Weight Loss and Detoxification: Can Massage Help?

~ Joel Ackerman, RMT

One of the most common questions I get, especially from new clients, is ‘What exactly does massage therapy do?” This excellent question is not easily answered. Relaxation, stress reduction, and relief from muscle tension are some well-known benefits of massage, but did you know that it can also benefit weight-loss and detoxification?

It’s easy to forget that all of our body tissues, including bones, muscles, and ligaments, are composed of cells that use nutrients and energy (called metabolism) to complete their job. The waste products from metabolism are collected by lymph and blood vessels in the body and ultimately eliminated by our liver or kidneys. Occasionally these wastes are not managed optimally, and this can be associated with fatigue, poor immune system function, difficulty losing weight, and muscle pain.

This is where massage therapy can play an important role. Massage is an excellent tool to release tense muscles and fascial restrictions that impede normal flow of these systems. Massage therapy detoxifies our tissues by improving blood and lymphatic flow to undernourished areas so that metabolism is healthier. Massage directly promotes the release of wastes and stagnant lymph so that they can be eliminated properly by our body. Moving this fluid back into the lymphatic and circulatory system results in increased tissue health, bolstered immunity, and promotes healthy weight loss! This process is exactly why so many clients report the need to urinate after a massage. This is also why we encourage clients to drink lots of water after a massage, as it helps to enhance this elimination process while replenishing the tissues’ water supply.