What Is Air Therapy?

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  • Written By: Malysa Stratton Louk
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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Air therapy, also known as pneumatic compression therapy, is a weight-loss method that uses air pressure to stimulate circulation and flush toxins from the lymphatic system. The dieter lies on a table and is wrapped in an inflatable body glove. A pneumatic compression machine rhythmically applies gentle air pressure to the arms, legs and chest. The idea is that air therapy works with the lymphatic system to eliminate toxins and waste that stymie successful weight-loss efforts. Drainage of the lymphatic system also has shown to help improve a person’s overall wellness, both physically and mentally.

Pneumatic compression machines have been used for decades to treat a variety of lymphatic disorders and to prevent deep vein thrombosis. The inflation and deflation of air pressure cause the blood to circulate in and out of the limbs and increase circulation throughout the body. The increase in circulation helps to break down fat tissue, promotes lymphatic drainage, reduces water retention and helps detoxify the body. Additionally, the massaging affect helps to loosen muscles, relieve tension and increase relaxation, which is necessary for successful weight loss.


In the past, pneumatic compression was available only in a hospital or clinic setting and only for specific conditions. The same technology has become available in spas in the early 21st century as part of weight-loss and stress-reduction programs. Spa air therapy treatments eliminate the need for regular massage therapy by a lymph drainage-trained massage therapist, producing the same results in less time.

Regular spa treatments are generally given from two to three times a week over the course of a month. With increased circulation, lymphatic tissue drainage is increased, which aids in eliminating toxins, metabolic waste and lactic acid. When the body is detoxified, it is better able to eliminate and burn excess fat.

Air therapy treatments should be combined with regular exercise and a proper diet as part of an entire weight-loss program. Pneumatic compression treatments alone will not guarantee weight loss; many people, however, have found success in losing weight when receiving the spa treatments. Dieters should be aware that air therapy is not a regulated or scientifically proven weight-loss program but may accelerate weight loss when it is combined with other methods. Anyone considering air therapy — or any weight-loss program — should consult with a qualified medical provider prior to starting. A sudden increase in circulation and accelerated detoxification may have harmful side effects in some people.


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