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Why you might feel worse afer a massage

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Why did I feel sore after that massage?

This is something that comes up with clients from time to time but it’s not common so don’t panic!

It’s the day after your massage, and you think to yourself, “Did I work out yesterday? Did I go for a run in my sleep?” Your muscles feel like maybe you did. Or perhaps you just feel a little more groggy and tired than normal. You think that surely this soreness couldn’t be a result from your massage . . . could it?

One of the most underrated things a massage can do for your body is start to detox and clear out toxins and lactic acid that has built up in the system over time.

Even though it may be a little confusing, know that it is perfectly normal for your body to feel a little sore the day after a massage.

For your muscles, if you’ve had a deep tissue or sports massage in particular getting a massage is similar to experiencing a strenuous workout. They’ve been stretched and manipulated and released tension, knots and adhesions and the massage increased blood circulation to your tight spots.

When a certain group of muscles gets tight, strained or kinked, it becomes more rigid, and will rely on surrounding muscle areas to pitch in and help.

During a massage, the therapist works to stretch, lengthen, and break up groups of muscles and this can cause post-massage soreness.

Another area that could affect it is your hydration levels of your body tissue – your muscle tissue may l not be as pliable, and you may potentially l feel more soreness afterwards.

Know that it is perfectly normal for your body to feel a little sore and out-of-whack the day after a massage, as counter-intuitive as it seems.

It’s actually a great sign your body is responding and reacting in a therapeutic and healing way to the work done. Be sure to let your therapist know if anything feels uncomfortable or painful during the session rather than therapeutic.

try these tips for aftercare advice to help:

  • Stay hydrated.
  • Try to some down time after your massage so your nervous system can integrate. 
  • Have a light stretch later on in the day and the next day after your session
  • Try a warm bath – this will help your muscles continue to relax as well after your session
  • Rest and follow your body & what it needs
  • Take note and pay attention to your body’s reaction
  • Avoid or reduce alcohol and caffeine intake

If having a few tender sots on your muscles seems a little strange to you I promise it is a natural, normal part of the journey of health and well-being that comes with taking care of yourself by receiving a therapeutic massages.

As your body becomes accustomed to regular massages and the level of tension or toxic build up reduces in your system you’ll start to experience the next-day soreness less frequently.


Massage & Bodywork Therapist