3 Evidence-Based Massages For Weight Loss

Written by Charushila Biswas , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist

It sounds unbelievable, but massages can help you lose weight and reduce cellulite (1), (2). Studies show that combining a balanced diet and exercise with massage therapy is an effective weight loss strategy (3), (4). Massaging aids faster and long-term weight loss. Read on to learn how massages help reduce weight and the 3 proven massages for weight loss. Scroll down!

Benefits Of Massaging – Does It Work For Weight Loss?

Massage can stimulate weight loss in many ways. Here’s how they work and the benefits you will reap:

  • Reduces Abdominal Fat: Belly fat is a point of concern for many. Thankfully, a study shows that massaging the abdominal area with aromatic oils 5 days a week helps reduce abdominal fat tissue and waist circumference. It was also found to improve body image (1).
  • Increases Blood Circulation: A full body massage helps increase blood circulation (5). This helps to get rid of the toxic waste in your body and improves metabolism.
  • Tones The Muscles: Weight loss massages can help in toning your body, especially the muscles. They can also decrease stiffness and soreness in the muscles (6).
  • Improves Digestive Functions: A healthy gut also helps in weight loss. Massaging helps stimulate gut activity, thereby improving bowel movement, reducing constipation, and decreasing abdominal pain (7), (8).
  • Reduces Stress: Stress leads to toxin build-up in the body, which can lead to metabolic slowdown and overeating. Massaging helps reduce stress and releases “feel good” hormones (9). This helps reduce the production of hunger hormones and prevents excessive eating (10).
  • Improves Sleep Quality: A full-body massage helps relax the muscles. This, in turn, stimulates good-quality sleep. Since sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain, improved sleep quality through massages can help nullify the effects of poor sleep (11).
  • Lower Blood Pressure: High blood pressure due to stress or unhealthy food habits can lead to inflammation and water retention. Deep tissue massage and aromatherapy massage can help lower your high blood pressure (12).

It is clear from these benefits of massaging that it directly or indirectly aids weight loss. The question is, which massages are best for weight loss? Scroll down to learn all about the three most effective massages for weight loss.

3 Effective Massages For Weight Loss Backed By Science

1. Skin Fold And Vacuum Massage For Weight Loss

Cellulite is mainly found in the thighs, hips, and abdominal area. It makes the skin look dimpled. And, getting rid of it can be a task. Thankfully, a skinfold massage can help get rid of cellulite. A vibrating device is used to massage the affected area.

Research shows that a skinfold massage could help smoothen the skin (13). Sixty minutes of vibration massage five times a week also showed promising results in reducing cellulite (14).

Vacuum massage is another non-invasive technique to reduce cellulite. It helps in collagen restructuring, releases tension in the muscles, improves skin elasticity, reduces skinfold thickness, increases collagen, and decreases muscle pain (15). Go to a professional vacuum therapist to do this massage.

2. Lymphatic Massage For Weight Loss

Lymphatic massage helps in lymphatic drainage, i.e., flushing out extra fluid from the waist, wrist, ankles, and legs. It reduces puffiness and bloating.

A study found that lymphatic drainage massage or manual massage could help reduce thigh and belly fat (16), (17). People who play sports use this massage often to heal injuries (18). For lymphatic massage to be effective for weight loss, you must eliminate unhealthy food from your diet. Get a licensed lymphatic massage therapist to get the massage done on a regular basis.

3. Aromatherapy Massage For Weight Loss

Aromatherapy massage is a special type of weight loss massage that cuts down the desire to binge eat. It also helps reduce stress. Special aromatic oils made from the extracts of flowers, fruits, leaves, barks, and seeds are used to massage the problem areas or the whole body. One hour of aromatherapy massage with grapefruit oil, cypress oil, and other oils for six weeks was found to help reduce abdominal fat and waist circumference (1).

People who use this massage have often said that they sleep better and have reduced muscle pain. Aromatherapy massage also helps reduce stress and depression (19), (20). This, in turn, can reduce the desire to binge eat or eat nothing at all (which leads to slow metabolism and weight gain) (21), (22).

In A Nutshell

Massage therapy can work very effectively for weight loss. It helps relax the muscles, boosts fat loss, improves muscle tone and digestion, reduces hunger, and helps you sleep better. However, you must consult a licensed massage therapist and get the right massage for weight loss. Opt for any one of the three massages listed above, and you will start seeing results in 4-6 weeks. Also, eat healthy and exercise regularly to prevent gaining the flab back.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are massages good for weight loss?

Yes, massages are good for weight loss. You must also eat healthy and work out 5 hours a week for the best and quick results.

What is the best massage for weight loss?

You can try aromatherapy massage, cellulite massage, and lymphatic massage to lose weight.

How to massage the stomach to lose weight?

1. Lie down flat.
2. Use an aromatic oil.
3. Place your right palm on the top part of the abdomen and the left palm on the lower abdomen.
4. Use circular motions to massage your abdomen for 10 minutes.
5. Do this every day.

Does Ayurvedic massage help in weight loss?

Yes, Ayurvedic massage can help you reduce weight. But remember, you have to eat healthy foods and work out to see results.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Effect of aromatherapy massage on abdominal fat and body image in post-menopausal women
  2. Effect of Combined Manual Acupuncture and Massage on Body Weight and Body Mass Index Reduction in Obese and Overweight Women: A Randomized Short-term Clinical Trial
  3. Physical and physiological effectiveness of an overall health care program for middle-aged Japanese women with mild obesity: A pilot study
  4. Use of complementary and alternative medicine for weight control in the United States
  5. Comparison of blood flow changes with soft tissue mobilization and massage therapy
  6. Therapeutic effects of massage and electrotherapy on muscle tone stiffness and muscle contraction following gastrocnemius muscle fatigue
  7. Effects of abdominal massage in management of constipation–a randomized controlled trial
  8. Massage therapies
  9. Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy
  10. Stress cortisol and other appetite-related hormones: Prospective prediction of 6-month changes in food cravings and weight
  11. The beneficial effects of massage therapy for insomnia in postmenopausal women
  12. Acupoint massage nursing conducive to improve curative effect of the obesity patients who are complicated with hypertension and are treated by oral drugs
  13. The effectiveness of massage treatment on cellulite as monitored by ultrasound imaging
  14. The Impact of Vibration Therapy Interventions on Skin Condition and Skin Temperature Changes in Young Women with Lipodystrophy: A Pilot Study
  15. The physical and physiological effects of vacuum massage on the different skin layers: a current status of the literature
  16. To be or not to be obese: impact of obesity on lymphatic function
  17. Effects of mechanical massage manual lymphatic drainage and connective tissue manipulation techniques on fat mass in women with cellulite
  18. The Effectiveness of Manual Lymphatic Drainage in Patients With Orthopedic Injuries
  19. The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy for Depressive Symptoms: A Systematic Review
  20. Effectiveness of Aromatherapy Massage and Inhalation on Symptoms of Depression in Chinese Community-Dwelling Older Adults
  21. Association of major depression and binge eating disorder with weight loss in a clinical setting
  22. Starvation-induced changes in metabolic rate blood flow and regional energy expenditure in rats

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