3 Evidence-Based Massages For Weight Loss

by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

A good, relaxing massage is all you can ask for after a tiring week. But did you know that certain massages also help 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). It can aid faster, long-term weight loss. In this article, we have listed three best massages for weight loss. Read on!

3 Effective Massages For Weight Loss

1. Aromatherapy Massage

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An aromatherapy massage is a special type of weight loss massage that cuts down your desire to binge eat. Special aromatic oils made from the extracts of flowers, fruits, leaves, barks, and seeds are used.

Researchers found one hour of aromatherapy massage with grapefruit oil, cypress, and other oils for six weeks helped 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 may also help reduce stress and depression (5), (6). This, in turn, can reduce the desire to binge eat or eat nothing at all (leads to slow metabolism and weight gain) (7), (8).

2. Lymphatic Massage For Weight Loss

Weight gain and obesity can lead to lymphedema. This further amplifies inflammation and weight gain. Lymphatic massage helps in lymphatic drainage, flushing out extra fluid from the waist, wrist, ankles, and legs. It reduces puffiness.

A study found that lymphatic drainage massage or manual massage could help reduce thigh and belly fat (9), (10). People who play sports use this massage often to heal injuries (11).

You must eliminate unhealthy food from your diet. Get a licensed lymphatic massage therapist to get the massage done on a regular basis.

3. Cellulite Skin Fold And Vacuum Massage

Cellulite makes the skin look like an orange peel. Getting rid of it can be a task. But a skinfold massage can certainly help reduce the time to get rid of cellulite.

A vibrating device is used to massage the affected area. Scientists found that skinfold massage could help smoothen the skin (12). Sixty minutes of vibration massage five times a week also showed promising results in reducing cellulite (13).

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 (14). Get a professional vacuum therapist to do your massage.

These are the three massages you can try to shed fat from any region of your body, including the abdomen, thighs, back, hips, and chest. Let’s take a look at the benefits of these massages.

Benefits Of Massages For Weight Loss

  • Increase Blood Circulation – A full body massage helps increase blood circulation and flow (15). It helps get rid of all toxic wastes and improves metabolism.
  • Relieve Stress – Stress leads to toxin build-up, which can lead to metabolic slowdown and overeating. Massage helps reduce stress and releases “feel good” hormones (16). This helps reduce the production of hunger hormones and prevents excessive eating (17).
  • 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 high blood pressure (18).
  • Tone The Muscles – Weight loss massages can help in toning your body, especially the muscle area. They can also decrease stiffness and soreness in the muscles (19).
  • Improve Muscle Recovery – Working out causes muscle wear and tear. Resting and deep tissue massage can help improve muscle recovery. As a result, you will be able to workout without excessive muscle pain or reduced flexibility.

Conclusion

Massages alone will not result in weight loss. You also have to eat healthy foods, workout 5 hours a week, get 7 hours of sleep daily, and bond with people who have similar weight loss or fitness goals. Massages can help boost weight loss, induce relaxation, and reduce pain. Include them in your lifestyle, and you will start seeing a difference soon.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

1. Are massages good for weight loss?

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

2. What is the best massage for weight loss?

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

3. 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.

4. Does Ayurvedic massage help in weight loss?

Yes, Ayurvedic massage can help you reduce weight. But remember, you have to eat healthy foods and workout to get results.

19 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
  • Effect of Aromatherapy Massage on Abdominal Fat and Body Image in Post-Menopausal Women, Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17615482
  • 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, Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25952121
  • Physical and physiological effectiveness of an overall health care program for middle-aged Japanese women with mild obesity: A pilot study, Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4488103/
  • Use of complementary and alternative medicine for weight control in the United States, Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17388764
  • The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy for Depressive Symptoms: A Systematic Review, Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5241490/
  • Effectiveness of Aromatherapy Massage and Inhalation on Symptoms of Depression in Chinese Community-Dwelling Older Adults, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29565630
  • Association of major depression and binge eating disorder with weight loss in a clinical setting, Obesity, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18070746
  • Starvation-induced changes in metabolic rate, blood flow, and regional energy expenditure in rats, Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3779521
  • To be or not to be obese: impact of obesity on lymphatic function, The Journal of Physiology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330919/
  • Effects of mechanical massage, manual lymphatic drainage and connective tissue manipulation techniques on fat mass in women with cellulite, Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19627407
  • The Effectiveness of Manual Lymphatic Drainage in Patients With Orthopedic Injuries, Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26458244
  • The effectiveness of massage treatment on cellulite as monitored by ultrasound imaging, Skin Research and Technology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27333491
  • The Impact of Vibration Therapy Interventions on Skin Condition and Skin Temperature Changes in Young Women with Lipodystrophy: A Pilot Study, Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6560364/
  • The physical and physiological effects of vacuum massage on the different skin layers: a current status of the literature, Burns & Trauma, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5027633/
  • Comparison of blood flow changes with soft tissue mobilization and massage therapy, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25420037
  • Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy, The International Journal of Neuroscience, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16162447
  • Stress, cortisol, and other appetite-related hormones: Prospective prediction of 6-month changes in food cravings and weight, Obesity, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5373497/
  • Acupoint massage nursing conducive to improve the curative effect of the obesity patients who are complicated with hypertension and are treated by oral drugs, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4565394/
  • Therapeutic effects of massage and electrotherapy on muscle tone, stiffness and muscle contraction following gastrocnemius muscle fatigue, Journal of Physical Therapy Science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5300827/

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.
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