Are you one of the many individuals who experience post-massage symptoms?
If so, you are not alone.
Getting a massage is an incredibly relaxing and enjoyable experience. This widely popular form of alternative medicine can provide relief from pain, reduce stress and tension, and even improve overall blood circulation.
But while massage may be beneficial for many people, some individuals experience a variety of post-massage symptoms following their session. This could occur as a result of a number of factors that can range from a reaction to the massage oils used to more serious medical conditions.
In this short guide, we'll go over common post-massage symptoms and how you can address them.
Common Post Massage Symptoms
When it comes to post massage symptoms, there are a variety of sensations that can be experienced. Some of the most common include:
Skin irritation or rash
Ever felt a burning sensation on your skin after a massage?
This could be a result of a skin irritation or rash.
Skin irritations usually occur when the recipient is sensitive to the massage oils or lotions used. In such cases, switching to a different product can help reduce skin irritation.
It can occur as a reaction to the massage oil, lotion, or cream used during the session.
The irritation may be accompanied by redness or itching and can last anywhere from a few hours to several days after the massage. In some cases, the rash may even become more severe, resulting in blistering or oozing.
Muscle soreness or tenderness
While massage therapy can help alleviate muscle tension, it may also cause minor discomfort or soreness in certain areas.
This is particularly true if the types of massage techniques are particularly intense, like lymphatic drainage massage or deep tissue massage.
This could occur as a result of intense pressure being applied to the connective tissue, which can cause the muscles to become inflamed. Other reasons why people may experience post-massage soreness include a reaction to the massage oils or lotions used, dehydration, or simply not being used to having a massage.
While muscle soreness can be uncomfortable, it is usually temporary and should subside within a few days.
Feeling a little queasy following a massage session?
Nausea is another massage side effect that some individuals may experience.
This symptom can be triggered by a number of factors that range from dehydration to a drop in blood pressure or sugar levels, especially if you haven't eaten in a while.
In some cases, experiencing nausea can be attributed to the release of toxins that have built up in your muscles.
It can also occur as a result of massage oil or lotion that you may have a sensitivity to. If you find yourself feeling nauseous after a massage session, these symptoms should subside after a few hours as long as you drink plenty of water and rest.
Imagine walking out of a massage feeling relaxed and relieved, only to find yourself with a headache soon after.
Sounds like an oxymoron, but it can happen.
Headaches post-massage can occur for a variety of reasons.
In some cases, this could be the result of dehydration or a drop in blood sugar levels following the session. Another possible cause is a reaction to the massage oils or lotions that were used during the session.
In some cases, headaches may also be caused by muscle tension in the face or neck muscles that was not adequately addressed during the massage.
How you position your head during the massage may also contribute to headaches post massage.
Sleepiness or fatigue
A benefit of massage therapy is that it can help promote relaxation and provide a feeling of overall well-being.
But in some cases, this sense of relaxation can be so strong that it may also cause individuals to feel sleepy or fatigued following the session. This could be due to several factors, such as the release of endorphins during the session, or simply from being on the receiving end of a massage for an extended period of time.
Feeling sleepy or fatigued post-massage is generally nothing to worry about and should resolve itself within a few hours.
These are just a few of the symptoms people may experience after a massage session.
While most of these symptoms should resolve themselves within a few hours, it's always best to discuss any concerns you may have with your massage therapist following the session.
Let's explore just how you can address these post-massage symptoms in the next section.
How To Alleviate the Symptoms of Post Massage
Imagine walking out of a massage feeling relaxed and relieved, only to find yourself with a headache or feeling nauseous soon after. The good news is that there are steps you can take to alleviate these post-massage symptoms.
Here are a few tips to help you feel better:
Moisturize your skin
Moisturizing your skin post-massage can be an important step in helping to manage skin irritations, a common symptom following a massage session.
Applying moisturizer or lotion can help to hydrate and soothe the skin while also providing some relief to any itchy, dry, or irritated areas. To get the most out of your moisturizing routine, look for products that are specifically meant for sensitive skin and contain natural oils such as almond oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil.
With any of these natural oils, you'll be able to provide your skin with the nourishment and hydration it needs while also helping to alleviate skin irritation.
Grab a light snack
Grabbing a light snack can help alleviate some post-massage symptoms you may be experiencing.
This is especially important if you experience symptoms like headaches, nausea, or low energy following the massage session. A snack like fruit, yogurt, or some nuts can help raise your blood sugar levels and provide you with the energy boost you need.
Other snacks you can eat to help alleviate post-massage symptoms include foods like whole wheat toast, crackers, oatmeal, or even a protein shake.
Apply heat to sore muscles
As we've already discussed, muscle soreness is one of the most common massage side effects people experience.
The best way to alleviate this symptom is to apply heat directly to the area where you’re feeling sore.
With just enough heat, you can relax the muscle tissue, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Heat therapy also helps stimulate nerve endings, which helps reduce any discomfort linked to muscle soreness.
