Have you felt pain as one of the after effects of deep tissue massage ? If yes, let me tell you you’re not the only one! Massage will feel like heaven after a long day but along with benefits you will also get side effects of a deep tissue massage. After all, it is not just a relaxation technique; it scientifically works on your body.
If you are planning to try deep tissue massage for the first time, please don’t be scared. Deep tissue massage is absolutely safe unless you get it done on skin rashes, open wounds, blood clots, recent fracture, tumors or similar medical conditions.
When you have medicine, does it heal you in one go? Of course not! It has some effect instantly after you take it. You feel relief but at the same time, you might feel drowsy, hot or just a bit heavy too. That negative effect lasts for some time, and then it goes. In the long run, you will be cured.
This example is the best way to explain how deep tissue massage works on you. When you are getting the massage, a lot of muscles are worked upon. They might have been neglected and undisturbed so far. Massage triggers those points to give you relief through some pain or any other disturbance.
While we all know the benefits of a deep tissue massage, let’s see what to do after a deep tissue massage to get the maximum benefits and minimize its side effects.
»» How to Tackle the After Effects of Deep Tissue Massage: Dos and Don’ts
Let’s first understand what you should do once you get a deep tissue massage. When you follow these simple guidelines, you enhance its benefits and tackle the trouble it can possibly give you.
- Drink Some Water: Water hydrates the body, cools it down and flushes out toxins. A deep tissue massage releases a lot of toxins as muscle knots are opened. As fresh blood rushes into the area, the old and dirty blood stuck between the knots gets released. Moreover, the force applied generates heat in the body too, leading to perspiration. When you drink water, you will feel cooler and recover its loss through perspiration. If you go to the loo after that, you have successfully been detoxified!
- Eat Something: When you have a bath, you clean your skin pores thoroughly. In order to prevent dirt from entering again, you apply beauty products like cream or lotion to fill in the pores and make you look better. Similarly, a massage will make you get rid of toxins and fat. Your body has space that can be filled either with nutrition or with toxins again. So, a light and nutritious snack is a must to energize you again.
- Have a Bath: Apart from just drinking water, allow your body to absorb water through your skin too. A warm water bath relaxes you better than a normal one. If you have bath salts, this is the right time to use them! They will help you further in releasing stress, absorbing positive energy and feeling relaxed.
- Use a Cold Pack or Ice: If you are feeling pain or soreness in your muscles, instead of a warm water bath, I suggest you to use ice. For 10-15 minutes just place it on the muscle that is aching. This will also reduce any inflammation that might have occurred on triggering the point. Since deep tissue massage is vigorous and applies force to break muscle knots, it can lead to some pain or inflammation depending on how tight the knot was. It is not unnatural but it needs to go.
- Listen to Soft Music: A lot of spas will have soft music being played while they give you a massage. It really enhances relaxation and releases stress. Keep the volume really low, enough for you to listen to it. The softer the music, the more subtle is its vibration. It helps you spend some quiet, alone and relaxing time to seep in the deep relaxation you have received in the massage.
- Avoid Coffee: Caffeine will nullify the positive effects of massage. If you want something hot and refreshing, herbal tea is a better option that coffee. It will enhance detoxification and fill you up with some nutrition. Coffee will end up wasting the half an hour you spend on the massage.
- Say No to Alcohol: If you think a cup of wine can be amazing after a massage, you are again wasting the effort taken behind it. It will be like filling a cleansed vessel with dirt again. What was the point of cleaning it then?
- Don’t Indulge in Heavy Physical Activity: No working out or partying after a massage please! When your body is given a condition of relaxation, it needs to be enhanced with some rest. Moreover, heat has been generated in your body through deep tissue massage. Resting cools your body down. If you are a sports person, start your exercise a day after deep tissue massage.
»» What Are the Side Effects of a Deep Tissue Massage?
I’m sure on understanding the do’s and don’ts, you must have figured out the possible side effects. Now that you know how to tackle them, I can state them clearly without scaring the hell out of you!
- Muscle Pain and Soreness: Something that I explained in the beginning; a deep tissue massage triggers an unattended muscle. The tight knots release, the stiffness suddenly loosens up, generating heat and leading to some pain. While the pain can be good as it takes place due to stretching, if not taken care of can turn out bad. Your body cannot take too much of anything, including heat and pain. Point No. 4 above explains how to relieve pain after a massage.
- Drowsiness: Immense relaxation can make you feel sleepy too. Also, muscles of your body have been worked upon. So, it’s not that energy hasn’t been released in the body. You might feel like sleeping just after the deep tissue massage. I won’t say no to it, but make sure you’ve had water and eaten something before you doze off.
