Why you should drink water before and after your massage sessions.
After a massage your Therapist will probably politely suggest that you drink some water in the office before you leave and continue consuming water throughout the day. This leaves many clients wondering why we do that. So we thought we would explain the process by which massage therapycauses you to become dehydrated.
Healthy muscle tissue is very supple and spongy with lots of capillaries (tiny blood vessels) ending in the tissue where the transfer of oxygen and nutrients are released and where metabolic waste products like lactic acid are picked up and carried away through the venous system. Think Fillet Mignon.
Unhealthy muscle tissue is tight and tough which doesn’t allow for good blood flow and lymphatic drainage through it and doesn’t have easy movement. With decreased blood perfusion metabolic wastes like lactic acid will begin to build up. Think Beef Jerky!
Muscle tissue can become tight in this way for a variety of reasons. Most commonly it is tension from stress, tension from poor posture, or from injury and/or overuse.
In unhealthy muscle tissue your body will begin to form fibrous adhesion’s in the muscle and connective tissue. It is these adhesion’s along with metabolic waste build up that cause deep tissue massage to be painful. Lymphatic drainage is also effected leading to increased potential for infection and illness. And if that’s wasn’t enough you can develop high blood pressure because that blood doesn’t have anywhere else to go. Kind of like if you have a hose running and you bend it in half “kink it” the pressure in the hose before the kink will go up. There is the same amount of water flowing with a smaller area to go though.
So what has all this got to do with drinking water before & after a massage?
Your massage therapist is trained to find these areas of tight “sick” muscle and they know exactly how to work into it to get the blood flowing again. As that happens your blood will again start delivering oxygen and fluids to the muscle tissue. Any amount of water that is transferred to the muscle is removed from your blood stream effectively causing the percentage of water in your blood stream to decrease = dehydration. At the same time your muscles are releasing the built up metabolic wastes into your blood stream. In severe cases clients can even become nauseated or feel light headed from this double whammy! Proper hydration is more than just drinking plenty of water. If the water you drink can’t make it to all the cells in your body due to lack of blood perfusion it won’t really matter how much water you drink. Healthy muscle tissue is the key here!