Why Do I Feel Sick After A Massage? Learn the Possible Causes and Solutions

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Massage therapy is often recommended to alleviate stress and promote relaxation. However, some may experience an unexpected feeling of sickness or discomfort after a massage session. This can be frustrating and confusing for individuals who seek the benefits of massage therapy.

The good news is that feeling sick after a massage is a common occurrence, and there are usually simple explanations behind it. Factors such as hydration levels, pressure intensity, and medical conditions can all play a part in post-massage symptoms. In this article, we explore the possible reasons why you may feel sick after a massage and provide suggestions on how to avoid or manage these symptoms.

If you have ever felt dizzy, nauseous, lightheaded or fatigued following a massage, then you know firsthand how unpleasant it can be. Understanding the causes behind your post-massage sickness can help you better prepare for future sessions and make the most out of your massage experience.

So if you’re looking to learn more about the possible reasons why you could be feeling sick after a massage, stay tuned. We’ve got you covered!

Post-Massage Fatigue

If you’ve ever received a relaxing massage, it’s common to feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. But sometimes that post-massage bliss can be interrupted by an unexpected feeling of fatigue or illness. So why do you feel sick after a massage?

Causes of Post-Massage Fatigue

There are several reasons why you may experience post-massage fatigue:

  • Toxins release: Massages help to release toxins stored in your muscles which can lead to feelings of nausea, headaches, dizziness, or even flu-like symptoms.
  • Dehydration: If your therapist used deep pressure during your massage or you didn’t drink enough water before or after the session, you may feel dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Lack of rest: If you went into your massage feeling tired or not fully rested, your body may respond with increased feelings of fatigue afterward.
  • Overstimulation: If your nervous system was stimulated too much during the massage, it can leave you feeling exhausted and drained afterwards.

Ways to Minimize Post-Massage Fatigue

Although post-massage fatigue is common, there are ways to minimize these types of symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of water: Before and after your appointment, make sure you’re drinking enough water to avoid dehydration and flush out any released toxins from your body.
  • Schedule your massage at the right time: Try to book your massage when you can relax and unwind without any additional stressors in your day. If possible, schedule your appointment when you have time to sleep or rest the remainder of the day.
  • Communicate with your therapist: Be sure to talk to your massage therapist about any concerns or issues you’re experiencing during the massage, so they can adjust their pressure and focus areas accordingly.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Post-Massage Fatigue

If your symptoms are more severe than feeling fatigued or unwell, it’s important to seek medical attention. According to Eric Small, a licensed physical therapist at Stride Strong Physical Therapy in Portland, Oregon:

“If you experience sudden hematuria, an allergic reaction such as hives or difficulty breathing on top of that general fatigue post-massage, it would be advised to consult your physician immediately.”

If you’re experiencing mild feelings of fatigue or sickness after a massage, it may just be due to normal releases of toxins from your muscles. However, if your symptoms are more severe or persist beyond a day or two, it’s always best to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider.

Muscle Soreness

Massage therapy is widely used to help relax the muscles, release tension in the body and promote overall wellbeing. However, many people may experience muscle soreness following a massage session, leaving them wondering why they feel sick after a massage.

Muscle soreness post-massage is quite common and can be experienced due to various reasons such as deep pressure applied during the massage, especially for beginners or first-time visitors. Therefore, it is essential to understand the science behind muscle soreness after a massage to better manage these symptoms.

The Science Behind Muscle Soreness

Massage therapists use various techniques such as Swedish, deep tissue, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release to relieve muscular tension and improve mobility. During these treatments, the therapist works on stretching the muscles and soft tissues that are often tight or tense, promoting relaxation and improved circulation within the body.

The practice of breaking down knots and releasing built-up tension can lead to muscle soreness, especially if you have not had a massage before or cannot adequately prepare your body for a deeper treatment. The muscles may also respond differently from one individual to another and take time to adjust to new pressures.

“Muscles don’t get sore without cause, Whether it’s stress relief, therapeutic intervention, or just an indulgent treat, the communication between you and your masseuse is key.” – Dr. Mckenzie E. Davis

Types of Massage That Can Help Relieve Muscle Soreness

If you’re experiencing muscle soreness post-massage, do not fret! Certain types of massages can help alleviate those symptoms and leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated:

  • Swedish Massage: A gentle massage that uses long strokes to improve blood flow and mobility.
  • Hot Stone Massage: The use of heat from stones helps loosen the muscles, reduce tension, and promotes overall relaxation.
  • Trigger Point Therapy:This technique focuses on releasing specific trigger points in the body through pressure and deep-tissue massage techniques
  • Myofascial Release: A form of therapeutic stretching that releases tightness throughout the whole body by relaxing contracted muscles, improving circulation, and stimulating skeletal muscle structure.

