You know the drill. After a massage you are always told to make sure you drink plenty of water. Almost obnoxiously so EVERY TIME by your massage therapist. But WHY?!? There is always the elusive answer, because you need to flush out toxins . But what does that actually mean? Am I more toxic after a massage? Did my massage therapist just rub out all my toxins that were mysteriously trapped in my muscles? Are they just free flowing in my body waiting to wreak havoc on my system if i don't re-hydrate?!?
If you are anything like me, then you question every little thing when it comes to why you should or should not do something. I think it is half rebellion and half knowledge seeking. Regardless, I believe it is always a good thing to know why. So in the spirit of "WHY" I am going to explain our reasoning behind the importance of drinking water.
Think with me for a moment about your typical morning. Most of us start the day with a hot cup of fresh brewed coffee. Then we get ready for work, we run around feeding and watering animals, then we prepare breakfast, prepare lunches, help get the kids and our other half ready for the day. We try and clean up a little before running out the door as fast as we can so we wont be late. We get in our cars, take a deep breath and try to re-group from the morning chaos. This is our daily routine everyday and it is only 9am. If you start your day out like most people with STRESS and CAFFEINE, Raise your hand!
Coffee is an evil necessity for most of us. Unfortunately, Caffeine dehydrates us. So all those sodas, teas, chocolate, etc, are depleting our bodies of hydration that is vital for our systems to function properly.
When our bodies are functioning poorly we feel sluggish and achy. Our muscles and joints hurt. We get headaches, our digestion slows down. Stress also creates these symptoms as well. We breathe in toxins from the air, absorb them through our skin and have bad eating habits. All of this contributes to why we feel crummy at times.
Massage therapy relaxes us, it breaks up that "stuck" feeling in our muscles caused by toxins and lack of blood flow, it brings circulation to areas that need it and as a result we feel little to no pain afterwards. It helps to activate our bodies ability to detox and heal.
Water helps to detox us by supporting the kidneys. The kidney's filter out toxins through the urine. The more you drink the more you pee. It's not rocket science, we all know this to be true. The more you can eliminate and hydrate, the better you feel. this is why drinking water is one of the best ways to lengthen the benefits of your massage. A helpful tip I learned in massage school is to take your body weight and divide it in half, that is the amount of ounces you should be drinking of water on a daily basis, and for every cup of caffeine filled liquids you intake, replenish your body with an extra cup of water.
We as massage therapist's want you to feel great long after the hour you spend on our table. So... Stay calm, Eliminate & Hydrate!