Why water is so important?
The reason drinking water is so important: The human body is made up of 75 percent fluid and 25 percent substance. Substance being flesh, muscles, and body organs. In order for the body to function normally it has to have fluid. Every time you sweat, cry, sneeze, and urinate your body is using up and losing body fluid. So it only makes sense to drink water to replace what you are losing.
You need to drink lots of water after your massage. In general, the body benefits from proper hydration anyways, but after your massage it is very important to drink lots of water. Consuming water will help the kidneys and other organs process the various substances which move through our bodies on a regular basis. Drinking water before and after a massage is recommended, as it makes it easier for your Massage Therapist to perform deep work, because the muscles are easier to manipulate. (Think Dry Sponge vs. Wet Sponge)
During a good massage, the muscles are stimulated, blood is circulated throughout the whole body, and water, salt and other minerals are released. Having a glass of water helps your body dispose of any accumulated materials in the muscles. By providing the body with plenty of water, you can sweep away those pesky waste materials.
Most importantly, massage can be dehydrating, believe it or not. The manipulation of the muscles dehydrates them and moves around the fluid, in the interstitial spaces between the muscles. By drinking water, you can reduce the potential for pain and soreness in the days following a massage.
Benefits of massage
Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.
While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage helpful for:
- Stress relief
- Managing anxiety and depression
- Blood pressure control
- Infant growth
- Sports-related injuries
- Boosting immunity
- Cancer treatment
Risks of massage
Massage is generally safe as long as it's done by a trained massage therapist. But massage isn't appropriate for everyone. Discuss massage with your doctor first in cases of:
- Unexplained pain or other symptoms
- Burns or open wounds
- Blood clots
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Severe osteoporosis
Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn't be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn't feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage
What you can expect during a massage
You don't need any special preparation for massage. Before a massage therapy session starts, your massage therapist should ask you about any symptoms, your medical history and what you're hoping to get out of massage. Your massage therapist should explain the kind of massage and techniques he or she will use.
In a typical massage therapy session, you undress or wear loose fitting clothing. Undress only to the point that you're comfortable. You generally lie on a table and cover yourself with a sheet. You can also have a massage while sitting in a chair, fully clothed. Your massage therapist should perform an evaluation through touch to locate painful or tense areas and to determine how much pressure to apply.
If you want, your massage therapist may use oil or lotion to reduce friction on your skin. Tell your massage therapist if you might be allergic to any ingredients.
A massage session may last from 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of massage and how much time you have. No matter what kind of massage you choose, you should feel calm and relaxed during and after your massage. Pain that's more significant than momentary discomfort could indicate that something's wrong. If a massage therapist is pushing too hard, ask for lighter pressure. Occasionally you may have a sensitive spot in a muscle that feels like a knot. It's likely to be uncomfortable while your massage therapist works it out. But if it becomes painful, speak up.
Finding a massage therapist
Massage can be performed by several types of health care professionals, such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist or massage therapist. Ask your doctor or someone else you trust for a recommendation. Most states regulate massage therapists through licensing, registration or certification requirements.
Don't be afraid to ask a potential massage therapist such questions as:
- Are you licensed, certified or registered?
- What is your training and experience?
- How many massage therapy sessions do you think I'll need?
- What's the cost, and is it covered by health insurance?
Use massage as another health care tool
Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. To the contrary, massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever. You can even learn how to do self-massage or to engage in massage with a partner.