Feeling sore or in pain after your massage. Soreness can be an area of the body that after receiving the massage feels tender to the touch, swollen, or sometimes even bruised. This experience can be totally normal after receiving a massage. It is even more common than you think. Some pain and discomfort after a massage is normal. This reaction by your body to the massage is sometimes called therapeutic inflammation. Therapeutic inflammation occurs when new white blood cells move toward the massaged area to clean out waste products that have developed over time from injury, stiffness, and more. This can sometimes cause discomfort in the area which at many times may make you feel like the massage therapist did something wrong. Not to worry though. This is just a natural reaction by your body’s innate healing process.
Have you ever had an injury in an area and after a few days the pain went away but it still just didn’t feel right. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the body healed itself. It just means that your brain has shut down the pain pathways so you don’t feel the pain. Massage therapy can encourage the healing process which allows you to experience the pain again for a temporary time. Is that bad? Of course it isn’t. Your body is healing. The massage increase blood flow to the affected area and cleans everything out that has built up over time. This is especially common when receiving a deep tissue massage.
What about the bruises? There are a number of factors that can cause bruising. First of all, the type of massage can dictate the strength used. If you selected a deep tissue massage or Thai massage, they are more intense and may leave some bruising. Even though it is temporary, next time just select a massage which is not as deep such as a Swedish massage and let them know to go lighter. There are many other factors that can cause bruising such as sensitive skin, vitamin C deficiency, age and more.
Other things that may make you more susceptible to pain and bruising after your massage are smoking, drinking, lack of sleep, and much more. Lifestyle and good health play a vital role in recovery.
So the next time you wake up the next day after the massage and you feel like you got run over by a semi-truck, don’t automatically blame your massage therapist. Remember, if your therapist has massaged thousands of other people and they don’t get the same complaint, look at other factors as well. It may just be your body healing and that is a good thing.