There is no experience quite as relaxing as heading to your local spa or beauty parlor to indulge in a wonderful massage from a trained therapist. The scents, the music and the techniques all add up to an incredibly relaxing experience.
In many places, they will offer you a glass of water before your massage begins, and most definitely afterwards, telling you to sit quietly and drink it before you get up to get ready to leave – and there are several reasons why this is important.
Drinking water before your massage
Water is important generally for good health, and if your body is well hydrated it heals better, so if you go into your massage fully hydrated, your muscles will be in a better state for the therapist to be able to manipulate them.
If you are dehydrated when you start on the massage table, the chances are you will feel rather dizzy or end up with a headache after you have undergone your treatment, so to make the most of your massage appointment, be sure to drink well before it begins.
Massages are dehydrating
After your massage, every therapist will advise you to drink water and this is because the whole process of massaging the body is dehydrating and you need to put that fluid back into your body to avoid getting a headache and feeling unwell.
The techniques of manipulating and working all of your muscles helps to pump the fluid you’re your tissue and out into your wider system. This fluid will naturally move towards the kidneys, which is why many people feel dehydrated but also need the toilet straight after a massage.
Massages flush out toxins
Another reason to drink water after a massage is to help your body to flush out all the extra toxins and waste which a massage produces within your system. By using pressure on your body a massage increases your body’s output of carbon dioxide, salt and other elements.
With all of these things circulating through your body you will be left feeling tired and dehydrated so drinking water helps to encourage them to pass through your body and out as waste, making you feel much better.
The other thing that happens during a massage is your tight muscles are released, as that’s the most common reason for having a massage in the first place. Releasing these tight muscles produces more metabolic waste in the body.
Drinking more water helps your kidneys to process all of this extra waste and to get it out of your body by helping you to pee more, to release it. Massaging the head, neck and shoulders is also known to drive out toxins because the lymphatic system is stimulated. If you don’t drink you could end up with a nasty headache.
As muscles are released, anything that had been trapped within that tension could be released into your system and drinking water straight after will help to flush that out from your body. There are many discussions in the scientific world about the claim that a massage releases toxins, and not enough scientific proof to come to a specific conclusion.
However, what is true, is that drinking water is good for you no matter what the situation, so if you feel light-headed, or dizzy or have a headache after a massage, whether it’s due to the relief of the tension, or whether it is due to the toxins, drinking water will certainly help your body recover and it won’t do you any harm.
If you have any worries about the effects of massage on your body then you should speak to your massage therapist before you go in for any kind of treatment and they will be able to answer questions and provide you with all the reassurance you need.
There is no doubt that feeling dehydrated is very unpleasant, and that having a massage is a lovely and relaxing experience, so drinking water both before and after, to make sure you get the most out of it, seems to be a sensible option whether you back the toxins argument or not.
There are a number of reasons for drinking water after a massage, firstly because the actual process of massaging your body can make you need the toilet and leave you dehydrated, and secondly, because of the belief that manipulating the body can release harmful toxins into your system, which you need to flush away to get the full benefit of the treatment.
With most people failing to drink enough water during the day as a rule, any reason to encourage us to drink more water has to be a good thing and if it makes your massage even more enjoyable and even more relaxing then it’s an added bonus.