Toxins in Body after a Massage : Symptoms and Effects

09 Jul, 2011

Massage gives several benefits to human beings. It acts as a good stress reliever for all those who are living a stressful life. It reduces the heart rate, controls blood pressure, boosts our immunity and decreases the secretion of stress hormones. It also increases the levels of serotonin and endorphins in our body. These hormones are the mood regulators and natural pain killers of our body. By increasing the secretion of these hormones, massage helps in controlling the mood swings and bouts of depression and also helps in reducing the pain. A good massage improves the blood circulation in all parts of the body and helps in relaxation of the muscles. This helps individuals suffering from stiffness of muscles and painful muscles. There is a release of toxins in body after a massage that helps in cleansing the body. A massage helps in clearing the lactic acid produced in muscles by releasing this byproduct of muscular metabolism into the bloodstream.

Toxins left after massage - symptoms & effects

In spite of several advantages offered by massage, there are several studies suggesting some harmful effects of a massage, resulting in some signs and symptoms. The aim of a massage usually is to relax the muscles. However, a deep vigorous massage can do more harm than good to the body. If you experience any of following symptoms and side effects of massage, the massage technique may have to be adjusted –

  • Pain in muscles – some persons may experience pain in the muscles as a response to the stimulation of the muscles after a deep massage. This usually happens in individuals who are not used to massage. As the muscles are not habituated to being stimulated, they release some hormones, resulting in pain. The pain may subside spontaneously over a period of time. However, proper care should be taken to avoid a deep and vigorous massage especially when you are taking it for the first time.
  • Soreness in the muscles – some studies have shown that more than 10% of people receiving a massage complain of soreness of the muscles, which fades within a few days without any active treatment.
  • Headache – a deep tissue massage can result in a headache in some individuals. Its occurrence is very rare and it can be due to the faulty positioning of the body after the massage rather than the massage itself.
  • Nausea – some people may feel nauseated after massage. This happens as the deep tissue massage releases a lot of toxins from the muscles, which are drained into the blood stream. This sudden rise of toxins in the blood stream results in nausea. Drinking a lot of water after a massage can help the body to get rid of toxins faster, and relieve the nausea.

Some rare side effects of massage are a cold, a stuffy nose, increased perspiration, tiredness, fatigue, heightened emotions, irritability, increased thirst and increased frequency of urination. Every body reacts in a different way to a massage. The intensity and severity of these symptoms can vary in different individuals.

People taking a massage can take the following precautions to avoid these symptoms and side effects of massage –

  • Take proper rest for at least half an hour after a massage
  • Avoid a sauna or hot shower bath immediately after a massage
  • Avoid any strenuous exercise for the next 24 hours after a massage
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking for next 24 hours
  • Reduce the intake of caffeine and try herbal tea instead of a caffeinated drink.

Contact your therapist if you feel that the severity of the symptoms is greater, and they make you feel uncomfortable. Keep these points in mind to avoid any unwanted symptoms and to enjoy the benefits of the massage to the fullest.

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