Bummer is what comes to mind when we think of no wine, beer or alcohol for 4 hours before or after a massage. So just how in the world are you suppose to truly relax and why the hell not. We have all planned a day of relaxing that includes lunch or golf with friends followed by a little R&R time for yourself with a massage before facing the realities of life. After all, we all deserve to escape once in awhile to the land of no stress.
A client asks me why massage therapist will not massage a client that they can smell alcohol on a client. My response was that a massage can make you feel the effects of alcohol more. When asked why I was at a loss for words since that was all I was taught in massage school. So off to do research to back up my words and give you a sound reason in this blog.
We will take a look at each area that is affected by masssage and alcohol to see how it affects the body and why we avoid them or want them to happen. We will first look at drinking plenty of fluids after a massage which means water, not alcohol. During a massage, we move toxins and metabolic waste from your muscles out into your bloodstream allowing your body to cleanse itself. We encourage our clients to drink plenty of water during the 12-24 hours following the massage to help rid the body of these toxins and metabolic waste quicker. However, if you choose to drink alcohol it causes the body to become dehydrated due to the body desire to rid its self of the alcohol. This means our kidneys are drawings all the fluids it can to them to remove the alcohol, this is what causes dehydration and a hangover. So when drinking alcohol with a massage you leave all the tonics and metabolic waste to be reabsorbed by the muscles and not removed from the body.
We all know that alcohol impairs our brain, motor skills and ability to feel pain this can cause issues during a massage by making it so the client does not realize the massage therapist is hurting them or not being able to to find the right words to tell the massage therapist that the pressure is too hard and deep. This can result in injury to the client and problems for the massage therapist. No one wants to put themselves or their massage therapist in this kind of situation.
Massage also lowers your blood pressure and when combined with alcohol-consuming can cause you to pass out or not be able to coordinate movement of your arms and legs. This can result in a fall that can injure you. Massage is supposed to make you healthier not injure you.
So why exactly does a massage therapist say the massage can make you more intoxicated? A massage increases the activity of the liver and kidneys resulting in the alcohol being moved through your bloodstream even quicker than normal resulting in intoxication from just one drink.
So while you enjoy being relaxed and often having the feeling of being light after a massage we do not wish our clients to make poor choices as the result of adding alcohol to their bloodstreams and making this over the top. Also, as a massage therapist if something bad happens as a result of the intoxication we would lose our license either temporarily or permanently. Personally, as a therapist, I am not willing to risk the loss of my license or bodily injury to a client.
So enjoy your massage and have your drinks at another time so as to keep your muscles and rest of your body healthy.