As a Massage Therapist, I first noticed the impact that water after a massage has while I was working at Tapatio Springs Resort. I would offer water to my clients, and they would drink some, then head to the pool to have fun and, most of the time, drink alcohol. That has been my only experience when a client has reported not feeling too well the same day of a massage.
There’s no doubt that it is important to drink water after a massage. Our bodies are so perfectly designed, they know what to store, what to remove and how to use all of that to function. That is a good thing because we are faced with physiological processes and environmental pollutants, that our body must deal with daily. And though it has been a popular explanation, our muscles don’t store toxins and we don’t need water to flush toxins out of our body.
What Does Our Body Do with Toxins?
Most likely, after a massage, you have been told that you need to drink water to flush out the toxins from your body. That is a myth.
Our body is set up with six systems (Endocrine, Immune, Lymphatic, Reproductive, Skeletal and Urinary) that help us to breathe, keep moving, eat and digest food. It is within those systems that our body is able to handle environmental and body-produced toxins. Environmental toxins are found in our water, air, soil, homes, cars, places of employment and just about anywhere. When these toxins enter our body, they are excreted, stored or bio-transformed. Bio-transformation is a chemical change that the body uses to eliminate or store chemical substances; the liver, kidneys and lungs are the primary bio-transforming organs. If the body cannot effectively break down these chemical substances, they cumulate and are stored in tissues, not the muscles.
The primary sites for accumulation of these chemical substances are in the adipose tissue, bone, liver and kidneys.
That would be awesome if massage were to help in the removal of these toxins, but it doesn’t. Not even lactic acid.
Why Does Our Body Need Water After Massage?
Massage Therapy is the manipulation of soft tissue, and that dehydrates the muscles. In explanation, that means that the pressure applied to the muscles will increase the blood and lymph circulation. This circulation causes the fluid to pump out of the soft tissue and into the circulatory system, naturally moving onto the kidneys. That is why, often, we need to urinate after massage.
The reason we need to drink water after massage is simple, to restore the water that was lost in the muscle tissue during massage. Our body is amazing, and it is capable of anything we put our mind to. Take the best care of your body and keep the juices flowing!