From the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Change Your Lifestyle to Address Metabolic Syndrome,” by Michelle Babb, in the June 2010 issue. Article summary: Although massage therapists, as a whole, are probably much more health-conscious than the general population, the stress of running a busy practice and having to grab meals between sessions can lead even this type of health-care professional down the road to overweight—or worse, metabolic syndrome.

by Jonathan Selzer

Just about everyone is concerned with their weight, especially those who find themselves on the heavier side of their ideal poundage. The most important thing is to balance incoming calories (food) with the burning of carbohydrates and fats for energy.

In addition to a balanced diet and regular exercise, there is plenty you can do to lose weight. Dietary supplements offer a great source of botanical substances, which can have positive effects. These strategies can be grouped in the following categories: 

• Appetite suppression: helps stop excessive eating (intake of calories) and reduce cravings.

• Fat and starch blocking: digestion is the breakdown of food into particles that can be absorbed into the bloodstream. The enzymes responsible for digestion can be blocked, reducing the amount of calories absorbed.

• Thermogenesis: the metabolic breakdown of fats and carbohydrates to produce energy.

• Balancing blood sugar levels, so glucose is not converted into fat.

• Digestive aides that help the process of digestion. 

Here are a few of the most commonly used herbs:

• Green tea is one of the most commonly used herbs for weight loss. Its polyphenols are thermogenic and also help block digestive enzymes and balance blood sugar levels.

• Bitter orange is thermogenic and potentates adrenal hormones.

• Garcinia cambogia is thermogenic and used commonly to suppress appetite.

• Ginger root acts as appetite suppressant, is thermogenic and a digestive aide.

• The amino acid L-carnitine is necessary for fat burning. It ferries fatty acids across membranes so they can be burned into energy. 

The ideal product is a liquid combination formula, which utilizes these properties from several sources with great absorption.

Jonathan Selzer, technical director at HerbaSway Laboratories, worked in Germany and France for many years, developing and manufacturing all-natural skin-care products and dietary supplements. In 2001, Selzer returned to the U.S. to devote himself to the development and manufacture of liquid dietary supplements at HerbaSway in Connecticut.