The Importance Of Water
Updated: Mar 9, 2022
“Be sure to drink plenty of water in the next few days…”
Why are Massage Therapists always telling their Clients to "drink plenty of water"?
Water is a basic element of life. Among its myriad functions in the body water, provides a medium for chemical reactions to take place, transports hormones and nutrients, dilutes toxins and waste, and distributes heat evenly throughout the body. Water is a major component of all living things and our shared biological life-force. The importance of water cannot be understated.
Lack of sufficient water intake has many negative effects on the body. Because water helps lubricate your body’s joints, loss of flexibility is one major result. You will have better results from your Massage if you stay properly hydrated. It is important to consume water, especially before and after Massage appointments. Six to eight 8oz. glasses of water per day is the recommended ideal norm for individuals. This however should be increased if you are losing a large amount of water at a time; if you are crying, sweating, or urinating excessively- you are losing precious hydration.
Among its many essential functions, water acts as a lubricant in between the layers of tissue and as a solvent to help with waste removal. Water serves as a solvent when waste products bind to the two parts of hydrogen in H2O and are filtered out of the body by the urinary system. This means water can help reduce post-exercise and post-massage soreness. The purer the water, the fewer chemicals are bound to the hydrogen atoms, making for a more powerful solvent. Municipal tap water is the least pure, safe drinking water. Distillation with carbon filtration and reverse osmosis with carbon filtration makes the purest and safest drinking water.
As a therapist, it is important that you remain hydrated yourself. Massage is hard work, often in warm environments, causing more perspiration loss than if you were sedentary. You need to make up the lost hydration from sweating. Breathing naturally depletes water from the body. Breathing though the mouth depletes water faster than breathing though the nose and is particularly drying to throat and vocal membranes. You will find your energy levels and your ability to concentrate will be better maintained throughout the day if you remain well hydrated.
Personally, I confront my clients with a cup of water at the door once they have re-dressed after their session. Lukewarm water is allegedly easier for the body to digest (however if someone were to offer me a cup of lukewarm water- I'd be tempted to throw the water in their face), so I go with cold water. I inform the client that water helps the muscles repair and can reduce any soreness they may feel after their massage. I reiterate the recommended 8- 8oz. glasses of water daily (or at least for the next couple of days post-massage).
Peace and Healing,
Kirby Clark, MMT