As massage therapists we’re taught that massage releases toxins and that we have to recommend our clients to drink plenty of water so those toxins can be washed out. But when you do research, it’s hard to find specific studies supporting this notion, if you define toxins as poisons in your body. What you can find though is that massage helps the body release its waste products, which in great abundance can become toxic, or at least harmful to your muscles.
Simplified, our muscles take in nutrition from the blood and release waste products. As we use our muscles these waste products are transported away and eventually exits the body. But if a muscle can’t work properly, is tense and stiff, with knots stopping the flow and so on, the transportation of waste products is slowed down. The system doesn’t function optimally.
Massage helps normalize the muscles and thereby their natural functions and the functions of the system. So a good massage helps the muscles to remove their waste products.
Circulation is also improved by massage, and this is where water comes into the equation. If we’re dehydrated, water is lacking in the body and it influences our bodily liquids. By drinking lots of water we improve the circulation. We all know how drinking a lot of water makes us urinate more. The kidneys have the function of cleansing the liquid in the body and via the urine releases the natural waste products.
There are several reasons to drink water after a massage.
Firstly, you become slightly dehydrated from lying on the table in a hot room and need to refill your tanks.
Secondly, water assists the body to remove waste products and improves circulation.
And Finally, it’s nice with a glass of cold fresh water afterwards to wake up and come back to reality on.
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Thank you for your comment. I'm always happy when people find my postings useful and they can help them improve their wellness.
Thanks for the post. “Toxins” and “poisons” are terms thrown around often enough in massage. It is nice to have a good, simple explanation of what they mean and how they relate.
Thank you for your comment. I agree there is a lot of confusion and inconsistent use of words and expressions when it comes to these things. Some is possibly scare-campaigns, others lack of understanding and education. After all, it is easier to say there's poisons in our body that is removed, than going in and think about how the body works, the mechanisms and what it is that's removed.