In addition to feeling relaxed and having looser muscles, what else happens to your body during and after a massage?
Massage Therapist Amanda tells us some of the involuntary things your body does in a massage.
1. Your core body temperature drops
Massage taps in to the autonomic nervous system, the system that processes our flight or fight reactions. Our basal body temperature is the lowest temperature attained during rest, and is usually lowest during sleep. However, when you are incredibly relaxed during a massage, you can start to feel cold due to the 0.2-0.5 degree Celsius drop that is happening in your body.
2. Your stomach starts to rumble (and you might fart!)
Again, the parasympathetic nervous system has been switched on, and your digestive system recognises it is a good time to get to work! It is time to “rest and digest”. As we all know, sometimes digestion can release gas – don’t worry, your therapist won’t be upset or surprised if you let one slip. We are all human, and besides, it happened involuntarily!
3. You feel very dehydrated and need to urinate
During a massage, the transport of fluids is assisted by your therapist, during the hour of kneading your muscles and working through dense areas of tissue. Any metabolic waste that would naturally be processed by the body have just been given the “move on!” by the massage therapist, and travel through the circulatory system via the kidneys to be filtered out. The kidneys release waste through the urine, so if you always have to go to the toilet after a massage, now you know why.
Don’t forget to drink water – your body will need to replenish any fluids lost through urination, and the extra water will help assist with filtration.
These are things that a client will not often mention, but are perhaps thinking of during the treatment. It is then important for the client to communicate with the therapist if there is something else they need. After several years treating, I have learned to pay attention to the body cues from clients, however massage therapists aren’t mind readers, so don’t be afraid to speak up. For example, if you find yourself getting cold, don’t hesitate to ask for another towel/blanket. If stomach is uncomfortable after your digestive system starts working, ask for less pressure around the abdomen. And finally, if you need to go to the toilet – ask! Your therapist would rather have the treatment disrupted, than have you laying there in discomfort for the remainder of the treatment.
I hope you learned something from this short blog post. If there are any questions you would like answered, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I look forward to seeing you in the clinic!