After medical procedures, doctors typically give their patients instructions for what they should do when they get home. For instance, some patients who undergo surgery may need bed rest, while others may need to go to physical therapy and perform light exercises.
Most people don’t think of a massage as a medical procedure. Still, since it impacts a body’s functions, there are actions you should take after a massage to get the most out of it. Some people stretch after a massage. Others take a warm bath. But one thing everyone should do after a massage is drink plenty of water.
What Happens To the Body During Massage?
To understand why you need to drink water after a massage, you need to understand what is happening in the body during a massage. As a massage therapist works your muscles, blood flow increases throughout the body. As the blood flows, the body flushes out toxins, and the liver metabolizes them. Massage also stretches muscles and joints to improve elasticity.
These things provide health benefits for you; however, they can potentially have adverse side effects. Fortunately, drinking water will mitigate most of these.
Massage and Dehydration
Water performs several roles in the body, including aiding with circulation and liver function. Because massage helps kick-start those functions, the body uses more water throughout the process, which can lead to post-massage dehydration.
Dehydration is more than simply feeling thirsty. In extreme cases, it can lead to headaches, lightheadedness, or dizziness. For that reason, most professionals recommend drinking water before and after a massage.
Massage and Muscles Soreness
When you stretch and work your muscles at the gym, you often experience delayed-onset muscle soreness. This soreness, which occurs several hours after exercise, also sometimes occurs after a massage. As with DOMs, post-massage soreness results from a massage therapist manipulating muscles in ways they aren’t used to, but drinking water can decrease these effects.
Water energizes the muscles with electrolytes, lubricates the joints, and helps tiny muscle tears heal faster. This helps keep the delayed soreness from creeping in. The more massages you receive, the less likely you are to experience post-massage soreness. So if this is your first time, you need to drink water after your massage even more.
Whether you’re heading to a parlor or settling in with a truMedic massager at home, nothing beats the reinvigorating effects of a massage. But taking the time to drink water afterward will ensure that your experience after the massage is as pleasant as your experience during it.