Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: July 2019

Detox is hogwash

As a massage therapist, people are eager to tell me that they are doing a juice cleanse, taking supplements or homeopathic remedies, trying the latest restrictive diet, getting cupping therapy or acupuncture, all in the hopes of eliminating harmful toxins from their bodies. I'm sorry if you have been a believer, but I have to say this. Detox remedies are a complete scam. Even some massage therapists claim that massage can "flush out toxins." Massage therapy has a lot of wonderful health benefits, but detox is not one of them. (The exception to this pseudo-medical concept is the medical treatment of people with severe drug or alcohol addictions.)

And what are toxins really? They are waste products of metabolic activities in our bodies. We have a built-in system that processes toxins, and it includes the skin, lungs, kidneys, liver and intestines. If our bodies didn't excrete toxins, we would not survive.

One of the toxins that causes concern is lactic acid. I've seen many athletes who want massage to get rid of lactic acid. Fortunately, I'm unable to help because lactic acid already left their muscles once they stopped exerting. Can I help the muscles relax? You bet. Can I help reduce post-exercise soreness? Absolutely. But lactic acid? Your liver has already taken care of that.

Many detox scams provide fake "evidence" that the treatment is effective. You might lose weight from a cleansing fast, but that's only because you've starved yourself for a week. Those foot pads that turn brown overnight from pulling out your toxins? They have a substance in them that turns brown when mixed with your sweat. Some body workers would even have you believe that the bruises or burns you've sustained from their overly aggressive work are proof that toxins are leaving the body. (That one really infuriates me.)

Our bodies are pros at maintaining homeostasis, or equilibrium. We can help to keep our bodies healthy with a well-balanced diet, exercise, hydration, adequate sleep, and plenty of self care. So if you've been using expensive products or treatments that claim to detoxify your body, you can now save your money!

Sources: The Guardian, Massage Magazine


Alleviate ankle pain and stiffness with this simple self massage


Do you have stiff or achy ankles? Are you still experiencing symptoms of an old ankle sprain or strain? Is that new pair of shoes compromising your ankle alignment and causing pain? Are you a runner whose ankles need some extra attention? Do you have achilles tendinitis or tendinosis? How about heal spurs? Calf cramps? If you answered yes to any of these, you're in luck. Follow along with this simple and good-feeling ankle self-massage, designed to alleviate ankle pain and stiffness, and restore your range of motion.


What's new with me ...

Being the mom of a differently wired child can get lonely. I joined a support group for parents of children facing similar challenges. I love having the opportunity to talk, exchange ideas, vent about the emotional roller coaster we endure as parents, and also share gratitude for the immense joy our children bring to our lives.

Sienna has just begun the summer program at her new school, and we're hoping she will love it!

Wishing you all a happy Fourth of July and a fun holiday weekend!

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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

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