Massage and Detoxification
Ever wonder why whenever you get a massage your massage therapist is constantly reminding you to drink plenty of water? Or telling you to try and take it easy for the rest of the day? You may have heard that a massage helps your body detox. Well this detoxification process can make you feel tired and lethargic and staying hydrated is your best defense!
During your massage your muscles and other tissues are rhythmically kneaded and pressed. This action stimulates your circulatory system and encourages lymph to flow through your body. The lymphatic system is part of your circulatory system and is responsible for moving fluid between your cells and capillaries. It carries away cell waste and supplies nutrients and immune cells to your tissues. This fluid relies on muscle contraction and body movement to circulate throughout your body. This is why massage is so good for stimulating and increasing its flow. Toxins and cellular waste that are stored in your cells are moved into the bloodstream where they can be easily eliminated by your body. At the same time immune cells like white blood cells and lymphocytes are transported to where they are needed to help fight infection.
If you have not been eating well lately, have not been very active or if it’s been a long time since you’ve had a massage the extra lymph flow encouraged by your massage can result in symptoms of detoxification. The list includes headache, fatigue, achy muscles, trouble concentrating, irritability, excess mucus and nausea to name a few. Most people will not have all of these symptoms but if your body is overdue for a detox you may experience one or more of them. It’s important to recognize that it is completely normal and to simply give yourself time to rest and maybe drink a couple extra glasses of water. You can also relax in an epsom salt bath to pull out toxins through the skin.This will help shorten the duration of your symptoms.
Helping your body to detox is very important to lasting health and wellness. We all come into contact with toxic substances in our environment whether it’s from the food we eat, the water we drink or the air we breathe. Over time the body begins to function less than optimally. There are many signs that our body is ready for a detox such as digestive disturbances, chronic skin conditions, depression, low energy, trouble sleeping, recurrent and prolonged headaches and even allergies. Many experts recommend a detox at least once per year. There are many ways of doing this including juice fasts, raw food diets, supplements, cutting out processed foods and more. So if you’ve been thinking of starting a detox program a massage is a great way to jump start the process! Here is a link with instructions for a gentle one to three day cleanse if you are so inclined: (http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10376/3-day-gentle-cleansing-detox-meal-plan.html) And even if you are not planning on cleansing a massage is still a great way to get a lot of the benefits in a short amount of time.