At the heart of The Beauty Detox System and Beauty Detox Foods is improved digestive efficiency. By revving up your body’s ability to effectively and efficiently digest the foods you eat for fuel, you trigger optimal internal cleansing, which helps you achieve your ideal weight and health. That’s why I love this simple massage technique so much – because its core principle is similar to the philosophy found in the Beauty Detox lifestyle.

According to Dr. Stephen Chang, who practices both Western and Chinese medicine, utilizing a two minute massage technique provides a form of internal exercise that cleanses and detoxifies to melt away fat in a manner that is much different than the typical Western external exercises like crunches. While crunches are great for firming up your abdominal muscles, they don’t do anything about the layer of fat that sits on top of them. In fact, one of the persistent myths of Western exercise is that by working out the muscles, you can automatically turn fat into muscle, and that just ‘aint true.

Here’s what really happens anytime you perform a Western-style strength training exercise. The exercises place tiny tears in the muscle fibers. As those micro tears heal, the muscle fiber becomes stronger, leading to firmer (and in some cases larger) muscles. Your fat, on the other hand, remains stubbornly and annoyingly in place unless you engage in a specific program for fat loss. As we’ve discussed in The Beauty Detox System and The Beauty Detox Foods, fat loss comes about as a result of a few different mechanisms:

  • Detoxificationimages
  • Burning your body fat as fuel

Stored fat serves a few purposes in your body. First, it protects your internal organs. Second, it provides a ready form of energy to be burned as fuel during times of famine. Thirdly, it protects your body from all of the toxins you take in by living and eating in a toxic world. Losing excess fat, then, is a matter of creating ways for your body to burn that fat as fuel by producing an energy deficit between what you eat and what you burn. You must also remove your body’s need to store the fat to protect you from toxins, which is why detoxification is such a huge part of the Beauty Detox program.

So, when you exercise you are doing two things: raising your body’s energy (fuel) requirements and firming up the muscles underneath. In some cases, this can translate as fat loss; however, if you have toxic buildup or you increase your fuel (food) intake in response to exercise, then fat loss may come about very slowly – or not at all.

Many people overestimate the amount of calories they burn during an exercise session. The amount varies from person to person, with some people metabolizing fuel much more efficiently than others. While many things factor into this equation, toxicity is a big part of it. If your fat is trapping toxins and keeping them out of your system, your body will be extremely reluctant to burn fat as fuel because doing so will release those poisons.

Other variables that factor into how quickly your body burns calories during exercise include your current weight, the type of exercise you are doing, and the intensity of that exercise. In many cases, calories burned aren’t that much. For example, according to the Mayo Clinic, if you walk one mile in 30 minutes, you will only burn 102 calories. If you speed up just a bit (that is, increase the intensity of your exercise) and walk 1 ¾ mile in 30 minutes, then you’ll burn about 157 calories. If, however, you increase your food intake in response to your additional exercise, you’ll mostly negate any caloric deficit you achieved while walking.

This doesn’t mean I’m telling you not to exercise. Exercise is an important part of good health, because it strengthens your heart and lungs, helps detoxify you, improves your flexibility, gives you energy, and helps you have the strength and endurance for activities of daily life. If, however, you are exercising to lose weight, then you can’t rely on exercise alone. You also need to detoxify and eat a diet of healthy, naturally high fiber/low-calorie foods like I recommend in The Beauty Detox Foods. When you eat this way, you can eat to satiation and not obsess about calorie counting because the fiber will help fill your belly up as you receive large amounts of easily and quickly absorbed nutrients.

Chinese Medicine Abdominal Massage

The Chinese medicine massage technique I am going to outline below is a different type of exercise altogether. A product of 6,000 years of Eastern wisdom, the massage improves your digestive efficiency by maximizing your body’s ability to detoxify and eliminate waste. The technique can help speed up your digestive system and allows you to eliminate the sludge that builds up in intestines, which can be pounds (!!) of uneliminated waste. When I do it, it is apparent to me the technique is not only physical but also energetic. It’s worth a try, right?

Before you begin, please note that the following people should use caution or avoid using this technique. Don’t use this technique:

  • Immediately after a heavy meal
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you are suffering inflammation of feminine organs including the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or bladder
  • If you have stones of the bladder, kidneys, or gallbladder
  • If you have high blood pressure
  • If you have a hernia
  • If you have intestinal or stomach ulcers
  • If you have bleeding in the stomach, brains, or lungs
  • (If you aren’t sure if it’s right for you, you can always ask your doctor)

Benefits may include:

  • Can help melt adipose tissue
  • Improves digestive efficiency
  • Detoxifies the intestines
  • Improves constipation (the mother of all health/beauty issues!)
  • Stimulates the organs in your abdominal region
  • Improves circulation in your abdominal region
  • May improve conditions such as nausea, vomiting, symptoms of overeating, diarrhea, and indigestion
  • Can provide results in about a week of consistent practice

Perform this technique two times per day – before breakfast and just before bed.

  1. Lie flat on your back on a firm surface with your abdominal region exposed.
  2. Warm up your hands by rubbing them together until they feel hot – about 15 seconds.
  3. Place one hand flat on your belly button.
  4. Begin rubbing in small circles around your belly button, gradually widening the circles using a firm pressure. Each circle should take about one to two seconds.
  5. Focus on heat, which is building up in your abdominal region as you rub.
  6. Continue for two minutes, about 40 to 50 circles. Be sure to keep your stomach warm as you perform the exercise.

That’s it! See how you feel and if you (hopefully) notice an improvement in your digestion as your practice regularly.

Here is also a recommended list of foods that increase metabolism to help your body function efficiently throughout the day.

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New York Times Bestseller and Nutritionist