Why am I told to drink lots of water after my massage and is it really that important?

Yes, it is very important. Our bodies are made up of approximately 70% water. Water is essential for bodily fluids such as blood, cerebral spinal fluid, and amniotic fluid. Intervertebral discs in the spine are also reliant upon water to retain their shock-absorbing qualities and function. Water is also necessary for the liver to filter out the toxins and chemicals from our body, food, and medications.

The reason that massage therapy is so effective is that it physically breaks up the restrictions in the muscle tissue causing pain. Many of these restrictions can contain chemical by-products and metabolic wastes from the body, and with massage they are released into the bloodstream for elimination. In order for the body to properly rid itself of these toxins, there must be an ample amount of water in the system. Drinking water after a treatment ensures that the body is flushing itself of the toxins and helps prevent soreness the day after.

An even better approach is to be properly hydrated prior to your treatment by drinking at least a glass or two in the hours before. If the muscle tissue is properly hydrated, more toxins will be released and less pressure will be used during your treatment making it more enjoyable and more effective. A basic guideline for daily water consumption is as follows: Take your body weight in pounds and divide it by two to get the amount in ounces you should be drinking per day. If you enjoy any de-hydrating beverages (coffee, soda, alcohol, etc.) then add another 8 ounces per serving.