The massage therapist’s voice was soft and sympathetic, as if she was talking to someone whose dog had just died:

Be sure to drink plenty of water today, Emily.  We released a lot of toxins during your massage.

It seems this is the advice offered by many therapists, as I have received this guidance time and time again as I emerge from the massage room, eyes bleary looking as if the toxins had a big old party in my hair as they were being released.  It is usually followed by being handed a large paper cup of ice water to start the toxic cleansing process.  For some reason, having someone remove the tension and soreness in your aging muscles isn’t enough of a benefit to the massage — they also throw in toxin release to boot.

I picture these evil toxins in my body.  In my mind they are always cartoons – evil little green things that strangely resemble Plankton from Sponge Bob.  The massage therapist does her magic, working them free from my system despite the fact that they are holding on for dear life.  All I have to do is flush them out by drinking a few gallons of water and my system will once again be as pure and pristine as a blue lagoon.  A BP clean up for my body.  Mmmmmm.  Nice.

The trouble is this is a tremendous amount of bulls—t.

From what I could glean off the Internet, your body has all types of “toxins” in it:  caffeine, sugar, alcohol, aspartame… the list goes on and on.  But there really is no such thing as massaging these chemicals loose and flushing them out – above and beyond what your vital organs already do for you – for FREE – on a daily basis.  The same holds true for diets that promise to rid your body of these vile toxi.  It’s complete crap.

Still, the concept is appealing.  Everyone feels better after a good toxic cleansing – even if it is pretend.  So… as long as we are going to be treated to this crap, we might as well embrace it in the most psychosomatic manner possible.

From now on, in addition to the physical toxins that are being eradicated every time I get a massage or do a cleanse, I now choose to believe that my emotional toxins, too, will be flushed out.  I can’t wait to rid myself of regret, insecurity, fear, bitterness, envy, and disappointment.  These horrible cells also can be loosened and flushed out of my system, leaving behind a perfect and peaceful human specimen with a Teflon frame of mind.

However, I hear that these emotional toxins are so powerful that water alone won’t do the trick.  Word on the street is that you need to flush out these evil suckers with …red wine.  And plenty of it.

I think I smell a business opportunity.  Who’s in?

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