If you’ve read my blog before, you know that massage has incredible effects on all areas of your body, and can be a complimentary treatment for just about all medical conditions. Massage provides positive outcomes for each of the twelve systems of the body. In order to understand how massage can help you and any illnesses you may have, it is important that you understand how the systems of your body work and what effects massage has on them. Check back on my blog weekly for a series of entries on each body system. This week: Your urinary system.
HOW DOES THE URINARY SYSTEM WORK?
Your urinary (or renal) system is comprised of components responsible for creating and eliminating urine. This system is comprised of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, sphincters and the urethra.
When you consume food, your body absorbs the nutrients that it needs from these sources and converts it into energy. The body only absorbs what it requires, and the rest is sent into the bowels, or left behind in the blood. Your urinary system also works with your lungs, skin, and intestines to excrete waste products and regulate body temperature.
Excess protein creates urea in the blood, which is then sent to the kidneys. In the kidneys, the urea is mixed with excess water creating urine and the mixture is then sent to the bladder via the ureters. As the bladder fills up, the sphincter muscles remain tight to prevent urine from leaking out of the body. Once the bladder is full, nerves will signal that it is time to go to the bathroom. The urine then leaves the body by way of the urethra. Urine excreted from the body is sterile. Adults pass about a quart of urine each day, give or take depending on the amount of water and food consumed.
Your kidneys are also responsible for regulating the balance of certain chemicals – such as sodium or potassium.
WHAT DOES MASSAGE DO FOR YOUR URINARY SYSTEM?
Massage is incredibly helpful in getting your bodily “juices” flowing. We’ve talked about how massage increases circulation of the blood and lymph. Likewise, massage can get excess water in your system moving as well. Massage helps to reduce water retention, helping the water along to the kidneys and then on into the bladder, which is why people sometimes need to urinate after massage. Along these same lines, the increased blood circulation helps move the urea along into the kidneys as well.
Despite what you’ve been told, this little boost DOES NOT increase your waste or toxic output, and there is NO need to drink extra water after a massage. You body does a sufficient job at removing waste products on its own, and the boost that massage gives is does not mean that toxins or waste products are being released into your system. If your body cannot remove enough waste on its own, you should see a doctor, not a massage therapist.That being said, drinking a sufficient amount of water each day (enough to keep your pee clear) is always a good idea, regardless of whether or not you’ve just received a massage.
The increased function of the kidneys as a result from regular massage also helps to reduce edema.
Massage can also help ease the pain and stress associated with conditions like renal failure. It is suggested that massage can help the renal failure itself through reflexology, but we’ve talked about this before.
Massage has an impact on every system of your body, regardless of how big or small. We only have three more body systems to talk about this year, so if you’re not convinced yet, I’m not sure what’s gonna do it for you! If you’re wondering how massage can help you, talk to a massage therapist! If you’re wondering if massage is safe for a certain pathology, talk to your doctor!
For more information on massage and what it can (or can’t) do for you, check right back here weekly. I post every Monday!
Hand Massage Can Help Kidney Failure by Kidney Failure
The Urinary Tract and How it Works by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease
Urinary System by Inner Body
Urine is not sterile, and neither is the rest of you by Science News
Body Systems Series