Importance of Hydration Before And After Massage Therapy. Do you wonder why your muscles feel particularly sore after massage therapy? Or why your skin feels warm or flushed when you leave a spa? The answer lies in your body’s hydration. Drinking water before and after a massage can help improve the effectiveness of a good massage.
Read on – Importance of Hydration Before And After Massage Therapy:
To be more accurate, water makes up about 64% of our skin, whereas water makes up 79% of our kidneys and muscles. However, the actual water percentage varies according to gender or age. Babies have the highest rate of water, and as we age, the percentage of water needed in our bodies decreases.
Maintaining a hydrated body is crucial for your overall health in a hot and humid environment like Singapore. Humidity causes the body to sweat more, making the body loses water at a faster rate than in a cold climate.
Massage therapy is one of the most common treatments that our body requires nowadays. It’s beneficial to relieve stress, improve body aches and pains, and improve blood circulation and energy levels. However, you may wonder how hydration relates to a massage.
As you’re now aware, our muscles consist of 79% water. When a massage therapist starts her work, she applies firm pressure to your body that reaches your skin and muscles. Essentially, the therapist presses down on the muscles on your back, legs, arms, and so on.
Imagine your muscles, which contain almost 80% water, to be sponge-like. A sponge is complete when it is soaked in water, whereas a sponge without water is dried up and hard. When a massage therapist puts pressure on your body, she presses into the muscles. Muscles containing enough water will be supple when pressed, whereas muscles lacking enough water will be stiff.
The type of massage will also determine how much pressure is placed on your muscles. The most well-known massages are the Swedish massage, the Thai massage, and the deep tissue massage. In Singapore, the more popular ones are the deep tissue massage and the Thai massage, whereas spa centers offer hot stone massages. The Thai massage and deep tissue massage methods typically require more hydration than a hot stone massage. This is because the former involves deep pressing into the muscles.
Drinking water before a massage therapy session is essential for various reasons.
The first reason is that the person receiving the massage will either feel relaxed or feel pain. Imagine again that your muscles are sponge-like as it consists of almost 80% water. Pressing into stiff muscles containing less water will lead to pain as the pressure points reach the nerves deeper.
Muscle cramps are when they involuntarily tighten without you commanding the muscles to draw them. This is often caused by overuse of the muscles, dehydration, or low levels of minerals in the body. Massaging dehydrated muscles can lead to massage malaise, more accurately referred to as Post Massage Soreness & Malaise (PMSM), which shows flu-like symptoms after a massage.
While a massage stimulates the muscles, applying pressure relaxes them. Just like a sponge, when pressed, the water contained in the forces is released, causing the person to be slightly dehydrated.
It is commonly believed that a massage releases toxins from the body, and drinking water, it will flush out toxins from the body.
The best hydration is plain water. In cases where you feel tired after a massage therapy session, you can opt for an energy drink. An energy drink typically has all the electrolytes and minerals as additives. To ensure you receive the full benefits of massage therapy, be hydrated by drinking plain water before and after a therapy session.