When combined with a comprehensive weight loss program of diet and exercise, massage therapy can help create a more optimal environment for weight loss. Your weight loss journey should be tailored to your individual needs and lifestyle. On its own, massage therapy will not result in weight loss since varying factors make weight loss programs effective. However, with consistency and healthy expectations, a registered massage therapist can help you to achieve your weight loss goals.
Here are some ways that massage therapy can complement your weight loss program and help you attain your goal.
Stress is counter-intuitive to weight loss and can sabotage your efforts. Your body responds to physical and mental stress by triggering the production of cortisol. High levels of cortisol can increase your insulin levels, stimulating your appetite and increasing your cravings for carbohydrates and fatty foods. This is why it’s common to feel the need for “comfort food” in stressful situations. The hormone cortisol has also been linked to increased deposits of fat in the abdominal area. Massages reduce the circulating levels of cortisol in the blood while increasing the release of “feel good” hormones called endorphins. This helps to support your weight loss program by reducing stress levels and inducing a calmer feeling. Being less stressed can help you stay on track with your fitness goals and reduce cravings.
Reduced sleep quality can affect your weight loss journey in several ways. When your body lacks sleep, it produces higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and the stress hormone cortisol. This combination can lead to a cycle of overeating and weight gain that can deter or slow your progress when trying to lose weight.
Deep sleep is also necessary for the release of growth hormones. Growth hormones stimulate bone building, muscle growth and repair. Therefore, a lack of sleep inhibits the healing and growth of your muscles. Massage therapy influences the body’s production of the hormone serotonin, which is needed to produce the sleep hormone melatonin. Regular massages help to reduce pain and stress that may inhibit sleep. It promotes relaxation and deeper sleep which is beneficial to your weight loss goals and well-being.
Reduction of muscle soreness
Muscle soreness can inhibit movement and make workouts uncomfortable and more challenging. Pain can also increase stress levels, and as we mentioned before, stress can be a contributor to weight gain. For example, deep tissue massages from a registered massage therapist focus on deeper muscle fibres and connective tissue. It can help reduce muscle tension and soreness, thereby improving your quality of life. Regular massages can also help you to reduce or stop taking pain medications which have been linked to weight gain in some people. Regular massages help to improve circulation to the muscles, reduce downtime and increase optimal performance during workouts.
Massage therapy improves circulation in the body. Your circulatory system is responsible for supplying nutrients to your body and removing toxins. The rhythmic application of pressure helps move oxygenated blood to your muscles, improving muscle performance and healing to support your exercise routine.
Along with improved circulation to your muscles, massages also improve the function of the lymphatic system, which is responsible for the removal of waste and toxins from the body. Injuries can result in swelling and pain. Stimulation of the lymphatic systems increases lymph flow and the removal of excess toxins to reduce swelling and pain and increase healing.
Poor posture can develop from using an incorrect form while exercising or sitting slumped at a desk all day. An imbalance in your body’s alignment leads to muscle tension, stiffness, degeneration of the joints, pain and loss of flexibility. A registered massage therapist can use techniques to improve your posture. Improving your posture not only improves your appearance but helps to protect against injury. Massages relax the tension in overused muscles and increase circulation. This improves your tissue elasticity, joint mobility and range of motion allowing your body to relax in its natural posture alignment with greater ease.
Book an appointment to improve your health today
Depending on your level of activity and fitness goals, including massage therapy from a registered massage therapist can be a great addition to your wellness routine. As a bonus, it’s a great way to reward yourself for your hard work and dedication. If you feel good in your body, you’ll be motivated to stick with your workout routine and make better diet choices that complement your goal.
Movéo Sport and Rehabilitation Centre has a team of registered massage therapists who are ready to support you on your wellness journey. Book an appointment online today so we can get started on personalizing a treatment plan for you.