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Posted on 08-03-2015

This time of year is one of my favorites. The beautiful weather, fresh fruit in season, blockbuster movies in theaters, and more time to vacation with friends and loved ones. But this time of year can also be one of the hardest on your body. Anyone who has grown up in the panhandle understands that the four seasons of the year really feel more like two, hot and not so hot (with the exception of the two weeks of winter we receive). It is this time of year I heavily promote to everyone around me how important drinking plenty of water and hydration is for your health.

Often more times than not, a client will come to see me complaining that their muscles feel tight. This is where my belief comes in that it is not just drinking water that is essential to good health, but that drinking enough water is. Majority of people drink enough fluids to sustain themselves throughout the day, but I can almost always tell within the first half of massage whether the person on my table drinks the daily recommended amount of water or more. Hydration is key for your body to function and meet the demands we put on it throughout the day.

One of the top three questions I almost always ask my clients before we begin our appointment together is how much water are they drinking. Going along with that, one of the tips I will give at the end of each sessions is to drink plenty of water after the massage. Especially when we take in to consideration the deeper therapeutic work that massage therapists perform on the body, hydration with water can help aide the recovery and alleviate the soreness that can sometimes occur post-massage. The times you experience that instant release and feel-good emotions in a massage is because through soft-tissue manipulation your therapist has increased blood flow to a particular ‘blocked’ area of the body that you previously felt tight or sore. This usually occurs due to anxiety, physical activity, stress, or chronic over use. Drinking a large amount of water helps flush out that area of the body.

The rule of thumb we hear most is 64 oz. of water a day. This is great, if you weigh 128 lbs. I always recommend taking your current body weight, divide it by two, and making that number your daily hydration goal in ounces. For example, a person weighing 150 lbs. should drink 75 oz. of water (150 ÷ 2 = 75). Goal is the key word here, because we all know that number can equate to A LOT of bathroom breaks throughout the day. But even if you aren’t able to drink enough water to meet that number, hydrating with the best fluids can go a long way. Making choices like water instead of a soda to go with my lunch are things I personally do to help my body feel its best.

Nothing makes a massage therapist happier than to see a client taking care of their bodies. We want the healthiest you possible! Hydration and drinking plenty of water during these hot, sometimes unbearable, months out of the year is a cornerstone to healthy living and overall wellness. Today so far I have drank approximately 24 oz. of water, a ways away from my daily goal, and will be refiling my Tervis at least 3 more times. Join me, as I raise my glass of water to health, happiness, and the pursuit of hydration. 

Written by Caitlin Duval, LMT

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