As individuals, our body responds to massage differently. For example, some of us fall asleep easily during a massage, while some of us are able to stay awake throughout. In most cases though, we feel thirsty after a massage. Our good therapist would always have a glass of water ready for us when the rub-down is done.
Ever wonder what is happening?
How massage works
Using mainly hands, palms and fingers, our therapist carries out the physical manipulation of our body tissues, through a series of strokes, presses, pumps, rolling, tapping and so on. These movements have effects on our body systems , one of which is the circulatory system.
In our circulatory system, nutrients are delivered to various parts of our body, and wastes are drained out. This takes place in a continual cycle. Our body tissues are a mix of nutrients, oxygen, water, and also waste. They are also in continual state of renewal. In less optimal body systems, renewal is poor and less healthy tissues start to accumulate.
Effect of Massage on our internal circulation
Massage stimulates our internal circulation. It makes the nutrients and waste move faster. The physical contact and movements also breaks up the “stickiness” that have formed in less healthy tissues.
The increased circulation draws more water from our blood stream. A massage could be as good as a workout in which our muscles use a lot of oxygen and water available to produce the energy required. The result? We feel thirsty.
What about the “stickiness”? As the “stickiness” break up, more blood can flow in, improving the state of the muscle. However, as the adhesive tissues open up, an influx of trapped metabolic waste are also released. These wastes are then processed and filtered through our kidneys. So our kidneys work harder, and we go to the toilet more often.
Generally, after a massage, our body system is akin to being turbo-charged. Things move at faster rate, if not more efficiently. Having said that, too much too soon could also lead to discomfort and fatigue.
Thirst is one of the various post-massage effects
Besides feeling thirsty, other symptoms of post massage effects include dry mouth, dizziness, dry mouth, feeling weak, flushed skin, muscle soreness.
What can we do?
Very simple – stay hydrated. Take regular sips of water to help your body absorb nutrients and flush out the waste. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they are dehydrating and diuretic (makes you urinate even more). Rest for the day and next, to let your body restore itself as much as possible.
The main reason of hydrating after a massage is because your body is using more water and faster. We need to replenish our water store before fatigue sets in.
However, do bear in mind that, whether you are getting a massage or not, we need to practice good water intake EVERY DAY. Water, which takes up 60% of our body, is vital to every body chemistry and mechanics to keep us healthy and strong.