Friday, June 8, 2012

HCG Diet and Massage Part 1 of 2

The HCG diet has become the diet of choice for many people in the last few years. After taking both the time to research this and monitor my client's progress while using this protocol, I am impressed.

Although this program is famous for its astonishing success in weight loss, it also appears to balance and bring into harmony the glands that regulate metabolism. Medical clinics that specialize in HCG will often take a patient completely off thyroid medication during the protocol and in many cases have been able to completely eliminate thyroid medication after the treatment has ended.

According to Dr. Albert T. W. Simeons, author of the manuscript "Pounds and Inches" and founder of the HCG diet, the bonus benefits of this program include restoring steroid hormone balance, slowing or reversing the downhill slide of hypoglycemia and diabetes, re-energizing thyroid and adrenal glands, breading up arterial plaque, reducing rheumatic pain, and lowering blood pressure.

Sounds great! So what's the catch? Unfortunately one of the controversial instructions in this manuscript is, that during phase 2 of the diet (23-43 day period of actively taking HCG) no massages are allowed.

So why is there a no massage mandate for the HCG diet phase 2? As far as I can tell, Dr. Simeons appears to have two basic objections to massage.

  1. The use of oil and lotions on the body
  2. Kneading and breaking up of fat that leads to bruising and scar tissue
In part one of this blog I will look at the oil objection and in part 2 (the next blog) will address the type of massage that leads to bruising and scar tissue and how that applies to this century (the manuscript was written in 1954.)

The Oil Issue
Massage oil can be problematic during HCG phase 2 which calls for a very low calorie diet, one that is extremely low in carbs and has absolutely no fat.

Your body is designed to seek resources that are fairly easy to break down and convert into fuel. Your body's first preference of material to convert to fuel is glucose, which is provided through consuming carbohydrates. The second resource that your body prefers is fat and the third is protein.

Because of this, your body will not burn fat as a primary fuel source until the glucose is used up and it won't burn significant amounts of protein until the fat is used up.

The HCG diet is ketogenic. That means it will shift your body from burning glucose to burning fat for fuel. Your body will not move into ketosis until the glycogen stores have been completely used up. Even in the fat burning state, again your body prefers fat that it does not have to break down. If you introduce fat through diet or through the skin transdermally, the body will use that for fuel before it breaks down fat resulting in slower weight loss.

I recommend during phase 2 that you check with your massage therapist as to what kind of oil or lotion they use or are willing to use. Many of the professional massage lotions, such as Biotone, have been reported to have no impact on weight loss in phase 2.

In my massage practice, my clients have substantiated this and reported to me that the Biotone (which does have some oil in it) has not inhibited their weight loss. I also use an oil mixture in my practice which would not be recommended for phase 2. If you are phase 2 and are booking an appointment with me please let me know you are doing HCG so that I can switch to using the Biotone.

Again if you are wanting to have massage in phase 2, another option is to check with your massage therapist to see if they would be willing to use baby oil that you would bring with you to the session. It is a non-soluble mineral oil and the body will not absorb it.

With a little planning, you can have your massage and your HCG too!

This article should not be a substitute for professional medical care
copyright © 2010 Essential Stillpoint

HCG Diet and Massage Part 2 of 2

This is the second part of a two part series on the HCG diet and massage. The first part reviewed the claim that fat in many massage oils interfere with HCG induced weight loss and this segment aims to answer the argument that massage may cause bruising and scar tissue that can slow down the weight loss.

In his manuscript "Pounds and Inches", Dr. Simeons objects to massage for the time the hormone is being administered and is emphatic about not disturbing the body in that phase. Here is what he has to say about it:

"I never allow any kind of massage during treatment. It is entirely unnecessary and merely disturbs a very delicate process which is going on in the tissues. Few indeed are the masseurs and masseuses who can resist the temptation to knead and hammer abnormal fat deposits."
"I have seen such patients who were as black and blue as if they had received a sound thrashing."

"How anyone in his right mind is able to believe that fatty tissue can be shifted mechanically or be made to vanish by squeezing is beyond my comprehension. The only effect obtained is severe bruising. The torn tissue forms scars, and these slowly contract making the fatty tissue even harder and more unyielding."

This was written in 1954 and made me laugh. It brings to mind an amusing image I use humorusly on my gift cards. The image is black and white set in the 1950's with a big boned European woman in a sterile white dress.

Clearly massage has changed in the past 58 years. I do not know of any massage therapist that squeezes or hammers a fat deposit. My massages stimulate the lymphatic system and works with structural blockages to lymphatic flow. Both of which are key in weight loss.

My clients in phase 2 of the HCG diet report that the day after massage, on average, they have lost double the normal weight loss for the day and have more energy.

I have noticed in clients who have been on HCG for more than 2 weeks that their muscles get very soft and deep work is not a good idea. You will know if the work is too deep for you because these areas are very tender. For sure, during the part of the diet where the hormone is being administered there is more susceptibility to bruising.

Lighter work aimed at lymphatic drainage and flow is really the best type of massage for Phase 2 and works very well with the goals of the diet (plus will make you feel wonderful releasing the toxins that were stored in the fat you are shedding.)

So for those of you HCGrs...get your massages but make sure to ask your therapist to provide an alternative to oil (before you show up for your session) and let them know you are in Phase 2 and may need very light work.

It is best if you find a therapist who specializes in lymph massage and has some understanding of the unique needs of the HCG protocol.

If you have any questions...feel free to leave me a comment or send me a private email!

This article should not be a substitution for professional medical care
copyright © 2010 Essential Stillpoint