Can a Thai Massage Make You Sick?

Thai massage is a world-famous relaxing therapy due to its origin and history. The cause of fame is also because it helps you release stress.

But can a Thai massage make you sick?

Yes“, Thai massage can sometimes make you sick and go wrong, if not done properly.

In this article, we’ll delve into the types of sickness you can face after a bad Thai massage, the reasons, and the precautions you should take.

So let’s get started

Can a Thai Massage Make You Sick?

A Thai massage is generally considered a safe and therapeutic practice that offers numerous physical and mental benefits.

However, some individuals may experience certain side effects or feelings of discomfort after a session.

It’s important to note that these side effects are usually mild and temporary, and severe sickness due to a Thai massage is exceptionally rare.

Can a Thai Massage Make You Sick

Thai massage, also known as Thai yoga massage, is an ancient healing art that combines acupressure, yoga-like stretching, and deep tissue massage techniques.

Its primary goal is to balance the body’s energy flow, release muscle tension, and promote relaxation.

Causes of Sickness After Thai Massage

Post-massage sickness can be attributed to several factors. Let’s explore these causes in more detail:

  • Overstimulation of the Parasympathetic Nervous System: Thai massage promotes relaxation by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Some individuals may feel lightheaded or sick as their body adjusts to this shift in the nervous system’s balance.
  • Release of Built-Up Toxins: The physical manipulation of muscles during a massage can release toxins that have accumulated in the body. While this is part of the natural detoxification process, it can sometimes result in temporary feelings of sickness.
  • Dehydration During the Session: Sweating and increased circulation during a massage can lead to dehydration if you don’t drink enough water before or after the session. Dehydration can contribute to feelings of dizziness and discomfort.
  • Blood Pressure Changes: The pressure and stretching involved in Thai massage can cause temporary fluctuations in blood pressure. Individuals with low blood pressure may feel dizzy, while those with high blood pressure should be cautious and consult a healthcare provider before getting a massage.

12 Types Of Sickness You Can Face

Now we know the causes of post-massage sickness, let’s briefly discuss the various types of sicknesses individuals may face:

1. Nausea:

Nausea after a Thai massage can occur but is typically associated with certain factors that can be easily addressed. One common cause is receiving a massage on a full stomach, which can lead to discomfort.

Can a Thai Massage Make You Sick - Nausea

To avoid this, it’s advisable to wait at least an hour after a meal before getting a massage. Additionally, some individuals may experience nausea due to the release of toxins during the massage.

While this is a natural detoxification process, it can make some people feel unwell temporarily.

2. Feeling Dizzy

Feeling dizzy after a Thai massage can be attributed to various factors, including:

  • Position Changes: Thai massages involve a range of stretching and position changes. If these movements are sudden or vigorous, they can lead to a temporary feeling of dizziness.
  • Low Blood Sugar: Skipping meals before a massage can result in low blood sugar levels, which can manifest as dizziness. To prevent this, ensure you have a light snack or meal before your massage session.

3. Dehydration

Dehydration is a common issue associated with post-massage sickness. Massage can stimulate the body’s natural detoxification processes, which may increase the need for fluids.

Additionally, clients might not realize how much they sweat during a session, contributing to dehydration. To prevent this, it’s advisable to drink water before and after a massage.

Staying adequately hydrated not only helps with detoxification but also promotes overall well-being.

4. Anemia

Anemia is a condition characterized by a deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood.

Individuals with anemia may feel fatigued after a massage because their bodies struggle to deliver sufficient oxygen to muscles and tissues.

Can a Thai Massage Make You Sick - Anemia

While Thai massage is generally safe for individuals with anemia, it’s important to communicate your condition with your therapist to ensure that the massage is tailored to your specific needs.

5. Heart Problems

For those with underlying heart conditions, the vigorous nature of Thai massage may pose some risks.

The massage’s intense stretching and pressure techniques can temporarily elevate blood pressure and heart rate.

Therefore, individuals with heart problems should consult their healthcare provider before undergoing a Thai massage to ensure it is safe for them.

6. Prescription Medications

It’s essential to inform your massage therapist of any medications you are taking. Some medications can interact with the massage or its oils, potentially causing discomfort or adverse effects.

While this is relatively rare, clear communication can help your therapist adjust the treatment to ensure your safety and comfort.

