Have you ever been told that you should drink water after a massage to help flush out the toxins that were released during the treatment? If you’re like me you’re likely asking…. Is this a Fact or Myth? As a student therapist, part of the client informed consent is telling the client to drink water following the massage as it flushes toxins from the system….This always puzzled me as we were never given any supporting rationale should the client query the statement.
Flushing toxins from ones system??? Although there is no supporting information to suggest that massage releases toxins, as a student therapist it kind of made sense on the surface but is it really true? I came to the conclusion, after a bit of research that it is, in fact, NOT true.
One must ask….what is a toxin? Caffeine? Nicotine? Sweeteners? What about preservatives that are in most of what we eat, chemical fumes? Maybe even medications? Finally, what about Lactic acid which is a byproduct of metabolism and considered a toxin even though it is naturally produced in the body?
Toxins are substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous to humans. Drinking a caffeinated, artificially sweetened soda or coffee or smoking a cigarette and then expecting that a massage has the ability to rid the body of those toxins seems somewhat unrealistic. Typically, massage is recommended treatment for muscle tightness, pain, stress, mobility issues, injuries or for relaxation.
Massage is NOT a prescription for ridding the body of toxins. The human body naturally rids itself of “toxins” through its metabolic systems, excreting them through the liver, kidneys and digestive system via sweat, urine, feces and even vomit (when you’re sick). A massage does not make these systems perform any differently or more efficiently than normal and there is no scientific evidence proving that a massage affects toxin release in the body.
There are, however, other reasons to drink water after a massage. Kneading and working your muscles gets your fluids pumping out of your muscles and into your circulatory system. From there it heads to your kidneys, which is why many people need to urinate right after a massage. Due to this dehydrating process, you need to replenish the lost water by drinking more. Although massage benefits the body in many ways (pain relief, stress reduction, improves circulation, releases muscular tension, improves joint mobility), there is no evidence that we know of suggesting that it removes toxins from the body.
At Custom Bodies Fitness and Massage, we believe that drinking more water is something many of us need to do, but the idea that it will flush out post-massage toxins is a myth. Want to learn how massage can benefit you? Send me a message through our online contact form.