Hydration Before a Massage
It’s recommended to drink plenty of water before a massage to both improve the experience of the massage and its aftereffects. Being properly hydrated before a massage can help to reduce muscle tension and stiffness, which can make the massage more effective. Think of how easy it is to manipulate, bend and twist a wet cloth compared to a dry cloth when the fibres have all stiffened up – this applies to muscles too. Muscles that are 'well-oiled' are more easily massaged. Hydration can also help to make the massage more comfortable, by helping to soften and moisturise your skin.
Additionally, hydration can help to improve blood flow, which can increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, and also help to flush out metabolic waste products such as lactic acid. to stay hydrated as this can help to flush toxins out of your system and improve circulation.
Moreover, massage can have a positive impact on lymphatic flow, which is the movement of lymph, a clear fluid that contains white blood cells and other immune system cells, throughout the body. A massage therapist can use techniques such as light stroking, gentle tapping, and vibration to help move lymph and increase its flow. This can help to reduce inflammation and swelling. When the body is dehydrated, the lymph fluid becomes thicker and more difficult to move through the lymphatic vessels.
It is a good idea to drink water in the days leading up to your massage, as well as immediately before the massage to ensure that you are well-hydrated. For extra hydration take a bottle of water with you, so that you can take sips during the massage if needed.