The Side Effects
of Massage

The effects of massage are many!

Each and every style has its own possibilities.

This is where you can discover what most of them are.

Yet, on a personal level, something may happen to you following your treatment that is completely unique. Do NOT let this ring any alarm bells though!

As you will see, the effects of massage can be quite amazing.

The effects of life affect your body and that's a fact!

Anything that happens to you physically will affect your body, be it by accident or self infliction. This can be via your social activities or working environment. Even while you are sleeping, you can cause a physical reaction within your body!

Yet, when I say this, do you suppose I speak in terms of negative?! Please don’t.

The side effects of anything can also be very positive in nature.

One of the fundamental, universal laws says there is equal and opposite in all things!

After all, it’s only because you know of the one that you can experience the other.

Go to Types of Massage

So it is with any kind of massage.

Regardless of the type you go for, your body will most likely experience one, some but rarely all of the following effects of massage given here (see below for details). When you attend any treatment session, anywhere, do be sure to ask if there are any specific reactions you may experience that relate purely to that type of massage.

Systems of the Body Affected by Massage Treatment.

  • The Musculoskeletal system – this incorporates the skeleton (of which we have 2) and all the bones there, the muscles, ligaments and tendons.
  • The Integumentary System – which is the skin and all its many layers and other living tissues involved there.
  • The Circulatory System – incorporating the blood vessels, veins, arteries etc and the blood that runs through them.
  • The Lymphatic System - and all its nodes, ducts and channels.
  • The Immune System – This is the body’s defence against outside intrusion.
  • The Respiratory System – this includes the lungs, nasal cavity, diaphragm etc.
  • The Digestive System – Including the stomach, the intestines, the bowel etc.
  • The Urinary System – includes the kidneys and the bladder

With all these systems in mind when treatments are undertaken, it’s no wonder you may feel some effects from massage!

So, without any further ado, lets take a look at what these differences are shall we?

The side effects of massage described below may be experienced anywhere from 12 to 48 hours post treatment.

PLEASE NOTE: The list given below is in general terms only and mainly consists of the side effects of massage treatments I deal with personally.

The Possible Side Effects of Massage are:

  • Aching Muscles and/or headaches may occur as a natural result of the release of excessive physical tension and emotional stress.
  • An increase in the need to urinate as the body begins the releases of excess waste such as toxins. This is one of the reasons you would be advised to drink more water post treatment.
  • An increase in bowel movement with accompanying flatulence (gas), especially if the abdomen has been massaged.
  • Heightened feelings of emotion, e.g. weeping. Sometimes this has occurred during treatment. A feeling of complete overwhelm comes over a person. Embarrassment of this happening needs complete reassurance that this is one of the side effects from treatment due to lifestyle. How the body has been coping with it, or not, finds its escape here and that is definitely a good thing. No need for embarrassment what so ever.
  • Often times, a feeling of emptiness can accompany the release of extreme emotions. This may well be the body’s way of highlighting your need for some TLC! If this is one of the side effects you have then give yourself permission to have some "me time". It is allowed you know!
  • An increase in the feeling of hunger can occur, especially if you have been withholding your food intake excessively. As the body becomes more relaxed it can be alerted to the need for proper nutrients
  • A deep feeling of thirst can also occur, again the relaxation attained from massage will alert the body to its need to rehydrate. Never a bad thing!
  • Skin breakouts can happen due to stimulation from massage. The skin is the largest organ of the body and its not just there to hold everything in! It has multi-functional tasks to perform. Elimination of waste being one of them. This sometimes also results in breakouts.
  • Feeling of great tiredness through to extreme exhaustion may be felt as the body attempts to make you aware of its need for sustained rest. This is especially true of those who are constantly on the go without a minute to rest. Today’s “modern lifestyles” can and do leave us working on half empty energy reserves at times and massage can bring this to the foreground in physicality terms.
  • Sometimes, due to the nature of some types of massage (ie deep tissue), bruising may occur. This is often seen in the denser areas of the body like the hips and buttocks. If bruising doesn’t show in discolouration then the surface area can definitely feel bruised as a result of the deep muscle work having been done. This is all normal and will subside over a few days.

Pause for Thought....

What I will most definitely say here is DON’T FIGHT what your body is trying to say to you. If it wants to sleep, then sleep! If it wants to drink, or eat, then do that (but make sure its quality rather than quantity that goes in!).

I would ALWAYS advise post treatment that you drink a glass of pure, clear water . This helps in many ways to ease the effects of massage and begin the process of elimination of toxins (among other things!)

When you have invested your time and money in the pursuit of wellness, especially if this manifests itself beyond the physical, do you not think it wise to follow guidance? Be it from me, your therapist or even your own higher self.

I always tell my patients that it is best to pay heed to what the body is communicating to you. If you can do this then you will most certainly gain greater benefit from your treatment and the money you have spent in trying to attain better well-being will manifest itself to you at a greater level.
Fight the side effects of massage and you may even regret having had the treatment, which would be a crying shame. Not only that but you will not have reaped the full benefits of the massage, resulting in a less positive outcome. For more personal information about this always speak to your therapist who will obviously be far more knowledgeable about your personal situation.

My Final Bit of Advice!

The effects of massage from any specific type that you may encounter should, by rights, be told you by your own therapist when you first visit him/her. If this is not done, then please do ask. I promise, they don't bite!!

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Check out the following types of massage reviewed on this website:


Deep Tissue Massage

Holistic Massage

Indian Head Massage

Manual Lymph Drainage Massage

Medical Massage

Pre and Post Natal Massage

Remedial Massage


Sports Massage

Swedish Massage

Thai Massage

Other areas of interest in this series are:




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