Angela Rauter, AP, DOM, LMT, Pilates | Article

Massage and Weight Loss (Ehow.com)

What Does Massage Do?
Dieters can gain many benefits from regular massage therapy. Massage is known to lower stress, improve circulation, improve mobility and speed recovery from overdoing it at the gym. Massage also helps break down scar tissue built up from damage to the muscles, which further helps mobility and circulation. Finally, massage helps flush toxins from the body, meaning your body can focus on the healthy foods you are eating and not the environmental toxins that build up over time.

How Does This Benefit Gym-Goers?
The purpose of going to the gym is to lose weight and feel good. You can't feel good if you can't move your body the way you should, though. Improved flexibility will help with mobility issues, especially for those who have led a sedentary lifestyle before starting to lose weight.
Massage also helps reduce soreness by stretching, kneading and rubbing the muscles and keeping them loose. This means instead of taking a couple of days off, gym-goers can get back in the gym sooner.

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Massage and Body Fat
Theories abound online that regular massage helps break up the subcutaneous fat capsules, allowing the fat to be reabsorbed into the body. A search of the Touch Research Institute's archives show no research documents to support this theory. That has not stopped some salons and massage therapists from offering weight-loss massage that they claim helps burn body fat. While massage does help improve circulation, mobility and overall well-being, getting a massage does not burn body fat.
This does not mean you should overlook massage as part of your fitness routine. However, do not believe for a moment any claims that massage will burn fat.

Stress and Weight Loss
Massage is known to reduce in the body levels of cortisol, a hormone known as the "stress" hormone because it triggers the body's "fight or flight" response. When your body is in a high-stress mode, the intestines slow or stop the digestion of food, so the body can focus on coping with the stress. By halting the stress response, you allow your body to digest food properly and keep it from building up in your intestines. When your body functions properly, you feel better and look great, and weight-loss comes easier.

How to Incorporate Massage in Your Fitness Routine
Dieters should consider incorporating massage in their weight-loss routine by scheduling a bi-weekly or weekly treatment. The intent is to improve your body's function and flexibility, meaning exercise is easier. It also provides an additional set of eyes to watch for and prevent any health problems or injuries caused by diet and exercise.
Those who hit the gym particularly hard may consider getting sports-massage treatments. These brief massage sessions focus on preparing the body for physical exertion by stretching and warming the muscles prior to exercise.

Always ensure the massage therapist you are seeing is trained, licensed and qualified to perform massage. Ask whether they have training in sports massage, stretching and mobility. Ask for references and credentials, and make sure the intake consultation is thorough. Make sure you inform your therapist that you are on a weight-loss regimen and that you want the therapist to be part of your weight-loss team.

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