Why Do I Feel Sick After Deep Tissue Massage? Causes & Solutions

If you’ve ever experienced that sick feeling after a deep tissue massage, you’re not alone.

Many people have encountered similar sensations, leaving them puzzled and somewhat uneasy about their massage experiences.

In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons behind feeling sick after a deep tissue massage and provide you with valuable tips on how to prevent and manage these post-massage symptoms.

Why Do I Feel Sick After Deep Tissue Massage?

You feel sick after a deep tissue massage because the intense pressure can release toxins from your muscles.

You feel sick after a deep tissue massage because the intense pressure can release toxins from your muscles.

This release can temporarily overwhelm your body, making you feel queasy or fatigued.

It’s also possible for the massage to activate your lymphatic system and trigger a brief immune

system response, which can mimic flu-like symptoms.

These sensations are usually short-lived and are a sign that your body is working to heal and restore balance.

Feeling Sick After a Deep Tissue Massage: The Culprits

Deep tissue massage can sometimes trigger a few unwelcome side effects. Let’s explore them one by one in more detail.

1. Release of Toxins

One of the primary culprits behind post-massage discomfort is the release of toxins from your muscles.

As the massage therapist applies deep pressure to your muscles, it can stimulate the release of stored toxins, such as metabolic waste products and lactic acid.

This sudden release of toxins can overwhelm your body, leaving you feeling sick or fatigued.

2. Lymphatic System Activation

Deep tissue massage can also trigger your lymphatic system. This crucial system helps eliminate waste and toxins from your body.

When it becomes more active due to the massage, it might temporarily overload your body’s ability to process these substances, resulting in flu-like symptoms.

3. Immune System Response

Your immune system may react to the sudden changes brought about by deep tissue massage.

It’s not uncommon for some individuals to experience a mild immune response, which can manifest as feeling unwell or feverish.

4. Muscle Soreness

Intense deep-tissue massage can lead to muscle soreness, akin to the sensation you might experience after an intense workout.

Intense deep-tissue massage can lead to muscle soreness

This discomfort can contribute to an overall feeling of being unwell.

5. Dehydration

During and after a massage, you might lose fluids through sweat and relaxation-induced urination.

Dehydration can exacerbate feelings of sickness, so it’s crucial to stay hydrated before and after your massage.

Practical Tips to Avoid Feeling Sick After Massage

Now that we’ve uncovered the reasons behind post-massage sickness, let’s explore some practical solutions to help you avoid or minimize these uncomfortable sensations:

1. Hydrate Adequately

Ensure you’re well-hydrated before your massage appointment. Drinking water helps your body flush out toxins more efficiently.

2. Communicate with Your Therapist

Prior to your massage, have a candid conversation with your therapist.

Share any concerns, medical conditions, or preferences you have. They can adjust the intensity of the massage to better suit your comfort level.

3. Gradual Pressure Increase

If you’re new to deep tissue massage or haven’t had one in a while, ask your therapist to start with gentler pressure and gradually increase it as your muscles relax.

This can minimize the shock to your system.

4. Post-Massage Rest

After your massage, allow yourself some time to rest.

Avoid strenuous activities immediately after your deep tissue massage session to give your body time to recover.

Avoid strenuous activities or commitments immediately after your session to give your body time to recover.

5. Stay Warm

Maintain warmth during and after your massage. Your body temperature can drop during the session, leading to a feeling of sickness.

Ask for an extra blanket or consider wearing layers.

What to Do If You Feel Sick After a Deep Tissue Massage

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may still feel unwell after a massage. Here’s what you can do:

1. Rest and Rehydrate: Take it easy, rest, and drink plenty of water. Your body needs time to process and eliminate the toxins that are released.

2. Apply Heat: If you’re experiencing muscle soreness, applying a warm compress or taking a warm bath can help alleviate discomfort.

3. Avoid Overexertion: Refrain from strenuous activities for at least 24 hours after your massage to prevent exacerbating any discomfort.

4. Consult Your Therapist: If your symptoms persist or worsen, consider reaching out to your massage therapist. They can provide guidance and address any concerns you may have.

Side Effects of Deep Tissue Massage

Side Effect Description
Muscle Soreness Temporary soreness is akin to post-exercise feeling.
Temporary Fatigue A brief period of tiredness after the massage.
Feeling Unwell Possible queasiness or flu-like symptoms.
Minor Bruising Occasional bruising, especially for sensitive skin.
Emotional Release Potential emotional responses like crying or laughter.


Feeling sick after a deep tissue massage happens because the intense pressure can release toxins, activate your lymphatic system, and trigger a temporary immune response.

This might lead to queasiness or fatigue.

However, these sensations usually pass quickly and are part of your body’s natural healing process. Remember to communicate with your therapist, stay hydrated, and rest to make your post-massage experience more comfortable and beneficial.


Is It Normal to Feel Unwell After Deep Tissue Massage?

Yes, it’s normal to feel unwell after a deep tissue massage.

Deep tissue massage involves intense pressure on muscles, which can release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, and even prompt a temporary immune system response.

These reactions can lead to sensations of queasiness, fatigue, or muscle soreness.

Why Do I Have Flu-Like Symptoms After a Deep Tissue Massage?

Flu-like symptoms following a deep tissue massage can be attributed to the release of toxins, lymphatic system activation, and an immune system response.

The massage stimulates the release of stored toxins, temporarily overwhelms your body’s waste elimination, and prompts your immune system to react.

These reactions can mimic flu-like discomfort, but they typically subside within a day or two.

What Are the Side Effects of a Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage can have side effects, including muscle soreness, temporary fatigue, feeling unwell (nausea or flu-like symptoms), minor bruising, and emotional release.

These effects are generally short-lived and part of the body’s natural response to the massage.

Why Do I Feel Sick After Deep Tissue Massage

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About the author

I am Dr. Arjun Patel. Sharing my 20+ years of experience in Massage & Physical Therapy. I am an active member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). To learn more about me and our team, visit the about us page. Click here to contact me for questions, concerns, and consultation






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