7. Eating Disorders

Individuals with eating disorders may experience discomfort or dizziness during or after a massage due to limited nutrient intake.

Physical contact and focus on the body during a massage can also trigger emotional responses related to body image and self-esteem.

Can a Thai Massage Make You Sick - Eating Disorder

It’s crucial for individuals with eating disorders to discuss their condition with their therapist before the session to ensure a safe and supportive experience.

8. Toxic Shock Syndrome

Although extremely rare, there have been cases of individuals developing infections, including toxic shock syndrome, after receiving massages.

These cases are usually linked to unsanitary conditions or improper hygiene practices at the massage facility.

To minimize the risk of such occurrences, always choose a reputable and clean establishment for your massage.

9. Emotional Stress

Emotional release during a massage is not uncommon. As muscles relax, emotional tension can also be released, leading to feelings of sadness or unease.

While this is a sign that the massage is working to alleviate stored tension, it’s essential to be aware of these potential emotional responses and allow yourself to process them.

10. Pain and Muscle Soreness

Mild soreness is a common side effect of Thai massage, particularly if the therapist uses deep tissue techniques or targets areas with built-up tension.

This soreness is typically short-lived and should not be a cause for concern. It’s a sign that your body is responding to the treatment and releasing muscle knots and tension.

11. Fatigue

Feeling tired after a Thai massage is entirely normal. The relaxation induced by the massage can lead to a sense of calm and tranquility, making you feel ready for rest.

Can a Thai Massage Make You Sick - Fatigue

This fatigue is often a sign that your body is healing and recovering from physical and mental stress.

12. Headache

Some individuals may experience headaches after a Thai massage. This can result from various factors, including:

  • Muscle Tension Release: As tense muscles release during the massage, it can sometimes trigger headaches. This is a temporary reaction and typically subsides within a day or two.
  • Dehydration: A lack of proper hydration before or after the massage can contribute to headaches. Drinking water can help alleviate this discomfort.

After How Long Can You Feel Sickness?

Let’s examine the timeframes during which post-massage sickness might occur:

Immediately After Massage

Feeling unwell immediately after a Thai massage is less common but can happen. This immediate discomfort may be due to factors such as sudden changes in blood pressure or dehydration during the session.

It’s important to communicate any discomfort with your therapist during the massage so that adjustments can be made.

Hours Or Days After Massage

For many people, any discomfort or feelings of sickness tend to occur a few hours or even days after the massage session.

Can a Thai Massage Make You Sick - Hours or Days

This delayed reaction can be linked to various factors:

  • Muscle Soreness: The deep stretching and manipulation of muscles during Thai massage can lead to delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This typically occurs 24 to 48 hours after exercise or intense physical activity and can last for a few days.
  • Emotional Release: As mentioned earlier, Thai massage can trigger emotional release. Feelings of sadness or unease may emerge hours or days after the session as stored emotional tension is released.
  • Detoxification: The body continues to detoxify in the hours and days following a massage. This process can lead to the release of toxins, contributing to feelings of discomfort. Drinking water and allowing your body to rest can help alleviate these symptoms.

What To Do About Feeling Sick After Massage

If you find yourself feeling unwell after a Thai massage, here are some steps you can take to alleviate discomfort and promote a quicker recovery:

  • Hydrate: Drinking plenty of water before and after the massage can help flush out toxins and prevent dehydration, which is a common cause of post-massage sickness.
  • Rest: Allow your body to rest and recover. Avoid strenuous activities for at least the rest of the day after the massage to give your muscles time to adapt.
  • Cold Compress: If you’re experiencing muscle soreness or discomfort, applying a cold compress to the affected areas can provide relief.
  • Consult with Your Therapist: If you experience unusual or severe discomfort after a massage, consider reaching out to your therapist. They can provide insights and may recommend adjustments for future sessions.
  • Consult a Healthcare Provider: If symptoms persist or worsen, especially if you have underlying health conditions, consult a healthcare provider to rule out any serious issues.


Thai massage is generally a safe and beneficial practice, but like any therapeutic treatment, it may result in temporary discomfort or side effects for some individuals.

Understanding the potential causes of post-massage sickness and taking appropriate measures, such as staying hydrated and communicating with your therapist, can help ensure a positive and comfortable experience.

Remember that any feelings of sickness are typically short-lived, and the long-term benefits of Thai massage often outweigh these temporary inconveniences.

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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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