Can a Deep Tissue Massage Make You Sick?

You returned from your deep tissue massage therapy with a relaxed mind and body. The best course of action you decided to take was to take a nap. After your rest, you woke up with a heavy head. You choose to eat something, but nausea takes over. Suddenly, you think if it is common to feel this way.

Numerous people are curious about sickness related to Deep Tissue Massage. Yes, it is common to feel sick after your body undergoes deep tissue massages.

So, does deep tissue massage make you sick?

So, should you be feeling sick after a deep tissue massage? Although it is expected, everyone doesn’t need to undergo the same symptoms.

Different people feel differently after a deep tissue massage.

This can include feeling nauseous or having a headache.

But these aren’t all the side effects one can face.

Some of the others are:

  • Feeling tired, exhausted, or sleepy
  • Suffering from a headache
  • Sore or aching muscles
  • Pain in the body

In this article, we will discuss the following topics:

  • Most common deep tissue massage sickness?
  • Why does a deep tissue massage make you sick?
  • What should I do when I feel sick after a deep tissue massage?

Most Common Deep Tissue Massage Sickness?

Although you weren’t expecting to get sick after a relaxing massage experience, it still happened. However, this is quite common. It indicates that something is going on in your body, and you should figure out what it is.

The most common deep tissue massage sickness or side effects are:

Postural Hypotension

If you feel sick as soon as you get off the massage table, it shows you are experiencing postural hypotension. This is also known as orthostatic hypotension. This low blood pressure condition happens when you suddenly stand up after sitting down or lying on your back.

This nauseous feeling that makes you feel dizzy should subside in a few minutes. However, if it doesn’t, you should call your doctor to see an underlying medical condition.

Flu-Like Symptoms

Not everyone experiences these flu-like symptoms. But massage therapists say that these flu-like symptoms and nausea are common side effects of massage. These symptoms remain constant in the coming hours or days followed after massage.

After a deep tissue massage, clients who feel sick may even vomit or experience muscle aches. These unpleasant signs and symptoms are also common. They show that the massage effectively removed metabolic waste from the muscle tissue through the lymph nodes.

The lymphatic fluid in the lymphatic system plays a vital role in carrying waste and toxins (viruses, bacteria, and allergens) away from soft tissues in the body. It also helps carry the toxic fluid to the renal system.

A well-done massage can accelerate metabolic waste removal by accumulating the waste present in your tissues and sending it to your lymphatic system for removal.


You already know the importance of drinking a lot of water and keeping the body hydrated. But when it comes to massage, it becomes even more crucial. Remember to drink water before having a massage and after it as well.

Dehydration drops blood volume, resulting in dizzy or nauseous after the massage. Moreover, massage causes dehydration as water is pumped out of the soft tissues and into your circulatory system.

Other Reasons for Feeling Dizzy

There are multiple reasons you would feel dizzy other than postural hypotension. Some of these are:

  • Anemia
  • Heart conditions
  • Eating disorders
  • Prescription medications
  • Emotional stress
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Aching Muscles

Deep tissue massage uses muscle manipulation technique with force. So, the treated areas may feel a little sore after the massage. The muscles worked on may not have been treated before, causing this soreness.


Another common sickness after a massage can be headaches. The reason for a headache can be dehydration. It also depends on the emotional and physical stress you had accumulated before the massage. Another common reason may be awkward head positioning during the massage treatment.

Why Does a Deep Tissue Massage Make You Feel Sick?

There are several reasons why this could be happening. Some of these are:

Causing Toxicity

Instead of detoxifying the body, the deep tissue massage can cause a short-term, slightly toxic condition in the body. The reason behind it is that your body may have numerous unhealthy tissues in the body.

To break the adhesions, the massage therapist will work on them. As a result, the blood flow will increase, moving and restoring the muscles to a healthy state. All the metabolic waste would get dumped at once into your lymphatic system.

The quick delivery of nutrients and oxygen and their combustion can lead to using the water present in the bloodstream, resulting in you feeling thirsty or dehydrated. The immune system will experience a toxic overload as the metabolic waste gathers significantly more than the body can get rid of, making you feel sick.

Healthy and Unhealthy Muscle Tissue

If your muscles are in a healthy and hydrated state, they will be soft and spongy to touch. This allows the blood to circulate freely through the vessels and tissues. However, if you have dehydrated or unhealthy muscles, they will cause you pain.

The unhealthy muscles will feel tight to touch and restrict the movement of blood flow. These hard muscles often squeeze the capillaries, causing limited lymphatic drainage.

Furthermore, this unhealthy blood flow will cause the tissues to be starved of vital nutrient exchange and oxygen. Moreover, metabolic waste will build up and stay stuck without new blood flushing it out of the system, causing sickness.
Total Stress

The total stress your body feels (physical, spiritual, and emotional) before and during the deep tissue massage can also cause sickness. The amount of sensory input your body receives will be greater during the massage and less after it. This imbalance can cause sickness.

What Should I Do When I Feel Sick After a Deep Tissue Massage?

If you feel sick after a deep tissue massage, this is what you should do:

Hydrate Your Body

There is a reason why drinking water and keeping your body hydrated before and after a massage is emphasized. The circulation, blood, and lymphatic system work on water. If you aren’t hydrated, they will be sluggish in performing their functions.

Plus, dehydration can cause postural hypotension. Ensure you drink water after the massage to keep your lymphatic system helping remove toxins from the body. This will minimize the chances of you feeling sick.

If you feel nauseous, ginger tea will help calm your stomach and restore the body to its normal state.

Don’t Drink Tea, Coffee, Alcohol

Remember that the water content in a cup of coffee, tea, soft drink, or alcoholic drink is not the same as gulping an extra glass of water. After your deep tissue massage, it is best to avoid these drinks.

Caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages are diuretics. It means that your body loses more fluid than gaining by drinking these drinks.

Instead of helping the body in flushing out toxins, fluids in these beverages pass through the system more quickly than water, resulting in not assisting the lymphatic and circulatory system do its job. So, avoid these drinks.

Eat Light Items

Have a snack after your deep tissue massage. Massage increases the functions of your digestive system. To give your body an energy boost, light snacks are what you need. It is recommended not to eat a full meal right after the massage as it may make you feel nauseous. So, have a healthy snack.

Take Rest

Give your body time to rest. After a deep tissue massage, it is best not to perform any strenuous activity. Give your body some time to heal. The best way to relieve yourself of sickness is to sleep it off.

Take a nap or sleep for a few hours to recharge your body. When you wake up, you will feel way better than before.


Yes, a deep tissue massage can have after-effects. But they are curable and common. Anyone can have them. However, now you know how to treat post-massage sickness with our guide. So, follow our guide and enjoy frequent deep tissue massages without getting sick.

Now it’s time to hear from you:

Have you felt sick after your deep tissue massage?

What did you do to treat your sickness?

Share your views in the comment section below and spread awareness with the readers.

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