Here’s why: According to board-certified urologist Anika Ackerman, MD, who practices in Morristown New Jersey, massage, especially deep tissue or sports massage, invigorates the body, causing fluid to be expelled from soft tissue and muscle into circulation. The kidneys, as the body's filtration system, then concentrate these circulating fluids, leading to increased urine production and a full bladder. It’s not uncommon for some people to “feel a strong urge to urinate even on the table during the massage.”
One of the main reasons for a frequent need to pee after a massage is the release of toxins. Massage is known to stimulate the lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing waste and toxins from the body. “By stimulating the lymphatic system with massage, you are speeding up the process, and that causes an increase of fluid delivery to the kidneys,” says Dr. Ackerman. This stimulation causes the lymphatic system to work more effectively, resulting in the release of toxins and other impurities from the body via urine.
Moreover, when a therapist applies pressure and movement to the muscles, it stimulates blood vessels to dilate, or widen. This allows for an increase in blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. As a result, fluid that was previously trapped in the tissues is moved into the bloodstream, helping to flush out waste and toxins from the body. This not only promotes overall health and well-being, but can also help to reduce swelling, pain, and discomfort.
Additionally, massage can activate nerve endings in muscles and skin, causing bladder muscles to contract and trigger the need to urinate. This is a normal and natural response to massage and is not a cause for concern unless it becomes persistent or frequent.
What types of massages make you have to pee?
Frequent urination after a massage can be experienced after any type of massage therapy, including deep tissue or sports massage, Swedish massage, or hot stone massage. This is because any type of massage therapy can stimulate the lymphatic system, increase blood flow and circulation, and stimulate nerve endings in the muscles and skin, which can all contribute to an increase in urine production. According to older research, it’s also theorized that sacral massage (which is located in the lower back area) may help prevent urinary retention.
The frequency of urination after a massage can vary greatly between individuals and may be influenced by factors such as age, health conditions, and the type of massage therapy received. For instance, those with a history of urinary incontinence may find they experience a more frequent urge to urinate after a massage as the stimulation of the muscles can temporarily increase urinary leakage.
Why it’s important to stay hydrated after your massage
Notice an insecure-attachment style to your water bottle post-massage? There’s a reason for that, too. “The release of the excess fluid can leave the body dehydrated,” says Dr. Ackerman. This is why massage therapists often advise their clients to stay hydrated after their treatment. By drinking water, you aid your body in eliminating these toxins and replenishing lost fluids, reducing the risk of soreness or discomfort after a massage. Water also helps hydrate the body, which is particularly important if you have received a deep tissue or sports massage as these types of massages can be quite intense and can cause dehydration due to the increased movement of fluids in the body.
So, the next time you feel the urge to pee as soon as you get up from the massage table, you’ll know that it’s totally normal.
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