To Drink Water or Not To Drink Water? Removing Toxins with Massage
Detoxification is a recent health craze that has people doing everything from following certain diets to soaking their feet in certain mixtures. Massage is another way, supposedly, to detox your body from built-up chemicals. While you will certainly feel better after a massage, does that mean that your body is free of toxins?
What are toxins?
The body is a self-healing machine. If we do our part to stay hydrated and eat healthy foods, our body can pretty much handle anything we throw at it. Environmental toxins like pollution, chemicals, and processed foods can introduce harmful toxins into our bodies. These types of toxins don’t break down easily and can remain in the body.
Environmental toxins are found in plants, venom, bacteria, fungi, naturally occurring metals and man-made substances like pesticides, fire retardants, and even beauty products. We absorb those toxins by breathing them in or absorbing them directly through our skin. Once inside our body, those toxins can be excreted, stored or bio-transformed into a substance that can be used or eliminated. The liver does the bulk of the bio-transforming work, followed by the kidneys and lungs. Any toxins that can’t be processed get stuck in the liver, kidney, bone and adipose tissue, which causes many health problems. Since massage doesn’t affect those internal organs, it is hard to prove that it actually helps detoxify the body.
There is a school of thought that lymph massage, the massage of lymph glands located in the neck, armpits and groin areas, helps remove toxins. The lymph nodes can be a source of illness if the body is off-balance. Many people think that toxins stored in the lymph nodes can be moved along by lymph massage. The lymph nodes can contain not only environmental toxins but also the body’s normal waste/toxins. Our bodies also produce their own waste/toxins that can build up if an imbalance occurs. These include:
- Catabolic waste - Urea, ammonia and uric acid are released when the body breaks down molecules. Water is necessary to excrete these, so staying hydrated will keep them moving properly.
- Metabolic waste - Carbon dioxide is a waste product when cells use oxygen, and breathing takes care of this waste/toxin.
- Digestive waste - Of course, keeping digestive waste cleaned out requires normal bowel movements.
Does drinking water after massage help?
Everyone knows that staying hydrated is really important for your health, but does drinking water after massage induce toxin-reducing benefits? It is hard to say, based on research, whether toxins are actually released by massage. Drinking water after a massage certainly can’t hurt. Many people feel thirsty after a massage, so water is great for putting your body back in balance. Many spas have made their own signature spa water blend as an added bonus for their clients. If you want more than plain water, add cucumber and mint for a delicious treat. Having a glass of water as part of your massage routine is a healthy way to relax afterward.
Remove toxins by sweating
Drinking water does help remove toxins when it comes to sweating. While it’s not totally clear whether massage removes toxins, it is proven that sweating releases toxins. Heavy sweating during exercise or sauna sessions releases sodium chloride, phosphate, urea, ammonia, sulfates, creatinine, fats, and other waste products. It can definitely help relieve the body of those environmental toxins that get stuck in the body. After intense sweating, water is absolutely necessary to get those toxins moving and stay hydrated. Many people plan to have an intense workout followed by a massage. A hard workout releases stress and toxins through sweat. A massage right after helps relax sore muscles and leaves you feeling calm. There is nothing better you can do for your body!
Massage is a great addition to your self-care and health regimen. Whether you need a massage to deal with stress at work or back pain or you simply want something to look forward to after a long week, it can greatly improve your quality of life. There are so many ways to deal with stress that are unhealthy like overeating and alcohol, but massage is a completely healthy way. Depending on your preferences, there are many different types of massage. Swedish massage is a somewhat intense massage that stimulates blood circulation and releases tension in the muscles. Therapeutic massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, deep tissue massage, chair massage, and hot stone massage are other types of massage that can be very beneficial.
Whether massages remove toxins is yet to be completely proven, but there are so many other mental and physical benefits to consider. Creating a relaxing weekly or monthly ritual is great for your physical and mental health.