Q:   Is it important to drink water after a massage?

A:   No, it isn’t.

Your body’s fluid balance remains relatively stable with very little variation whether you drink 4 daily glasses of water or 12.   That’s not to say that dehydration can’t happen.  It can.  Dry skin, fatigue, irritability, muscle cramps, headaches, confusion are all possible symptoms of it so don’t ignore your fluid intake.   However, bodywork won’t affect that fluid balance one way or the other and doesn’t make hydration after your massage more important than it was before you came in.  A massage can increase local circulation but has been shown not to affect overall circulation to a great degree and it certainly won’t squeeze fluids out of your cells at a faster rate.

Chances are that you’ve gone for a massage to alleviate the discomfort of some problem areas and been told your body needs water afterwards.  This was a belief taught at most massage therapy schools for decades and still permeates the profession today.  If you arrive hydrated, the tissue will likely respond better to the treatment and will recover faster afterwards, but don’t worry about ruining the effects of your massage if you don’t drink water when it’s done.

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