Inside Marina Baratashvili’s Signature Body Slimming Massage

Inside Marina Baratashvili’s Signature Body Slimming Massage

There’s a reason why celebrities, models, and socialites frequent Marina Baratashvili’s unassuming massage parlor in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York. There’s a reason they’re grinning and enduring the hour of painful poking, squeezing, twisting and poking. Build a regimen with Baratashvili and she promises longer, leaning muscles, less inflammation, and sculpted skin through her ability to literally penetrate the core of the body’s fascia – the Band of connective tissue under the skin that attaches to and separates muscles and other internal organs.

Don’t get confused. This is not a typical lymphatic drainage massage. Baratashvili has created her own brand of bodywork, and as painful as it is, it works. I visited Baratashvili and endured the session only to feel slimmer, more toned and more energetic than when I arrived. I sat down with Baratashvili to hear how she began her journey into the body and how she learned the secrets to clearing inflammation and her famous water regimen (tip: drink lots of it).


What is your background that led you to develop your own style of massage?

I graduated from Tbilisi Medical Institute in Tbilisi, Georgia. After that, I studied at the First Military Medical University of China. I have worked in a variety of settings including day spas, athletic clubs, private practices, chiropractic clinics and physical therapy offices. But the most important moment in my career was meeting Professor Li Wi Kai when I was in China, Guangzhou. I have been practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine there for a few months. In Guangzhou I realized what I’ve been looking for all my life, what I wanted to do and how I can help people. I have deepened my knowledge of muscles. I decided to find out the secret of muscle gravity and today I am pleased with good results in this direction.

When I returned to Georgia, I worked closely with the Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theater and for more than a decade formed a close bond with its leading actor Nina Ananiashvili, who was also a prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theatre. I also spent two months each year with the Japan Art Ballet Company during this period.

What makes your lymphatic drainage massage different from other similar massages?

I can say that I have developed my own style. My training in human movement and my own experience as a dancer have helped me understand how the body works and heals, and deepened my understanding of how to help people recovering from injuries or suffering from chronic pain. Beyond the simple massage, my unique treatment relieves chronic pain, soothes tired and sore muscles, relaxes the body, calms the nervous system, reduces swelling and accelerates the elimination of metabolic waste. I often use cupping during my procedures. Cupping removes toxins and improves blood flow through the veins and arteries. Cupping has a detoxifying effect. I have found that massage is an ever evolving way to learn about healing the body, mind and spirit.


After my treatment you can see immediately how the shapes and contours of the muscles have changed. In addition, I can see a difference in the mood of my customers – they are happier, the skin quality is better, the radiant skin is easy to recognize. I can describe my method as a combination of body sculpting, lymph drainage and deep tissue massage.

You do both lymphatic drainage and cupping….

This combination supports the lymphatic system in maintaining the body’s fluid balance, blood circulation and immune mechanisms. The system’s network of vessels and nodes contains lymph, a mixture of water, proteins, components of the immune system, waste products, and other remnants of cellular metabolism. Lymph nodes, which filter out debris, are located throughout the body. These large collections of lymph nodes ensure that the lymph passes through as many nodes as possible before returning to the circulatory system. For most of us, the body is perfectly capable of emptying itself. But illness, poor diet, lack of exercise, and other problems can compromise the system, leading to a need for assisted lymphatic drainage.

Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy based on the belief that stagnant blood and bad energy can cause certain health problems. In cupping, cupping glasses are placed on the skin to create suction.


I use cupping to treat chronic pain, back pain and to improve circulation. Cupping helps to form new connective tissue and create new blood vessels in the tissue. After cupping, the color of the marks varies from person to person and this is also additional information as to what kind of problem there might be.

When will you see changes in your body?

Depending on your physical condition and desired results, the frequency of your sessions will vary. I can say that you can get real results in 24 hours or less. However, lasting results depend on the regularity of your massage sessions. For example, if you feel exhausted, tired and stressed, lymphatic drainage is a great way to restore your body. Detoxing your weight loss system or restoring your immune system can be a little more complicated. This is because many of the results depend on you and your commitment to a healthier lifestyle. If you receive sessions of lymphatic massage and then continue to eat poorly or not exercise, it may not be as beneficial as it could be for you.

You can’t change everything in one day, especially when it comes to muscles. It’s a really long and hard process. I need time to work on the muscles until they become flexible, after which I can sculpt them to remove the dead epithelium, increase oxygenation and restore blood flow. This enables the muscles to function properly. The good news about aging muscle is that you can build it back even if you’re middle-aged or older. I often tell my clients that muscles don’t have to age.


What is your recommendation for someone who wants to lose weight?

My recommendation for any lymphatic massage treatment for weight loss or immune system support is to have sessions at least twice a week for the first month, tapering to once a week after three months for maintenance. 10 to 15 sessions are usually required for results.

My clients have different problems and goals when they come to me. I use lymphatic drainage massage techniques to reduce swelling and improve circulation. A well-functioning lymphatic system is vital to overall health.

What are the additional benefits of your massage?

My massage technique is effective for pain relief, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, skin conditions, cellulite, allergies, headaches and other issues. Some clients come to me after cosmetic surgery to reduce swelling and flush anesthesia byproducts from the body.


A few days after the massage, my clients feel like they have extra energy. They can exercise without pain and they have felt a surge of energy. You are no longer bloated.

Talk to me about your water cure….

Staying well hydrated is essential to good health. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps, fatigue, lack of energy, and other problems. I can always tell if you haven’t been keeping up with your daily water intake.

Water in the morning is important because the kidney meridian is actively working at this time. Metabolic waste products are removed via the liver. These early morning hours are considered the “golden hours”.


My recommendation is the combination of classic Eastern European water technology and Japanese water therapy. Based on personal experience, here is my recommended drinking water schedule. Drink two liters in the morning before 2 p.m. Drink another liter from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. After 5 p.m., only sip water for the rest of the evening.

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