What Toxins Are Released After a Massage? Any At All?

I wanted to take a moment to help clarify some misconceptions regarding what toxins are released after a massage because it’s a question my staff and I hear quite often.

The term “detoxification” gets thrown around very casually these days. Everything from yogurt to facial creams promises to “rid the body of harmful toxins.” In reality, if we were all full of as many venoms and poisons as the marketing machines would have us believe, no one would be walking around upright or even living. I digress; the point is many misconceptions and sales tactics surround us regarding detoxification.

I get it; I’m a big proponent of detoxification and living a healthier lifestyle, hence why we have an Infrared Sauna at our therapeutic day spa! I wanted to take a moment to help clarify some misconceptions regarding what toxins are released after a massage because it’s a question my staff and I hear quite often.

Do Our Bodies Release Toxins After a Massage?

As far as peer-reviewed science is concerned, at this point in time, we cannot detect evidence that toxins are released from our muscles after a massage therapy session; however, when releasing tension and manually manipulating muscles, we are releasing lactic acid and other naturally occurring chemicals that the body stores in muscles and fat. Often, our clients describe something called “massage flu” after getting bodywork and massage; this is really common because massage releases what the general public refers to as “toxins.”



Massage facilitates lymphatic drainage; even if it isn’t specifically a manual lymphatic drainage session, the movement from massage still facilitates lymphatic drainage. The lymphatic system is directly correlated to the immune system and detoxification of metabolic waste, aka toxins.

What Is Happening to Our Muscles During a Massage?

  • Increased Blood Flow/Oxygenation

Massage increases blood circulation; that’s a fact. Increased blood flow means better oxygenation of tissues, improved nutrient delivery, and faster removal of metabolic waste. The real magic is in the improved oxygen flow and nutrient delivery that leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.  So, while you may not be detoxing in the traditional sense, your cells are raging at the oxygen and nutrient party! 


  • Breaking Up Knots and Muscle Tension

Massage therapy can break down muscle knots and reduce muscle tension, which feels fantastic. Licensed massage therapists work their magic on tight muscles, targeting them to promote flexibility and reduce tension; this is why your massage therapist will ask many qualifying questions before the treatment begins and during the session. They are constantly reworking their strategy to engage the muscles that need it most!

Your muscles can be sore after a great massage, but this soreness is not toxins leaking from your fibers; it’s actually the blood flow activating cells to repair the areas with which the tension has been broken up!

Massage Is Great For The Mind, Body, And Soul!

Don’t be disappointed that eerie, nasty toxins don’t evacuate your body after a massage; while it’s fun imagery, it’s not what’s going on, but that’s ok! Massage therapy is extremely beneficial for your body in a plethora of ways!

If you’re looking for the best massage in Houston, you’ve come to the right place! At Elevation Massage & Spa, we offer specialized massage treatments for many ailments; please click the links below to learn about each type of massage therapy! 

Please contact us to book an appointment or with any questions regarding our massage services.

Maria Elevation
Maria Elevation
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