You can apply heat therapy to your tight muscles using a heating pad or hot water bottle for 15–20 minutes. Other ways you can apply heat therapy include taking a warm bath or shower or even using a warm compress.
Take a cold shower
Having a cold shower following a massage session is also another great way to alleviate post-massage symptoms.
Cold showers can help reduce inflammation and soothe sore muscles while also improving blood flow throughout the body. Other post-massage symptoms that may benefit from a cold shower include headaches and fatigue.
Before taking a cold shower, make the water cool but not too cold.
Spend about five minutes in the shower and focus the spray on any areas of the human body that are feeling soreness or discomfort.
If having a cold shower feels too uncomfortable, you can opt to use an ice pack, a cold compress, or an ice bath instead.
Take pain-relieving medications
Experiencing muscle soreness or chronic pain post-massage?
Taking body pain relief medications can be a helpful way to address any body massage symptoms you may experience. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen are especially helpful in reducing inflammation and muscle soreness.
Other post-massage symptoms these medications can help address include headaches, nausea, and sleepiness. While these drugs can be helpful, it is important to follow the instructions and dosage guidelines carefully.
This will ensure that you get the most relief from the medication while avoiding any common side effects.
Get enough rest
Are you one to put your body through long days and nights?
If so, it's important to remember that the body needs rest in order to fully recover from any form of massage session. Getting enough rest can help reduce post-massage symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and muscle soreness.
Making sure that you get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. This can help ensure that your body has the time it needs to fully relax and recover from the massage session.
Other ways to make sure you're getting enough rest can include limiting caffeine intake and avoiding strenuous or intense exercise activities for the day.
While stretching your muscles may not be very appealing after a massage session, it is one of the most effective ways to reduce post-massage symptoms.
Stretching helps to relax muscle aches and improve flexibility, which can help reduce soreness as well as any other discomforts you may be feeling. Gentle stretching post-massage should include slow and easy movements that don't cause any discomfort or achy pain.
You can stretch your neck, arms, back, and legs for several minutes at a single time.
Communicate with your healthcare provider about any concerns or symptoms
While experiencing symptoms of post-massage is normal, there are certain cases in which the symptoms may not be normal and could be due to an underlying issue.
It is important to communicate with your massage therapist if you are experiencing any post massage symptoms that are out of the ordinary or seem to be persisting for more than a few days.
This can help ensure that any potential issues are addressed and resolved in order to avoid further complications.
Frequently Asked Questions
While this article provides some helpful tips for common causes of post-massage symptoms and how to alleviate them, you may still have some questions.
Here are some of the most common ones to help answer any further questions you may have.
Can I get a massage without experiencing post-massage symptoms?
While experiencing post-massage symptoms is common, that doesn't mean that you're guaranteed to experience them.
For the most part, people experience some level of comfort after a massage session and can usually go back to their normal activities without any issues.
However, if you do experience any discomfort or other symptoms, it is important to take any of the steps outlined in this article to ensure that your body is getting the rest and recovery it needs. Other than that, communicating with your massage therapist about any concerns is also important.
Are certain people prone to post-massage symptoms?
Yes, some people may be more prone to experiencing post-massage symptoms than others.
Generally, those who are already physically active and have a lot of tension in their muscles may be more susceptible to feeling sore after a massage session. What's more, those who are pregnant or taking medications that list muscle relaxation as one of the side effects may also be more likely to experience post-massage symptoms.
People who also have certain health conditions such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, deep vein thrombosis, or arthritis may be more likely to experience post-massage symptoms than those without any medical history.
Is there anything I can do to prevent post-massage symptoms?
Yes, there are several things that you can do to help reduce and prevent the side effects of a massage session.
First, make sure to drink 7-8 glasses of water before your massage, as this can help flush out toxins that can contribute to post-massage symptoms. Also, be sure to warm up your muscles beforehand in order to loosen them up and prepare them for the massage.
Finally, communicate any pressure preferences or areas of discomfort to your massage therapist so that they can adjust their technique accordingly. If you are making use of self-massage tools like massage guns, make sure to read the instructions thoroughly and use them correctly.
This will help reduce any potential soreness after the session is over.
Hope this blog post has been helpful in providing you with some tips to help alleviate and prevent post-massage symptoms.
Common symptoms people experience after a massage may include skin irritation, muscle soreness, headache, nausea, and fatigue or sleepiness. If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to take the necessary steps outlined in this article to alleviate them and ensure that your body is getting the rest and recovery it needs.
This starts with moisturizing your skin, grabbing a light snack, taking achy pain-relieving medications, having a cold shower, using heat therapy, and getting enough rest.
Whether you're using a massage tool or visiting a licensed massage therapist for massage treatments, it's important to keep in mind that experiencing post-massage symptoms is normal. However, if they persist or worsen, make sure to seek health care advice.
By following these tips, you can help prevent and reduce post-massage symptoms and get back to your daily activities feeling well-rested and energized. Reach out to our team today if you have any questions or concerns about post-massage symptoms.