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You just got a massage - now what? Tips for after massage care.

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After massage care is just as important as the massage itself!

So you just got a massage.  You're leaving the spa, or medical office, or wherever you may be.  You've been told all sorts of things to do after you leave to keep yourself in tip top condition after your massage, but most of it just went in one ear and out the other.  You step into your car, relaxed and sleepy, and decide you are going to take a nap and ignore most of what you have just been told, or what you could hear, at least.  "How bad can it be?", you wonder, starting the ignition and pulling out of the parking lot.

Stop!  Whatever your massage therapist has just told you, he or she has told you for a good reason.  Having a massage, especially a deep tissue massage, is a form of passive exercise, as hard as that may be to believe, and you need to take care of yourself as if you have just exercised.  You don't want to ruin that relaxed high you're on right now, do you?  Since you were too relaxed to hear or listen, let me give you some information and rules to follow.

  1. Drink Lots Of Water, Especially For The Next 24 Hours - this is perhaps the most important rule of all.  Rehydration is key to a healthy body, especially after a massage.  Since massage promotes lymphatic movement, drinking water and hydrating yourself is key to moving toxins through the kidneys and out of the body.  Drinking water is the best way to do this - and no, water in tea, coffee and soft drinks doesn't count!  Don't be surprised if you seem to have an increased urine output, i.e. you are peeing much more.  This is also normal.
  2. Take A Bath - A nice warm bath is very soothing after a massage, particularly with Epsom Salts.  Epsom Salts are just Magnesium Sulfate, which is a natural muscle relaxer.  They are also wonderful at drawing out toxins in the body, as is massage, so you may get a sort of detoxifying effect which is very beneficial to the body.  You can get Epsom Salts at most grocery stores or pharmacies.  If you don't have Epsom Salts, don't worry - a nice warm bath will do just fine.  Please note that I said warm and not scalding hot!  This is important because if you have any inflammation in the muscles the excessive heat can serve to exacerbate the injury.  If you have a very sore muscle or injury, try icing the area.
  3. Pay Attention To Your Body's Reaction To The Massage - You may be sore after the massage.  This is normal with Deep Tissue massage, but it can happen with the more gentle Swedish Massage as well.  Sometimes you may not feel the soreness until the next day.  Why?  Well, as mentioned before, massage is a sort of passive exercise.  If you are not one to get massages often, or do not exercise and are not used to using the muscles, then they may respond with soreness.  This should only last for a day or perhaps two; anything more indicates that perhaps your therapist worked on you a little too hard.  This should be adjusted in the next segment.  You can help your therapist by stretching before you arrive for your segment.  Remember anything that was particularly painful and report this to your therapist at your next visit.  The therapist should be open to what you are saying and should tailor your visit from the information they receive from you.
  4. Rest - You may feel tired, as if you want to lie down and take a nap.  This is completely normal, and you should listen to your body.  If you can, make sure you have nowhere to go and nothing to do after your massage.  Massage is not just work on the body; it is work on the mind too.  It helps to destress and relax you; this in turn may make you feel tired.  This is your time to recover your mind and body and it is your body's time to rebalance itself and retune.  Don't feel like you SHOULD be doing something.  There is nothing worse than hearing a client say, "Oh, that felt great.  Too bad I have to go back to work." or "I think I'll go work out now".  Make time for yourself and your body will thank you.
  5. Welcome Different Emotions - Sometimes, if you have been experiencing lots of stress, you may feel the need to cry after the massage.  Alternatively, you may feel elated, on cloud nine, full of energy.  Either response is normal.  The key is not to try to keep these emotions out.  The massage may channel these feelings and multiply them; whichever way, this is what the body needs.  I have had people break down on the table before; this is all perfectly natural.  Let it come and you will feel that much better afterwards.

As you can see, there aren't that many rules to follow, but it's important that you do!  Following the above rules will help you to get so much more benefits out of your massage and your presence of mind will be that much more peaceful and invigorated.  Always remember, if you have any questions whatsoever, be sure to call your therapist.  We are here for you to help you to heal and to get the most out of your session that you can get.  They don't call us therapists for nothing!


Lauren on January 21, 2016:

Hi i had a deep tissue thai massage on tuesday afternoon,

I came home, felt exhausted, a little disorientated and cried for an hour. I took a bath, felt better and went to sleep, I woke up the next day feeling exactly the same, if not a little bit worse. Then experiencing hot and cold chills, dreadful next sleep and my shoulders are still aching and feel extremely heavy

This would be the second day experiencing this, is this normal? Any comments regarding this issue?

