What are the side effects of massage therapy?

April 24, 2023by admin0

What are the side effects of massage therapy?

What is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints. Massage therapy is a clinically-oriented healthcare option that helps alleviate the discomfort associated with every day occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions.

Massage therapy should only be provided by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT). An RMT is a primary healthcare provider in Ontario and anyone may visit an RMT of their choice.

Side Effects of Massage Therapy?

With any therapy treatment, there may be some side effects. Although there are not many with Massage Therapy, here is a list of the top 5 common side effects of a massage treatment:

– Post treatment tenderness

– Bruising

– Sleepiness

– Headaches

– Nausea

It’s not a bad thing to experience these side effects.  In fact, some clients expect it or use it has a benchmark that if they’re not feeling tender or bruised the next day, then it wasn’t a good massage!

If you receive a massage when you’re at the beginning stages or in the middle of being sick, you may feel worse the next day.  This is because the treatment would have brought up a lot of toxicity in the body and the added manual flush from the massage is your body trying to get rid of waste products quickly and sooner than later.

Tenderness and bruising is common especially when the pressure applied was firm or quite a bit of time was focused on the area.  You don’t necessarily need to perceive bruising as a sign it was a poor massage,  rather any adhesions between connective tissues needed to be broken up.  If it was really painful at the time of treatment, and not in a “good pain”, then we strongly suggest you tell your therapist this during the treatment .

Sleepiness is very common after a massage.  Your body is more relaxed as muscles have been kneaded over, blood is flowing more freely and the rhythm of the treatment would induce sleepiness.  It’s important to rehydrate and find alternative ways home if you’re aware you get really drowsy after a massage.

A massage can set off a headache depending on how tight the muscles were to treat and if it was due to poor posture as opposed to coming down with a cold/flu. If the headache was a symptom tied in with another illness it can induce nausea.   It’s important to rehydrate especially if you feel a headache coming on after a massage treatment.

As mentioned above, nausea can be a side effect brought up if it’s tied in with an underlying condition such as the onset of a cold/flu/fever.  If you’re already feeling feverish, you shouldn’t be getting a massage in the first place.

Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy treatments provided by a Registered Massage Therapist can offer significant benefits for a variety of conditions and for diverse patient populations. Whether you need to have a moment of relaxation, reduce muscle tension or attain relief from chronic pain, massage therapy can enhance your overall well-being. Massage therapy can help alleviate musculoskeletal disorders associated with everyday stress, muscular overuse, physical manifestation of mental distress and many persistent pain syndromes.

Massage therapy can be an important part of your health maintenance plan by:

  • Reducing or eliminating pain
  • Improving joint mobility
  • Improving lymphatic drainage
  • Reducing muscular tension

Massage therapy can treat both acute and chronic conditions. RMTs work with a wide variety of patients in the treatment of illness, injury, rehabilitation and disability.

We hope that this blog has helped you understand massage therapy at the ReAlign Natural Health Clinic.  We look forward to continuing to serve the families of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph and surrounding communities for many years to come.

Also, see our blog When does insurance cover Massage Therapy to find out even more about this.

If you’re looking for a Massage Therapist in Cambridge, check out ReAlign Health.


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