Belly massageBelly fat is a common problem of middle age, and for many people, it begins earlier in life. Both men and women experience that extra bulge around the middle. It’s unsightly and makes most of us feel self-conscious, but even more importantly, belly fat signals the potential onset of health problems.

We accumulate belly fat for a variety of reasons, including age, a diet high of sugar and processed food, too little sleep, even stress. It’s important to examine the probable cause of your belly fat situation, because adjusting your lifestyle is important not just to your looks, but to your long-term health.

Sometimes, however, even lifestyle changes aren’t enough to completely reverse belly fat. Stored fat is stubborn, because your body has its own logic. Belly fat protects your internal organs. It is there as a ready source of energy in case you face a famine. It protects you from toxins.

The real trick to shedding that excess fat is to support your body in burning the fat as fuel. You do that by creating an energy deficit between what you eat and what you burn. Exercise increases your body’s need for energy, and it firms up the underlying muscles, which also contributes to fat loss. But if your body has a toxic buildup or your diet is not as healthy as it should be, fat loss may be slower than you would hope.

Exercising your core strengthens your abdominal muscles, but exercise alone won’t melt the fat that covers your abs. Dr. Stephan Chang is a physician who practices both Western and Chinese medicine, and he recommends a two-minute massage technique to provide a form of internal exercise that melts away the fat by detoxifying and cleansing the body.

The massage is a Chinese medicine technique. It combines different types of exercises designed to improve the digestive system while it supports the body in detoxifying and eliminating 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 maximum results, perform the technique twice daily, 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, and gradually widen 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.