Everybody, and every body, responds differently to massage. If it is your first massage, your first massage in a while, or just how your body recovers, after an initial period of feeling fantastic, you might feel sore or tender the day or two after. This soreness is often similar to the soreness you might feel after an intense workout and is caused by a similar process. This is because anytime you get a massage the practitioner is mechanically going into the tissue, breaking up adhesions, increasing blood flow, and assisting the lymphatic system in helping remove metabolic wastes from the body. These metabolic wastes are natural chemical substances left over from natural cellular processes and should not be thought of as toxins. The wastes can settle back into the tissue and cause soreness. Sometimes those metabolic wastes can even run to the central nervous system and cause a headache or even flu-like symptoms.
Even with the risk or soreness or flu-like symptoms, massage is worth it! It is worth it because it is helping to remove the metabolic waste build-up that can cause other problems. Massage has other benefits that make it worthwhile too, check them out here.
If you do feel sore, give yourself time and make sure you take the above-listed steps to speed the recovery. Usually, the soreness will last a day or two and after will be worth it because of the subsequent reduced pain and tightness, increased flexibility and many more benefits!
If you feel sick or nauseous, the best thing to do is perform whatever act your body is asking you to “get out the wastes.” Usually once the waste has been removed, you feel much better. Bruising can sometimes occur with deep tissue work or with some peoples sensitivities, if this occurs give yourself time to recover and let your therapist know at your next appointment to go lighter. You are in control of your massage session, be vocal about how it feels to help prevent bruising or excessive soreness.