Will a Massage Release Toxins? Here’s the Truth

Posted by OSIM on Jan 02, 2020 1:16:36 PM

Here’s the thing: the massage industry was worth a whopping $18 million in 2018. As if that’s not enough, there are almost 400,000 licensed massage therapists in the United States alone. 

You might be wondering: will a massage release toxins? For a long time, people have believed that getting a massage sent a wave of toxins through your body. Read on to find out the truth!

All About Toxins

Want to learn all about toxins? We’ve got you completely covered. For starters, let’s talk about the real definition of toxins.

Basically, toxins are any toxic substance that’s a byproduct of a living, breathing human being. Usually unstable, toxins get even worse when they enter your tissues, causing all sorts of antibody production. But here’s the kicker: to get these nasty toxins out of your body, you’ve got to detox yourself.

Yes, you read that right. Essentially, detoxification is the ability to take a toxin or a poison out of your body, making it harmless upon exit. While there are many different forms of toxins that can enter your body, a lot of them occur from inhaling, injecting, or absorbing environmental toxicity.

So, what does this have to do with massages? We’re glad that you asked. As a go-to destressing activity, massages have long been rumoured to release any toxins that are trapped in your body. 

But have you ever felt like you were just about to get sick after a massage? If so, then chances are that you’ve experienced at least one of the following symptoms:

  • Sore throat after massage
  • Fever after massage
  • Flu like symptoms after massage
  • Sick after massage

For those who are curious why they’d feel worse after a massage, some masseuses claim that these negative symptoms are caused by toxins exiting your body. However, certain researchers say that there’s no proof behind this claim, pointing to the fact that we have kidneys and livers to detoxify our bodies for us.

If so-called “massage toxins” aren’t responsible for that sickly post-massage feeling, what is? Guess you’ll just have to read on to find out!

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Different Styles of Massage

Here’s the deal: there are tons of logical reasons why you’re feeling sick following your relaxing massage. But here’s the kicker. Sometimes, it all boils down to the fact that you were already getting sick before you laid down on the massage table.

Want to get down to the bottom of this mystery? To do so, you’ll have to think about the kind of massage that you received as well. Moving forward, Swedish massage is the most popular massage on the market right now.

However, Swedish-style isn’t the only massage technique out there. That being said, this type of massage usually involves your masseuse working on you in long, gliding strokes.

The goal? To promote more blood flow within your body, make you more flexible, and relax the tension built up in your muscles. On the other hand, deep tissue massage is known to be a little more intense than Swedish massage.

For those who are unaware, deep tissue massages involve working deeper layers of connective tissue and muscles. Plus, it’s not uncommon for athletes to get regular deep tissue massages for things like strains or other musculoskeletal problems either. Have you gotten a deep tissue massage recently? 

If that’s the case, then that could explain why you feel so sore following your appointment. And get this – when your muscles are sore, your immune system kicks into overdrive to fix your muscles. But when this happens, it could trigger feelings of exhaustion or illness in your body. 

Sick and tired of aching feet and legs? You might want to invest in a lower body massager for help!

The Truth About Massage Toxins

Struggling to find out the truth about massage toxins? We’re here to help. First things first, people believe that massages release toxins because the act of squeezing tense muscles is thought to affect your lymph nodes as well.

Moving forward, it was previously believed that this action would move our lymph fluids and blood around in our body, forcing toxins to exit as quickly as possible. Now: for the moment you’ve all been waiting for. 

As of now, there have been zero scientific studies to prove the reasoning behind this wive’s tale. In fact, researchers checked blood lactate levels as a way to see if this rumour was true. To put it simply, try to think about yourself running super quickly across a huge field.

On top of your heart feeling like it’s going to burst, your legs will also start to bur. Of course, this feeling is caused by lactic acid buildup. Also known as lactate, scientists analysed lactic acid buildup to see if any of it was released during a massage.

Here’s the catch. Once scientists actually tested the amount of lactic acid leftover in the body after a massage, they found that it really wasn’t the case most of the time. On the bright side, other experts swear that receiving a deep tissue massage a few hours after a workout will relieve muscle tension.

Admit it – we’re all kind of disappointed to find out that massages don’t release toxins. However, that’s not to say that it doesn’t have any healing properties, including: 

  • Reducing stress
  • Boosting circulation
  • Increasing flexibility

Let’s be honest. Nothing is going to stop us from getting a deep tissue or Swedish massage, but what do you even do afterwards?

What to Do After a Deep Tissue Massage

Don’t know what to do after a deep tissue massage? We’ve got your back (literally). You can’t go wrong with drinking a bunch of water following your massage appointment.

Not only is this a fantastic way to remove waste from your body, but it’s also great for rehydrating your muscles. Another word of advice is to skip the gym post-deep tissue massage as well. That’s because you can experience tiny tears during your deep tissue massage, which means you need some time to heal.

Our general rule of thumb is to wait at least one full day to recover fully before you get your sweat on again. In addition, there’s no harm is self-treating any pain or soreness you may feel as well. Does your body feel painful after your massage? 

If that’s the case, then you might want to try a little bit of floor stretching on a yoga mat. Better yet, add an ice pack to your sore spots too, which can help with the irritatingly stiff feeling you may be experiencing. But if you’re in crippling pain after your bodywork appointment, then we can’t emphasise this enough: seek medical attention!

Besides this, you should stay away from eating heavy meals immediately after your massage appointment. Instead, shoot for healthier and lighter food like fruit and veggie snacks. For instance, blueberries are key for anti-inflammation and broccoli is good for relieving muscle fatigue.

Lastly, you should do your best to ditch caffeine, coffee, or alcool following your massage. Why is that? In a nutshell, alcohol will dry you out, and post-massage is a time to replenish your fluids, not drain yourself of them. 

Pro tip: do yourself a favour and stick to water as your go-to beverage until you’re feeling better again. We promise you won’t regret it!

Can a Massage Release Toxins? 

Are you still asking yourself, can a massage release toxins? To be quite honest with you, there hasn’t been any scientific evidence to point to the fact that this is true.

But truthfully, there are still so many benefits to receiving a massage, including reducing stress, boosting circulation, and increasing flexibility. Not to mention the many physical and mental perks of receiving a regular massage as well. Don’t know how to get rid of that icky post-massage feeling?

Allow us to show you the way. From drinking water and skipping workouts to treating sore spots and avoiding heavy meals, our handy guide has everything you need to get back on your feet in no time.

Don’t forget to skip any alcoholic or caffeinated drinks after your massage as well. Contrary to popular belief, this will only make your stiff muscles feel even stiffer. Nobody wants that, right?  

Interested in purchasing a massage chair? Contact us for a free consultation today!

Topics: Massage