Many people equate massage with the ideas of winding down, relaxing and relieving stress.
Rightly so! These are absolutely some of the many benefits that massage offers. The ideas of winding down, relaxing and relieving stress can also understandably be associated with drinking alcohol. However, these two activities should not cross paths within 12-24 hours of each other.
An additional benefit of massage is the releasing of toxins from the cells into the bloodstream for disposal through the liver and kidneys. Another benefit is the increased circulation throughout the body.
Alcohol is also a toxin which is why it processes through the liver. If you introduce an abundance of toxins in the body through massage and the consumption of alcohol, the body will be forced to choose, to a certain extent, which toxins it must prioritize.
That priority will defer to the alcohol and the cellular toxins will continue to circulate in the bloodstream gradually reabsorbing into the tissues. Reabsorption of these toxins can actually mimic flu-like symptoms which defeats the purpose of getting a massage.
Additionally, the increased circulation caused by massage will speed the rate at which the consumed alcohol circulates through the body. Meanwhile, the rate of detoxification through the liver remains constant.
Simply put, you get drunker faster when drinking alcohol before, during or even right after a massage. This can allow for the misjudging of one’s alcohol tolerance. A well known potential side effect of overdoing it when it comes to alcohol consumption is vomiting. Vomit is the last thing that I want on my massage table.
I commonly joke when having this conversation with my clients that if they can’t go 12-24 hours without alcohol then they have a bigger problem than I am qualified to fix.
At the end of the day, we massage therapists are not your mom, pastor or priest. You can make your own choices. But in my professional experience, you are wasting your time and money if you choose to mix the two. But hey, feel free to spend your time and money, whatever floats your boat!