Many people, both men and women, struggle with a common issue — belly fat. A little extra bulge around the midsection can be a source of insecurity for many, and in some cases, it may even be indicative of a more serious health problem. Belly fat accumulates for many different reasons, including age, maintaining a poor diet full of sugar and processed foods, lack of sleep, and stress. Identifying the problem is the best way to find a solution, but sometimes, even with a healthy diet and exercise, belly fat doesn’t want to budge.
Stored fat in the body serves several different purposes. It protects your internal organs. It provides a ready form of energy in cases of famine, and it protects the body from toxins. The trick to losing excess fat is to create ways for your body to burn the fat as fuel by producing an energy deficit between what you eat and what you burn. Exercise raises the body’s energy requirements and firms up the muscles underneath, which can translate to fat loss. However, if your body is experiencing a toxic build-up or your diet habits aren’t healthy, fat loss can come about slowly, or not at all.
Chinese Medicine Abdominal Massage
While exercising your core is a great way to strengthen your abdominal muscles, crunches, planks and leg lifts won’t melt the fat that’s covering your abs. According to Dr. Stephen Chang — who practices both Western and Chinese medicine — performing a two-minute massage technique can provide a form of internal exercise that cleanses and detoxifies in order to melt away fat.
The Chinese medicine massage technique combines different types of exercises to improve the digestive system while maximizing the body’s ability to detoxify and eliminate waste. Benefits of this technique may include:
- Melting adipose tissue
- Improving digestive efficiency
- Detoxing the intestines
- Improving constipation
- Stimulating the organs in the abdominal region
- Improving circulation in the abdominal region
- Improving conditions such as nausea, vomiting and indigestion
For the best results, perform this technique twice a day, before breakfast and just before bed. To perform Chinese medicine abdominal massage:
- Lie flat on your back on a firm surface.
- Warm up your hands by rubbing them together until they feel hot.
- Place one hand flat on your belly button.
- Begin rubbing in small circles around your belly button, gradually widening the circles using a firm pressure. Each circle should take 1-2 seconds.
- Focus on the heat, which builds up in your abdominal region as you rub.
- Perform for two minutes, about 40-50 circles. Be sure to keep your stomach warm during the exercise.
Caution: Do not perform the Chinese medicine massage technique immediately after a heavy meal, or if you are pregnant, suffering from inflammation of feminine organs, have stones of the kidneys, bladder or gallbladder, or have high blood pressure, a hernia, intestinal or stomach ulcers or internal bleeding.