Ellie on March 14, 2015:

Thanks. This was so helpful. Like you said, wht the therapist said went in one ear and out the next. Busy getting dressed at the time (where's my other sock?). I slept for 10 hours and woke up so thirsty. I've had another big glass now and feel better.

asahi on November 17, 2014:

hi i just wanna ask only it is possible to take shower upter i take thai massege pls adivce me...thenks.....

lee on July 26, 2014:

i had my first full body massage i loved it so relaxing tired now and feels like ive been puched which i haven't haha i'll do it again

Carrie Kinnear on May 20, 2014:

It's probably a combination. If you've been stressed it's normal to have an emotional release. You may just need a good sleep now. I normally don't recommend more than a 90 minute massage though.

Corinne on May 20, 2014:

I have a massage about every two weeks and today I had a two hour massage…..came home and could not even think straight. Have been very stressed lately and don't sleep well anyway and kept my 2 year old grandchild for a week. I am drinking lots of water, but I am crying and feel like I am losing my mind. Is this from a long massage and all of the toxins?

Amy on May 13, 2014:

Had my first ever massage today. And feeling a bit woozy so this information helped a lot. Thank you :)

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emceee on March 24, 2014:

So I got my First massage ever ,I went because Ive been very stressed out and its causing me to get anxiety out of the nowhere , but for the past three days I was very sick with fever got prescribed an antibiotic and ibuprofen of 800 mg. So I let the girl know once I was done she said not to keep drinking my medicine just warm water and to sleep two hours. I did sleep but my throat is hurting again I want to take the Ibuprofen what should I do ?

Danielle on November 19, 2013:

Today I got my second massage ever, and of course parts of it hurt (deep tissue for lower back pain and stiffness). Is it normal that it will hurt a bit with a deep tissue? The massage was 14 hours ago and my lower back is still radiating heat- what causes it to do this for so long (not concerned just curious) And I'm glad to hear tiredness is normal... Although is sleeping for 5-hours afterward normal?

jeanne on February 24, 2013:

Add Your Comment..This is very important information to be sure! In order to remind our customers to follow these suggestions, do you mind if we print these and hand out as a reminder of recommendations to make the most of their massage experience.

madandproudofit on February 17, 2013:


My wife suffered over many years as a result of a car accident and just recently has resolved her issues with her neck pains by using a deep tissue massage on a regular basis. Check out her article on

Eagurl on February 09, 2013:

Wow that's some fantastic information you've shared. Thank you very much. I shall use this when I start working as a massage therapist.

marg on September 07, 2012:

Thanx to this very helpful tips for a first timer like me and had been worried on its effect plus the thought that I will be going to work the day sort of gaining ideas and anticipating after effect..great job guys keep it up & will be on track here in your column..

marg on September 07, 2012:

Thanx to this very helpful tips for a first timer like me and had been worried on its effect plus the thought that I will be going to work the day sort of gaining ideas and anticipating after effect..great job guys keep it up & will be on track here in your column..

Jane on August 02, 2012:

I am so glad I discovered you! Your comments and answers are wonderful! Thank you.

AShish on June 13, 2012:

THanx........that bath was more soothing after the bath ............overall really nice and relaxing.....Thanks a lot.......

Janice on June 12, 2012:

I had a face massage for my vry first time yesterday, n afta d massage wen i got home i ate dinner n i was soo drowsy i cudnt evn think i wanted to do was sleep.. n i ended up sleeping for 14hours straight.. that kinda puzzled me out tuu,, was it cus of d face massage dt i slept dt long evn afta i had siested b4 goin 2 d massage palour? but i feel great today!

Do i nid 2 do d face massage weekly or twice in a week? will it help wit my facial skin discolorations?

Janice on June 12, 2012:

I had a face massage for my vry first time yesterday, n afta d massage wen i got home i ate dinner n i was soo drowsy i cudnt evn think i wanted to do was sleep.. n i ended up sleeping for 14hours straight.. that kinda puzzled me out tuu,, was it cus of d face massage dt i slept dt long evn afta i had sisted b4 goin 2 d massage palour? but i feel great today!

restrelax from Los angeles CA on April 15, 2012:

These Reflex points when given the correct amount of pressure and on the correct point will help in curing the problem related to the body.

Sid Kemp from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) on April 13, 2012:

Thanks! These are really good reminders. I particularly like the variety of specific things we can do physically, with hydration, and emotionally.