Preventing Muscle Soreness After a Massage

If you’re new to massages or experiencing soreness after every session, there are many things that you can do to prevent these symptoms and ensure that your massage experience is enjoyable:

  • Communicate with Your Therapist: Let your therapist know if you have any pre-existing conditions, are experiencing pain during treatment, or require adjustments to the depth of pressure.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water before and after your massage will help flush out toxins released during treatment, preventing soreness.
  • Stretch: Gentle stretches in the days following a massage can help address residual soreness and promote recovery.
  • Don’t Overdo it: Avoid overdoing physical activity following a massage as this may exacerbate any muscular discomfort experienced post-treatment.

When to See a Doctor for Severe Muscle Soreness

While mild soreness post-massage is common, severe pain or discomfort may be indicative of deeper underlying issues that require medical attention. If you are experiencing severe muscle soreness after a massage, especially if it lasts several days or is impeding your daily routine, consider making an appointment with a healthcare professional.

It’s essential to listen to your body and address any abnormal discomfort that doesn’t improve over time. This can help prevent further injury, promote healing, and ensure optimal overall wellness.


Why Dehydration Can Occur After a Massage

A massage can be incredibly relaxing, but it can also lead to dehydration if proper precautions are not taken. Water is lost from the body in multiple ways during and after a massage such as through sweat, urination, and respiration. These losses of fluids can cause mild to severe dehydration depending on how much water your body has and how long you’ve been receiving a massage for.

When you receive a massage, the therapist puts pressure on your muscles and tissues. This can stimulate blood flow which leads to sweating and increase in urine output due to stimulation of the kidneys. The air movement can cause faster breathing leading to more moisture loss via exhalation. All these factors contribute to fluid loss which may leave you feeling dizzy or lightheaded.

Symptoms of Dehydration

The symptoms of dehydration vary based on the level of severity. Mild dehydration can cause dry mouth, thirst, headache, dark yellow urine, tiredness, and dizziness. Moderate dehydration can cause all of these symptoms along with rapid heartbeat, sunken eyes, low blood pressure, dry skin, and fainting. Severe dehydration is an emergency situation that can cause seizures, confusion, and even loss of consciousness.

“Proper hydration is necessary for optimal health and vitality. Anytime we experience massages either subtle or deep tissue, our nervous system becomes activated triggering detoxification processes,” says Mariola Jedynasty, a Certified Bodyworker at Blue Sage Holistic Wellness & Healing Arts, LLC.

How to Prevent Dehydration After a Massage

  • Drink plenty of water: Before you start the massage session, drink 16 ounces of water. During the massage session, drink water in small amounts as frequent sips. After the massage, drink another 16 ounces of water to replenish lost fluids.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine: These drinks can increase fluid loss in the body leading to dehydration.
  • Eat a well-balanced meal before your session: Eating healthy foods like complex carbohydrates, fresh vegetables and some light protein will keep you hydrated while at the same time give you energy for the remainder of your day.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes: This allows better air circulation around your body reducing sweating during the massage.

Dehydration after a massage is easily preventable with proper hydration. Following simple steps can help maintain adequate circulating blood volume which means less fatigue and more relaxation. Remember to hydrate before, during and after getting a massage. Drinking water helps flush out toxins and waste products from muscles relieving muscular pain and assisting lymphatic drainage.

Circulatory Issues

The Role of Circulation in Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is an effective way to improve circulation and reduce pain. The circulatory system plays a key role in delivering oxygen, nutrients, and hormones throughout the body. During massage, friction, kneading, and compression stimulate blood flow in capillaries (small blood vessels) which can lead to improved health.

Improved circulation means that more red blood cells can travel around your bloodstream efficiently, providing essential nutrients and removing waste products. It also helps to relax tight muscles, reducing pain and stimulating physical recovery. By having regular massages, you can help boost circulation and relive chronic pains.

Types of Massage That Can Help Improve Circulation

A number of different types of massage can help improve circulation. Some use lighter pressure while others use deep tissue techniques. Your therapist will be able to discuss what type is ideal for your specific needs. Below are some common types:

  • Swedish Massage: This technique involves long strokes, kneading, and tapping movements. All these efforts work together towards increasing blood circulation, flushing out toxins from muscles, and decreasing stress levels. Also known as classic massage.
  • Aromatherapy Massage: Aromatherapy oils like peppermint or ginger can add another layer of relaxation into this massage form because they enhance blood circulation and promote relaxation of both mind and body.
  • Deep Tissue Massage: For those dealing with muscle tension and chronic pain issues, Deep tissue massage provides relief, but it requires higher pressure on the affected area. This technique uses slow rhythmic compressions to target deeper tissues, helping increase blood flow to relieve soreness.
  • Hot Stone Massage: Hot stone massage therapy creates a warming sensation that increases blood flow within muscles and boosts circulation. Stones are placed on different parts of the body to give tension relief, comforting both mind and soul.

