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Does massage flush “toxins” ?

Many prospective massage clients seek out massage as a means of draining or flushing “toxins” from the body, some therapists even advertise massage as a way to accomplish this, but how much truth is there to the claim?

Given how widespread the idea is, the answer may surprise you: not much. There’s no scientific evidence to back up this claim. Massage does “drain” - not unspecified “toxins,” per se - but in the sense that it increases lymphatic drainage and circulation. It can also increase blood circulation, which has many benefits.

Drinking water after a massage to drain “toxins” is another common addition to the claim. This claim also, unfortunately, holds little water (see what we did there?). While drinking enough water on its own has substantial benefits, there’s nothing connecting it with flushing unspecified “toxins.” 

We do recommend water before and after massage, and we recommend it for the following evidence-backed reasons: to help decrease potential soreness, improve kidney function, help repair tissue, decrease headaches, improve skin, boost energy, and improve focus and concentration. We even welcome clients bringing along a water bottle to stay hydrated during their massage!

Writing Credit: Samuel Mongue

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