The act of giving and receiving a massage is somewhat intimate. Even when you’re going to get it done professionally, it’s a very personal experience that can require certain levels of comfort going in. But once you manage to get over any personal discomfort with the process, you’ll find it to be an incredibly rejuvenating experience.
It even has properties that have proven beneficial healthwise. Medicine has answered some lingering questions about its scientific benefits, such as does massage burn calories. This blog will explore the many benefits of both getting and getting a massage –as well as look at some other ways you can burn calories unexpectedly.
Does Massage Burn Calories? Sort Of.
To figure out how many calories are burned during any activity, there are a few factors that must be taken into account. Your age, body composition, and general health, for instance, are all elements that play into your calorie-burning abilities.
Muscles consume more energy than fat, so if the masseuse is particularly strong, they will burn more calories than someone out of shape. It also makes a difference how firmly the masseuse is applying that strength, as a vigorous, rough massage is going to burn more calories than a gentle one.
If you’re just looking for a simple answer to the question of does massage burn calories, then yes, it does indeed.
It’s recommended that you buy a calorie counter, which can factor in age and your body’s activity during the event. Most SmartWatches have this feature, as do many phones.
The USDA’s Supertracker, for instance, has determined that a healthy, 34-year-old female weighing 160 pounds can burn approximately 289 calories during a one-hour session.
As we mentioned, you can also burn calories just by laying there. Bodies burn calories whether you’re active or not, and getting a massage to your body is not dissimilar to sleeping.
This is known as the basal metabolic rate, and it is the number of calories you burn through breathing, heart beating, blood pumping, liver working, etc.
Since sleeping burns about .42 calories per pound of your body weight, a person weighing 160 pounds should burn approximately 67 calories during an hour session.
Other Health Benefits of Getting a Massage
But receiving a massage has health benefits beyond just calorie loss. Studies have found that massage can mean relief from some serious conditions such as:
- Chronic lower back pain
- Delayed onset muscle soreness
- Soft tissue damage
- High blood pressure
One of the immediate benefits of a massage is the deep calm and relaxation you feel. This is due to your body releasing endorphins – the neurotransmitters responsible for feeling well. It’s the most natural high there is.
Stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, are also greatly reduced. Research has shown that intense stress can weaken the immune system.
What Burns The Most Calories In The Body?
If the main thrust of your exercise is to lose weight and reduce your calorie count, then massage may help, but it’s not going to get the job done. The best kind of exercise for losing calories is aerobic exercise. Leisure activities like walking, swimming, and cycling are all excellent ways to lose a few pounds.
Does Massage Reduce Belly Fat?
There are certain techniques that, when applied during a massage, can help reduce belly fat. Rubbing the surface of the belly horizontally, then vertically is a way of smoothing it out. You won’t get a washboard stomach out of it, but it will help flatten the area that’s hanging out.
Rubbing the belly actually reduces its size in three potential ways. They are:
- Stomach fat
- Bowel blockage
- Sagging skin
Can You Lose Calories By Thinking Harder
Willpower is a funny thing. The concept of willing away the number of calories actually does have some scientific basis. We mentioned how your body burns calories even when you’re at rest. It does this to support you through the night, helping your:
- Blood flow
- Body Temperature
Your brain also uses calories to function. Though the organ is only about two percent of your entire body weight, it uses 20 percent of the energy consumed throughout the day. Your brain is actually burning more calories when it’s resting.
But activities such as reading or studying do, in fact, burn calories. The question is whether it’s enough to be significant. 30 minutes of study for someone weighing 155 pounds can burn about 65 calories. 30 minutes of reading can burn 42 calories.
To put this matter in perspective, you need to burn 3500 calories to lose 1 pound. So while thinking does burn some calories, you would need to be doing it on the level of Socrates for it to count, and even then it wouldn’t make much difference without some proper exercise.