We have seen them in most gyms – the sort of contraption with a vibrating belt that you put about the ‘problem’ area of the body; your waist, abdomen, buttocks, thighs are supposed to get toned and tightened with the help of this. Also on TV they sell the ‘vibrator belts’ and the ‘sauna belts’ which claim to melt the fat off one’s body.
Can massagers ‘melt’ fat and ‘burn’ calories?
So what is the truth about these massage gadgets – belts, chairs, foot massagers and so on? So many of these are advertised as body toners, or “passive exercise machines” that are simply supposed to be turned on and sat upon to get an effortless workout.
The theory sought to be trotted out is that the vibration exercises the muscles of the body without any effort on part of the person;
so the machine does all the work of burning calories and toning muscles while the person just lies there.
The fact is that it is simply not possible to burn calories or fat by this sort of vibration. Unless the muscles are used and challenged they will not tighten and tone;
unless the body exerts physically calories and fat are not going to be burnt, no matter what the marketers of the products tell us.
Take for instance a product advertised as an “Abdominal Muscle Toner”, which claims to work as a Passive Exercise Gadget.
Even the advertisements of these products have fine print inserted into the ads that “Results are Atypical” or “Works best when used in conjunction with exercise and proper diet”, as disclaimers.
This is done so that irate customers who find their beer belly remains intact or that their love handles are undiminished cannot demand their money back.
So of what use are these massage gadgets?
To put it simply, massage gadgets are for massage. To expect anything more from them is to delude yourself. A massage chair that massages your legs, feet, arms, back, shoulders, neck and even head may be a really wonderful feeling, no doubt about it.
It can perhaps work well in lieu of a physical massage and may end up reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Minor aches and pains may even be soothed for some of us. You may even save the money that would have paid to a masseuse otherwise.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking that massage gadgets will help you lose weight. Don’t fall for that marketing gimmick.