lubricate muscle fibers that are sticking together. An added benefit of loosening tight muscles is that you will be less stiff and sore, making it easier for you to stay on track. In short, because massage increases oxygenation of muscle tissue, it can shorten recovery times and prolong your endurance.
#2 Massage Can Reduce Your Risk of Injury
Massage can also help reduce your risk of injury, especially as you increase your level of activity, putting greater stress on muscles that have been less active. By stretching and manipulating the connective tissue that enwraps all muscle tissue, massage can help reduce adhesions, or scar tissues, which are common with muscle injury.
#3 Massage Increases Your Metabolic Rate
Research has shown that massage will increase metabolic rate, thereby allowing your muscles to burn more calories. This improved metabolic rate is a result of the endorphins released during massage. Endorphins make you feel better, too, and will help you remain motivated and active.
#4 Massage Reduces Cortisol Levels
A frequent factor in weight gain is the production of cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress and has been shown to increase appetite and cause fat to be deposited in your abdominal area. Exercise is the best way to reduce cortisol levels, but massage can reduce it as well by lessening your stress level.
#5 Massage Promotes Digestion
Digestive health is another critical factor if you are going to achieve your target weight, since the digestive tract supplies your body with the fuel it needs for energy and eliminates waste products. Abdominal massage not only promotes digestion, it also reduces:
All of which are facets in belly size.
Abdominal massage should therefore be given serious consideration if you are intent on decreasing your body size.
#6 Massage Is a Healthy Way to Reward Yourself and Stay Motivated
Finally, although losing weight and regular exercise are rewards in themselves—improving your health, your self-esteem, and more—the results are not instant and it can be easy to feel discouraged. Therefore, if you are working hard, it’s important to find healthy ways to reward yourself regularly to maintain your motivation. Massage is an excellent way to do that because, not only does it feel great, but it can also be an important adjunct to any exercise and diet plan.