There's nothing like getting a massage and finally being able to relax.
The benefits of a massage have long been touted by massage therapists, doctors, and enthusiasts alike.
A good, deep massage can dramatically reduce feelings of stress, send out a nice boost of endorphins, and could even help treat soft tissue injuries, strains, and lower back pain.
Your self-care doesn't stop when you leave your massage therapist's office, it should go on well after you leave.
The need for water
If you want to bring your self-care to the next level, drink water after massage.
There's a reason why your massage therapist will tell you to have some extra water after you finish your massage session. Human bodies need a lot of water to function, and the more you drink the better you'll feel!
Before we get into why you should drink water after massage, we're going to spend some time talking about the importance of water.
You know that the human body needs water, but just how much do you think you need a day?
Ideally, people should drink 2.1L-2.6L of water a day.
We get water in our food and from drinks, but sometimes it isn't easy to get what you need.
Choosing to drink water after massage is important, but so is remembering to keep up a healthy intake of water.
Despite our great need for water, there are a lot of Australians that aren't getting what they need to stay healthy and hydrated.
According to a study done by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, people are only drinking 1.29L of water a day.
Dehydration can cause a lot of health problems. When most people think of the medical condition they envision being in hospitals and hooked up to IVs. The everyday symptoms of dehydration can be much less dramatic, but still as severe.
Do you feel like you have a slight headache, or maybe even achy muscles? Does your skin feel dry? Are you craving sugary foods?
You may not just be having an off day, those could be symptoms of dehydration.
We lose water in a variety of ways throughout the day. Sweating, going to the bathroom, and even just breathing can slowly deplete our body's water.
The benefits of H2O
Know that you know how your body can react to a lack of water, it's time learn about how good hydration can feel.
When your body has enough water, you're probably going to notice that you feel better physically and possibly even mentally.
Water is so plain, but it can work wonders in your body.
Water is in our cells and helps make a lot of important fluids. These fluids help us digest food and absorb nutrients, keep our body the right temperature, aid in circulation, and do can do so much more.
It also helps keep our most vital tissues moist. Our bones, muscles and even our brain need to stay hydrated so they can properly function. Water can even help protect the spinal cord and be a lubricant and cushion for our joints.
Drinking water can also help you lose weight.
Sometimes feelings of hunger and thirst can be very similar. You may think you're hungry, but your body is actually craving water and not food.
Drinking more water can help lessen food cravings. Giving up soda, juice, and other sugary beverages in favor of water can also help cut down on the calories you eat.
Why you need to drink water after massage
Now that you know the benefits of water, we can talk about why you should drink water after massage.
It all comes down to toxins. Water is one of our main allies in the fight to keep our bodies free of toxins.
A good massage can help increase blood circulation, and also circulation in the lymphatic system.
Blood needs plenty of water to keep it moving so it can keep bringing oxygen and vital nutrients to your tissues, organs, and muscles. It can also help flush away wastes that are created by cells in those areas.
The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in maintaining the body’s immune system. One of the ways it does this involves removing toxins.
Without the right amount of water, the lymphatic system can start to slow down and underperform.
A sluggish lymph system can lower your immunity, and could even cause problems like aches, pains, and general fatigue.
A massage can help unleash toxins that have built up in your body.
Have you ever wondered why you sometimes feel like you really have to go to the bathroom after a massage? That’s just your body doing its job and flushing away toxins!
This is why it’s crucial to drink water after massage. You need to make sure that you flush those troublesome toxins out of your body.
Remember to drink water the right way
Hopefully, you noticed that we recommend that you drink water after massage, not simply drink fluids.
Coffee, tea, juice, soda and alcoholic beverages may taste good, but they don't do a good job of keeping your body hydrated.
Drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol are actually diuretics, meaning that they make you urinate often. You won't have time to absorb water, you'll end up expelling it before you can properly hydrate.
It's also a good idea to drink a bit more water than usual. Your body will need a good amount of water to flush out toxins effectively.
You don't have to drink a large amount, just an extra glass or two can do wonders for rehydrating your body.
Whether you're getting a massage to lessen your back pain or unwind after a long week, it's important that you take care of yourself after your massage session.
You should drink water after massage to keep yourself hydrated and flush out toxins, but there are other things you can do to care for yourself when you're done.
When you've finished your latest massage session, remember to do these simple aftercare tips.
Avoid strenuous exercise
Your body just went through a very relaxing experience. Your muscles are loose and may not be up for any intense physical activity.
If you're feeling energized after your massage and want to blow off some steam, do something gentle.
Consider doing a few after massage stretches. It'll feel great to use your muscles again, and the gentle movements can help stimulate them.
If you have a lot of energy, do a yoga class.
Consider meditating or having a moment of quiet self-reflection
When you drink water after massage you're helping your body rehydrate. Your mind may need to re-fuel after a massage, and your mental health will need some extra attention after your session.
One of the main reasons why people love getting a massage is their ability to alleviate stress and tension.
After a massage, your mind may feel more relaxed and clear than it has in weeks or months. That's why post massage is the ideal time to meditate.
Meditation is a great way to relax and keep your post-massage mood up. If you don't have experience with meditation, you can do something simple to center your mind.
Simply go a to a quiet place and turn off your thoughts for a bit. Don't worry about your job, the house, or your kids or spouse, just take some time to think about you and how you feel.
Think about how relaxed and at peace you are at that very moment. When you get that feeling, remember to think about that moment the next time you need to relax.
Be aware of your body
You're going to feel great after you get your massage, but there may be certain things that feel a little different.
Do you feel like you're more limber? Can you stretch farther than you have in weeks? Do you feel like certain problem areas feel better?
Or, do you feel the opposite?
A back, neck or other areas that were heavily focused on during the massage may feel a little tender. You may feel like an area feels a little bit better, but that overall something could still be improved.
These are all important things to take note of after you finish your massage. Bring them up during your next massage appointment.
Your massage therapist may be able to better treat you, or find even better ways to build on your good experience.
Eat something light
You did drink water after massage, and now that you're hydrated you could use a little snack.
You may be a little hungry after your massage, but you shouldn't eat a big meal.
A big meal after an intense massage may be a bit too heavy on your stomach. You shouldn't eat a lot of food, and you may not want to eat heavy food either.
Consider eating a healthy snack after you get your massage. Fruits, vegetables, or some yogurt can satisfy your hunger and still be nutritious.
What about you?
Do have a massage aftercare ritual you follow after your appointment? Is there a certain amount of water you feel always hits the spot?
We want to know your aftercare tips, and so do our readers! Tell us about them in our comments section.