Why Hydration is Essential in Massage
We’ve all heard the importance of staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day. Medical professionals usually advise the normal person to drink around eight glasses daily, and it’s not uncommon to see people carrying around colorful water bottles, while athletes are often seen carrying around entire gallons of water to drink over the course of a day.
But did you know that staying hydrated is also essential when you receive a massage? Read on to learn the role of hydration in massage therapy.
Hydration and Health
Water is vital to the overall health of our bodies and most of the functions our bodies perform. Water makes up 60% of the adult human body and 90% of our blood. In short, we can’t live without it.
Considering how much water makes up our existence, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s important to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water not only fights off thirst and dehydration, but helps your body regulate your temperature, maintain a healthy blood pressure, transport fluids to your various organs, flush out toxins, and produce the fluids necessary for many internal functions.
Drinking water helps cushion most of our organs, as well. Water aids in the production of saliva, which is responsible for keeping our tongues, throats, and eyes moist and functioning properly. It also helps to lubricate and cushion the joints, lessening the likelihood that you’ll experience joint pain or injury.
Drinking water is also good for the skin. The water you drink helps to hydrate your skin which keeps it healthy; dehydrated skin is more prone to disorders, issues, and wrinkles. The skin is the largest organ in the body with receptors that transmit feelings of positive and negative touch to our brains and plays an important role in our social communication and development, so keeping it healthy is extremely important.
Water helps with our cognitive functions, too. Water cushions the brain and spine, carries nutrients to the brain, flushes toxins from the brain, helps with the production of the hormones and neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin - the feel-good hormones - and assures that those hormones and neurotransmitters function correctly. Staying hydrated is linked to better moods, clearer and faster decision making, better concentration, increased alertness, and even higher testing scores in academic settings. So if you find it hard to concentrate during the day or your mind feels foggy, it might be a sign that you’re experiencing dehydration.
Dehydration can affect your daily functioning in other ways, too, by causing symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, depression, or anxiety. Even your ability to sleep can be affected by your hydration levels. Often any “off” feeling in your body can be a sign of dehydration.
Your body loses water throughout the day through its normal processes like sweating, breathing, crying, and urinating, so it’s important to drink water throughout the day to replenish what it loses to keep everything functioning properly.
Hydration and Massage
It’s important to bookend any massage session with added water intake. When you schedule a massage, we advise that it’s important to hydrate not only after the session but before in preparation for your appointment.
You’ll need to increase your water intake before a massage to ensure your muscles are properly hydrated. Hydrated muscles are softer, and softer muscles are much more pliable and easier to manipulate during a massage than dehydrated muscles, which usually become rigid. Rigid muscles will require extra pressure to work on during a massage, which could result in added soreness for you afterward.
After your massage, you’ll want to hydrate more than usual, as well.
Our muscle cells create and store metabolic waste - the leftover particles that go unused in the cells’ everyday functions and turn into toxins - which are removed from our bodies by the lymphatic system. When you receive a message, the manipulation of the muscles stimulates the lymphatic system into releasing and processing these toxins more quickly than the body is used to, which is great for the overall health of your body, but the release of these toxins can lead to muscle soreness or can leave you feeling a little unwell. But drinking water post-massage can help your body flush out these toxins more quickly, which can lead to a vast improvement in how you feel following your massage.
The amount of water your body needs can vary from person to person, so if you’re not sure how much more water to add to your hydration routine before and after a massage session, discuss this with your massage therapist or primary care provider prior to your appointment.
Mindful Touch Cares About Your Whole Body Wellness
At Mindful Touch Massage, we’re passionate about promoting total body wellness. Pairing massage therapy with a great hydration routine can not only help your body feel better but function better as well. Book a massage session with us to refresh your body and soul.
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