- Feeling Sick: Does detoxification only take place the normal and healthy way? Of course not! When you puke, you take out a hell lot of toxins and actually feel better. You might just feel dizzy or heavy in the stomach for a few days. There are possibilities of observing flu or cold symptoms after the massage. Just take care by not indulging into heavy physical activities and keeping healthy. Keep drinking water to flush out the toxins released that are making you feel unwell. You’ll be rejuvenated once it goes, trust me.
- Headache: Shocking? You might be thinking why the hell I am encouraging massage if it can lead to a headache. Well, it’s nothing to worry about. This headache is due to your weird pose during the massage session. When you sit back and relax, it will go on its own.
- Mood Change: Massage will reduce the level of stress hormones in your body. At the same time, it will increase the level of Oxycontin, a happy hormone in your body. There can be an overflow of emotions and excitement. If you’re a man, you might even get turned on! Don’t worry; you’ll be fine in some time.
Whether you get a deep tissue massage done from a masseuse or use an electrical massage device, it won’t make much of a difference. Both will do the same to you. If you don’t have time or money to invest in a spa, you can check out various deep tissue massage machines available in the market.
»» Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do toxins leave your body after a massage?
A. Yes, toxins will leave your body after massage, provided you drink some water after that. Toxins are released from the knots in your body which are flushed out when water flows through your blood.
2. What should I expect after a deep tissue massage?
A. After a deep tissue massage, expect a mix of feelings. You will feel relaxed and happy. But if your condition was severe or this was your first time, some pain or inflammation will be normal. However, if you’ve been pregnant, had a surgery, gone through chemotherapy, had any fractures, wounds or blood clots or had any such severe problem, don’t expect to feel good at all. Deep tissue massage is not for all conditions and needs to be done under the guidance and advice of your doctor, especially if your body condition isn’t normal.
3. What happens to your body after a massage?
A. The body feels lighter after a massage. It gets rid of unwanted substances and calories, is filled with positivity and happiness and deeply relaxed. However, it might feel pain due to stretching of tight muscles and generation of heat. In the long run however, it will be more fit.
4. How do you dress for a massage?
A. You dress as less as possible for a massage. If no oil or lotion is used, you can wear something loose and comfortable. If oil or lotion is being used, don’t wear anything. If being naked makes you uncomfortable, you can just wear loose underwear, but nothing more.
5. Does deep tissue massage release toxins?
A. When muscle knots are formed, it traps toxins within itself. The release of these knots through deep tissue massage will release the toxins it has trapped too.
6. Are deep tissue massages safe?
A. It isn’t safe for everyone. It is meant for people who indulge in heavy activity, undergo stress or people with certain muscle problems. It can cure some types of injuries but isn’t meant for open wounds and fractures. If you have any health issue or abnormal body conditions, please take your doctor’s advice before going for a deep tissue massage.
7. Can I eat immediately after massage?
A. Yes, in fact you should. Just make sure it’s something light and healthy. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals will be good for your bones, muscles and blood. Don’t go for a very heavy meal though.
8. Can I drink coffee before a massage?
A. I would suggest not to. Caffeine isn’t good for the body and shouldn’t be taken when you’re about to go for some healing.
9. What is an appropriate tip for a massage?
A. You don’t have to really tip the masseuse. A lot of spas won’t even take it. However, if you’re going through a gift voucher and satisfied with your service you can give some. You can give up to 20% of the cost if you feel like.
10. How do you relax during a massage?
A. That’s easy! Just forget your worries, close your eyes and quietly feel what is happening to you.
11. Is it okay to take a bath after massage?
A. You should have one. It will hydrate you more, enhance relaxation and tackle the side effects to some extent. You can use bath salts for an even deeper experience.
12. Why should I drink water after a massage?
A. We suggest you to drink water after a massage so that you complete the process of detoxification in the body. It is essential to hydrate yourself and flush out the toxins released during deep tissue massage. We have explained about the dangers of deep tissue massage. A lot of them are eliminated by keeping yourself hydrated.
13. How often should I get a deep tissue massage?
A. It depends on your daily activities and body requirement:
- If you are getting it done for relaxation: Once or twice a month
- If you are facing pain or any other problems: Once or twice in 2 weeks
- If you are an active sports person: Once or twice a week
14. Can a deep tissue massage cause damage?
A. If done without professional guidance or experience, yes. There exists a thin line between working upon your tissues and damaging them. Deep tissue massage bruising is a common problem when getting it done from unqualified people. So, a certified professional’s hand or guidance is a must. You cannot get a deep tissue massage done if you’ve gone through surgery, chemotherapy, pregnancy or any such major conditions.