Massage therapy has become increasingly popular over the past decade. However, many people experience side effects from massages. Some common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness, and even fainting.
There are several possible causes for these side effects. In this post, we’ll go over the most likely ones and how to treat them.
But what exactly goes on during a massage? Why do I feel sick after a massage? And what makes us feel ill afterward? Do any of these questions sound familiar? Then read on…
What is a Massage?
A massage is an ancient practice that involves rubbing or kneading muscles with your hands. It’s often used as part of a holistic approach to health care. The earliest written records of massage date back to China in 500 BC.
In modern times, massage therapists use their fingers, thumbs, palms, elbows, forearms, knees, feet, and sometimes other parts of the body to apply pressure to various areas of the body.
How Does it Work?
During a massage, you lie down on a table and relax while someone else works on your body. They may rub your arms, legs, neck, shoulders, back, stomach, or scalp.
They can also gently press against your skin using their hands, elbows, knees, or feet. This helps stimulate blood flow and lymphatic circulation.
Your therapist will usually ask you about your medical history before starting a session. If you have any concerns, they may refer you to another provider who specializes in complementary medicine.
You should always let your doctor know if you’re having any unusual reactions to treatment.
Why do I feel sick after a massage?
When you receive a massage, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. This help relieves pain and stress.
Endorphins are similar to morphine, which is why some people get high when receiving a massage.
However, too much endorphin release can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle cramping. This is because endorphins act like opiates (natural substances found in opium) by binding to receptors in the brain.
This means that your body thinks it’s under attack and responds by releasing more endorphins. If you’ve ever taken heroin, you know how uncomfortable this feeling can be.
It’s not uncommon to feel nauseous after a massage. But there are ways to prevent this from happening.
Here are the things you can try:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Eat small meals throughout the day
- Avoid alcohol
- Take anti-nausea medication
- Get regular exercise
- Talk to your massage therapist
- Ask your doctor for advice
- Consider seeing a nutritionist
- Try acupuncture
- Seek out a different massage therapist
- Use essential oils
- Find a new therapist
- See a naturopath
- Try aromatherapy
- Learn relaxation techniques
- Treat yourself to a spa day
- Go to bed earlier
- Watch less TV
- Try yoga
Why Am I Feeling Sick After Massage Treatments?
There are many reasons why you might feel sick after a massage therapy session.
Some common causes include:
- Your massage therapist didn’t wash their hands properly.
- You had a reaction to the oil being used.
- You were given incorrect instructions.
- You ate something that disagreed with you.
- If you have drunk too much water before taking massage treatments.
- If you are taking some medicines, then it can cause issues.
- You had a bad reaction to a previous message.
- You had a cold or flu.
- You had a fever.
- If you have blood pressure issues.
Common Side Effects
Many people report feeling nauseous or lightheaded after receiving a massage. This is called post-massage sickness (PMS).
It’s not clear why some people get PMS and others don’t. But there are several potential explanations:
- Your body might be reacting to something in the massage itself. For example, some people say they feel better when they receive a deep tissue massage.
- You could be experiencing a reaction to the oil being used. Many massage oils contain ingredients like lanolin, which can cause allergic reactions.
- You could be sensitive to certain smells or tastes. These odors and flavors can trigger nausea.
- You might be suffering from a condition known as somatization disorder. This means that you have trouble distinguishing between physical and emotional problems.
- You might be experiencing stress. Stress can make you more susceptible to illness.
- You might be taking medication that interacts with massage oil.
- You might be experiencing a reaction to food or drink.
- You might be experiencing withdrawal from alcohol or drugs.
- You could have a pre-existing medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or thyroid issues.
- You might be pregnant.
- You might be experiencing hypoglycemia.
- You might be experiencing hyperglycemia.
- You might be experiencing dehydration.
- You might be experiencing low blood sugar.
- You might be experiencing high blood sugar.
In conclusion, massages are amazing. They help relieve stress, improve blood circulation, and reduce inflammation. But sometimes, they leave us feeling worse than we did before we got them. This happens because our bodies aren’t used to having their muscles worked on, and they react accordingly. In fact, the same thing can happen if you exercise too hard or skip meals. This is the reason you can say why do I feel sick after a massage. So, if you want to avoid a post-massage headache, here are a couple of simple rules to follow.