March is National Kidney Month and this Thursday, March 10, is World Kidney Day. Was the first thing that popped into your mind “how does this relate to massage?” If so, you’re probably not alone. There really is a connection though so let’s chat about it! Then you can do your kidneys a big favor and schedule some #MAssageTime!
The kidneys are about the size of a bar of soap but according the the National Institutes of Health, a regular day for these superstars involves filtering somewhere between 120 and 150 quarts of blood. Filtering is what helps keep the blood stable and able to do an effective job of nourishing and supporting the body. Damage to these small organs can have a huge impact on overall health.
Are you waiting to hear how massage ties in to this? There are a few ways, actually. First, the filtering system housed within your kidneys is made up of blood vessels. Massage can improve circulation which, for healthy kidneys, is incredibly supportive. Think about what it is like to push a full shopping cart along; how great is it when someone comes along and helps you, even for a bit? In this case, the kidneys are pushing the cart and, by impacting circulation, massage is that helping hand.
Another way massage can benefit the kidneys is stress reduction. Stress management is one of the biggest reasons the Mayo Clinic recommends massage. Both your blood pressure and the chemical balance of your blood change during times of stress and the kidneys will work harder trying to compensate for those changes. Of course, working harder means getting tired. Since the kidneys aren’t going to get nap time, anything we can do to help reduce their work load is helpful. Regular massage definitely falls into that category!
Other things that you can do to reduce the load on your kidneys are stay hydrated as well as manage your blood sugar and blood pressure. Don’t forget to incorporate some form of movement and exercise into your routine. Also, as always, be sure to let your massage therapist know if you have kidney disease, diabetes or high blood pressure. If you have any concerns that you might be dealing with one of these conditions but you aren’t sure, talk to your physician.
Now, give us a call or go online to schedule some #MAssageTime; make yourself (and your kidneys) a priority by letting us make you one. You’ll be glad you did!