Massage as a way to stay slim is Martine De Richville’s area of expertise. If that weren’t enough to convince you to book regular treatments with her, her practice, which involves using her hands as the only tool, also works to release toxins, reduce cellulite, and increase metabolism. Her unique technique was developed as a result of studying psychology and then Chinese medicine, and aims to heal the body and the mind harmoniously. It’s safe to say Martine knows a lot about what constitutes a healthy body inside and out.

For the fourth installment of our French Guru series, Martine clues us in on maintaining muscle health, the benefits of massage (beyond general enjoyment) and overall wellness. And bonus! Is total justification for booking that massage you’ve been thinking about.

What is your philosophy on massage therapy?
In my opinion, massage should work on both your body and your mind at the same time. The idea is to bring your body and mind back into harmony with one another.

Have you ever struggled with keeping a balanced and healthy diet, and did you notice it affect your overall life?
I’ve found a way to keep a healthy diet and have a social life at the same time. For one thing, I do a detox one day per week using fruit and vegetable juices. I also stick to certain food pairings that help me burn fat more easily and maintain a balanced metabolism – the idea is to avoid eating certain foods together. For example, I avoid eating acidic foods with starchy foods. It’s also important to make sure you are eating in a way that will provide you with enough energy for your day.

Your massage technique is focused on body slimness – what was your motivation behind this specific type of massage?
My massage technique is focused on staying slim, but the goal is to get clients to take control of their own bodies and change their behaviors.

How exactly does massage play a role in staying slim?
Massage helps you stay slim because it stimulates the metabolism and revives your circulation.

Do women in France have different approaches or concerns regarding staying slim than women from America or elsewhere?
French women have a different relationship with their bodies than American women do. French women want their bodies to be long and lean. French women are a lot less athletic than American women, but they have a more balanced diet. There’s a kind of cultural awareness with women in France, while American women find it easier to include sports in their daily lives.

Did your background in psychology lead or inspire you into becoming a masseuse?
My psychology background helped me understand why fatty tissues settle in certain areas. I got into the habit of getting massages from a very young age, which helped me understand what kind of massage I would like to receive. That’s how I thought of and created my own remodeling massage technique.

Many people see massage therapy as a luxury, and not necessarily as a vehicle for health and wellness – is this completely true in France or is the practice as a whole seen more as a lifestyle?
Massage is often thought of as a luxury, but a quality massage can actually make a huge contribution to your well-being. It affects the circulation of your blood, lymph and energy, which has a therapeutic effect. This awareness of the body has been around for centuries in Eastern cultures and it’s finally making its way to the West.

Are there certain foods that help maintain muscle health?
Eating protein regularly is necessary if you want good muscle tone. Soy-based proteins, tofu, fish and vegetable proteins are especially good for the body and muscle tone. Personally, I eat a lot of fish.

Does posture (or other day to day body functions) and massage therapy go hand in hand?
Reshaping through massage helps lengthen and lighten your silhouette. It releases tension, which indirectly improves posture. When you feel good, your posture changes. You stand up straighter and feel more confident.

How often does one need to get a massage from you for the results to be effective?
Reshaping massages should be done at least once or twice per week. Results are visible after about 4 sessions.