Pelty on March 30, 2012:

I had a massage yesterday, my last one was about 2 years ago, I never had any weird reactions but this time I had diarrea (sp?)that evening and I felt very very tired almost to the point of really feeling sick. Maybe it's just a bug or somoething and I didn't drink all of my water but I tried, I did drink some decaf tea though. I feel tired and sore today. I will in future take an epsom salts bath though. I didn't realize how the toxins released can affect you. I think I will get them more often though just for the benefits of a massage. I usually only got one when I am so stressed out at work I am ready to jump off a bridge (well almost). I guess there really IS something to this massage thing, it is relaxing if nothing else.

Elaine on March 20, 2012:

Trish, Check out this link. It talks about fibromyalgia and massage reactions. It's very well done and may be helpful to you.

Trish on March 09, 2012:

I've been getting theraputic massages for the past 4 months, 1 to 2 days a week. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or chronic pain syndrome. I have been drinking plenty of water, but with after each massage, I get sick. If I get a deep tissue massage, I'm in the bed for at least 3 days with flu like symptoms, vomiting, the chills and everything else. My massage therapist has never encountered this, has anyone ever had this happen, do you know why it happens?

Micaela on February 25, 2012:

Thank you nice people, for the information

Belle on February 12, 2012:

Great... found the anwser to my question. Now I can take a bath without waiting for 8 hours to pass(that's what my former masahista told me)and nice tip about the water!

restrelax from Los angeles CA on January 31, 2012:

I am really glad to read this hub. Keep on sharing.

Tamara on January 09, 2012:

Hello, I'm also a LMT and would also like to be able to print and give this article to my clients as well as post it on my FB account. Would that be okay? Thank you!

patbess on October 28, 2011:

Wow! I never thought about what I needed to do after a massage. Great tips. I totally agree about drinking lots of water, I always feel very dehydrated after.

Sinclaireliu on September 25, 2011:

Thx. There're some helpful info in this short passage. I some time take massage to relax. But I don't like the tables therapist brought with, so I ordered one from Healthline. It's pretty good. If you need a massage table, I recommend to you.

Ana on May 28, 2011:

I just got a, wonderful long awaited, massage and was looking up after massage care. I am definitely on cloud 9 and all my body wants to do is....nothing. So nothing it is!! I really enjoyed this hub. Thank you so much!!!

Deborah Julien on April 02, 2011:

I haven't had a massage in almost seven years, but I'm due for one next week, so I was looking for the information on after care :) Thanks for the reminder!

ckinnear (author) from Moseley on March 21, 2011:

Hi Adria-no problem! Thanks for the great feedback. It really means a lot to me as a therapist.

Adaria on March 19, 2011:

Great hub and information. Thank you for emphasizing the importance of bringing up any longer than normal soreness to the therapist. I don't know how many times I have stressed this in my own practice only to be ignored. We may be 'professionals' but we are not mind readers into how things felt to the client.

With this said I'd like to ask your permission to print some copies of this article to hand out to my clients in addition to the aut-take bit. I know how that tired sluggish feeling can make people miss a lot that is said after the massage.

Thanks again for this short and informative article.

ckinnear (author) from Moseley on February 22, 2011:

Hey Robert, did you try one yet? Terry - a massage can actually be a very emotional experience. Some people have actually burst into tears on the table. Normally people need a full day to feel great, i.e. sometimes they are sore the next day but then feel great after that. Perhaps this is working for you on an emotional level? In any case it's great to hear that you feel wonderful the next day. :)

Terry on February 18, 2011:

Just wondering why I feel really moody and unmotivated the following day after a massage then the day after that calm and fantastic

L.L. Woodard from Oklahoma City on December 01, 2010:

This is good information that my massage therapist never shared with me. Thanks for filling the void.

Robertbloggert from Oklahoma on August 05, 2010:

Great info though I have never went for a massage I have been told how wonderful they are. I on the other hand always seem to end up on the giving end, although I do enjoy making someone feel good. But you have peaked my interest in going. Now where did I see that local add for the Monday one hour full body for $40 weekly special? Lol

Thanks for the Hub now I'll have some ideas for after.

ckinnear (author) from Moseley on March 28, 2010:

Hi Dave! I am not sure why people would tell you not to take a bath. It's very soothing for the muscles, as long as it's not too hot. I wonder why you were instructed not to? It's especially awesome with Epsom salts. Just make sure you moisturize afterwards as the salts can be very drying.

dave on March 25, 2010:

great article post! just wondering, is it safe to take a bath after a massage? most people would say that it's not. Care to enlighten us a bit on why it is safe or not.

thanks a bunch!

rickydeez from San Diego, CA on April 23, 2009:

Great stuff - especially the water after. You'll need to flush out all those toxins that are in your system.

I always try to drink all i can right after.

Jo Brown from North of the Border on January 27, 2009:

Good hub!


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