Why do some clients feel unwell after a massage?

Deterioration of health after a massage

Deterioration of health after a massage is rare, but it still happens sometimes. Some massage therapists find that clients who come to them for the first time or come back after a long break get worse after a massage. The same happens when a person starts to exercise after a long time in a sedentary lifestyle, or when he or she is subjected to severe stress, such as running a marathon.

What is the reason?

To understand this, let us turn to the discovery made by two research doctors back in the late 1800s. Adolf Jarisch and Karl Herxheimer were the first to describe the so-called “Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction”. This reaction occurs in patients with serious bacterial infections within a few hours after the first dose of antibacterial agents: patients feel unwell for a short time due to the rapid release of antigens and endotoxins. The immune system of the human body is overloaded by a large number of harmful substances resulting from the death of pathogenic bacteria. 

But how, you ask, is this reaction related to massage?

A good massage performed by a professional stimulates the work of a wide variety of our body systems. The blood circulation of the lymph flow is improved, which improves the efficiency of the immune system. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and do not practice sports, which is not uncommon these days, and have never had a massage (or you limit yourself to one or two sessions per year), then after the session your body will be very active in getting rid of life products and free radicals. As a result of the massage, your immune system will overload, as in the case of the antibacterial reaction described above, and you may develop a prefluenza condition – headaches, general fatigue, muscle pain, runny nose, etc. 

Why do some clients feel unwell after a massage? 1

Why do some clients feel unwell after a massage? 2

5 ways to cope with the deterioration of health after a massage

  • Drink enough water after the massage, and it is desirable to drink more than usual. You can try the water with lemon.
  • Snack very lightly, don’t overeat in any circumstances.
  • Take a hot bath with aroma salt
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Don’t neglect physical activity – a light cardio workout or at least a 20-minute walk will come in handy.
  • Finally, regular massages and sports activities will make you feel completely better after your session.

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