In the end, maintaining good circulation is essential for staying healthy and energetic. It’s important to find time in your busy schedule to incorporate massages or other self-care methods like cardio workouts or daily balanced diets as ways to help improve circulation and maintain overall health.

“Massage is a way of taking care of our own bodies”- Meagan Holub

Toxic Release

What Is Toxic Release?

After receiving a massage, some people may feel nauseous or experience flu-like symptoms. This phenomenon is known as “toxic release.” It occurs when the body begins to expel toxins that were previously trapped in muscle tissue.

A massage can stimulate circulation and increase lymphatic flow, which can cause toxins to be released into the bloodstream. Once the circulatory system picks up these toxins, they are transported to the liver and kidneys for processing and elimination. However, if the liver and kidneys become overburdened with toxins, some of them may remain in the bloodstream, causing feelings of sickness.

The discomfort associated with toxic release can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual’s toxicity levels. If you have experienced toxic overload before, you are more likely to feel its effects after getting a massage.

How to Manage Symptoms of Toxic Release

If you start feeling sick after a massage, don’t panic! The symptoms will usually subside within a day or two. In the meantime, there are several things you can do to manage your discomfort:

  • Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated can help flush out the toxins that are causing your symptoms. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
  • Rest: Your body needs time to recover from the toxin overload. Make sure to get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous exercise until you feel better.
  • Eat healthy foods: Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to support your body’s natural detoxification processes.
  • Use essential oils: Some essential oils, such as lavender and peppermint, can soothe nausea and headaches.
  • Take a warm bath: Relaxing in a warm bath with Epsom salts can help ease muscle soreness and promote detoxification.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Toxic Release

In most cases, toxic release is a natural part of the massage process and will resolve on its own within a few days. However, if your symptoms persist or worsen, it may be time to seek medical attention. Some signs that you should see a doctor include:

  • Fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Vomiting or severe nausea
  • Persistent dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain

If you experience any of these symptoms after a massage, don’t hesitate to call your healthcare provider. They can help determine whether your symptoms are related to toxic release or if there is another underlying cause.

Preventing Toxic Release During a Massage

The best way to avoid toxic release after a massage is to prevent toxin buildup in the first place. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

  • Hydrate before and after your massage: Drinking plenty of water before and after your massage can help flush out toxins more efficiently.
  • Eat healthy foods: A balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein, and whole grains can support the body’s natural detoxification processes.
  • Avoid alcohol and processed foods: These substances can hinder the liver’s ability to detoxify the body.
  • Communicate with your massage therapist: Let your therapist know if you have a history of toxic overload or if you experience any discomfort during your session. They can adjust their techniques to minimize the risk of toxic release.

By taking these steps, you can help prevent toxic release and enjoy the full benefits of your massage session.

“Toxic build-up leads to inflammation, which is linked to most chronic diseases in western cultures.” -Dr. Mark Hyman

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do some people feel sick after a massage?

Some people may feel sick after a massage due to the release of toxins from the muscles. The pressure and manipulation of the muscles during a massage can cause these toxins to enter the bloodstream, leading to nausea, headaches, and fatigue.

What are some common symptoms of feeling sick after a massage?

Common symptoms of feeling sick after a massage include nausea, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and muscle soreness. These symptoms may last for a few hours or up to a day or two.

Is feeling sick after a massage normal?

Feeling sick after a massage is not unusual, and it is usually a sign that the body is releasing toxins from the muscles. However, if symptoms persist for more than a day or two, it is important to seek medical attention to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

What can cause someone to feel sick after a massage?

There are several factors that can cause someone to feel sick after a massage, including dehydration, low blood sugar, an underlying medical condition, or the release of toxins from the muscles. It is important to stay hydrated before and after a massage and to communicate any concerns with the massage therapist.

How long does feeling sick after a massage usually last?

Feeling sick after a massage typically lasts for a few hours to a day or two. It is important to rest, stay hydrated, and avoid strenuous activities during this time. If symptoms persist for more than a few days, it is important to seek medical attention.

What can be done to alleviate feeling sick after a massage?

To alleviate feeling sick after a massage, it is important to rest, stay hydrated, and avoid strenuous activities. Taking a warm bath or shower, practicing gentle stretches, or receiving a light massage may also help to alleviate symptoms. If symptoms persist or worsen, it is important to seek medical attention.

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