Spring is around the corner and you might discover that you're not feeling as healthy as you should. You may be battling day to day stress, fighting the cold and flu season, or maybe your diet and exercise routines aren’t as productive as you would like. You may realize that you need to detox your body. Unfortunately when we hear the word detox it is accompanied by a long frustrating sigh. We tend to have images in our mind such as fasting, endless supplements, detox water, or smoothies, and quite frankly it's overwhelming. I completely understand the frustration, and as a massage therapist, the question of detoxing comes up quite frequently with my clients. Although I do recommend some of the options listed above, most of my clients are surprised when I tell them they are already one step ahead of the detox game. That’s right, getting regular massages can be one of the easiest and most relaxing ways to rid the body of unwanted toxins.
While most people get a massage for relaxation or pain relief, there is a reason why every massage therapist gives you those infamous instructions at the end of every massage. “Make sure you drink lots of water!” We say that because of how detoxing a massage can really be. I remember in massage school when we had to partner up. I always had to be last receiving the massage because of how I felt afterwards. Sometimes I would often feel nauseous or dizzy. This showed me just how toxic my body really was, and after the massage, my body was ready to flush those toxins out. So whether it's a Swedish, deep tissue, or Lymphatic massage, it is going to stimulate the circulatory system and detox your body.
The way I explain to my clients how massage works is that, our tissues really act like a sponge. When pressure is applied to the tissue, the toxins get “squeezed” out. They then get released into the Circulatory System for elimination. That is why flushing your body out with water after a massage is a necessity. Some common side effects after a massage may include headache, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. Please don’t let these side effects deter you from all of the added benefits from receiving a massage such as detoxification, improved circulation, decreased stress, improved sleep and stimulated metabolism, just to name a few.
Although Swedish and Deep tissue massage are the most requested massages, Lymphatic Massage can be the most effective in detoxing the body. The Lymphatic System is your main line of defense against disease. Lymphatic drainage stimulates reproduction and circulation of white blood cells, and removes toxins from tissues that will be destroyed in the lymph nodes. Lymphatic massage helps to reduce swelling, which can manifest as puffy eyelids or swollen joints. Lymphatic massage is a gentle style of bodywork that mimics the movement of the lymphatic vessels. The massage therapist uses a light touch, massaging your lymph nodes first, which will guide lymphatic fluid towards the lymph nodes before lastly massaging your trunk and extremities. Lymphatic fluid is drained toward the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, and groin, before traveling to the largest lymph vessels and back into the Cardiovascular System.
Do not have a Lymph massage if you have any of the following:
- Infection or fever
- Blood clot/history of blood clots
- Heart or kidney failure
So before you stress yourself out figuring out how to detox your body, relax and schedule a massage with a licensed professional. If you have any health concerns please consult with your doctor before starting any kind of detox program.