How to Spot Detoxification after Massage

Many massage clients experience uncomfortable symptoms after they get a massage.

This could alarm them quickly since most people (especially those new to massage treatment) are not aware of why this happens.

However, the symptoms that the clients experience are often harmless.

The body’s effort to detoxify itself brings about these symptoms.

This is important for you to learn so that you can educate your new clients to manage expectations and their body’s reaction to your massage.

Let’s look at detoxification after a massage in detail:

Detoxification After a Massage

One of the most common reasons people get a massage therapy is for relaxation.

There is no doubt about the fact that massage therapy is supposed to make a person feel comfortable.

However, there are instances where therapy triggers a cleansing process within the body, which could lead to slight discomfort.

This is known as the detoxification process.

If your body undergoes this process, you may feel discomfort and there are quite a few people who become very much concerned when they experience this.

Some even tend to think that the massage therapist was not qualified enough and ended up hurting them more than benefiting them.

However, this is a perfectly natural process.

Of course, it is not necessary for your clients to experience this discomfort after a massage.

But there is a chance, especially in the event their body has accumulated a hefty amount of toxins over time prior to the massage therapy.

Why the Body Detoxifies After a Massage

Almost everyone knows about the healing and cleansing effects of massage therapy.

Every the type of massage therapy has a cleansing effect on the body.

The daily routine that we tend to live by, the foods that we consume and our environment all have minor negative effects on our body.

One of these negative effects is the buildup of toxins within the body.

This is a very common occurrence and can only be prevented by regular detoxification.

Since detoxification methods involve fasting and a vigorous diet, many people avoid it.

Over time, the toxin build-up becomes quite immense. Massages could trigger the natural healing process of the body.

The body gets into a self-cleaning mode and begins to try to flush out the toxins.

This is mainly because of an increase in blood circulation.

The discomfort that one feels post massage is actually the body working to dissolve toxins stored in it.

The symptoms can be quite alarming as they are never constant.

Every individual experience a different detoxification symptom.

There may be instances where the same person may experience a variety of different symptoms.

Symptoms of the Detoxification Process

One of the main reasons massage clients are concerned is the variety of symptoms of the detoxification process.

Some clients experience the same type of symptom every time.

Others may experience a completely different symptom.

Some individuals experience a different symptom for every detoxification process.

It’s hard to anticipate what the body will go through.

This is why you should make sure that your clients are aware of the possible symptoms.

Once the clients are aware of all the symptoms, they may not worry or question the effectiveness of the therapy session.

Let’s look at some of the most common symptoms of the detoxification process:

  • A headache
  • Nausea
  • Muscle Soreness
  • Muscle Strain
  • Body Fatigue
  • Constant Thirst

So keep in mind that these symptoms are not limited to massage therapy only.

In fact, any detoxification method can cause the abovementioned symptoms.

This is why it is best to research as much as possible about the effects of detoxification on the human body.

The more information you relay to the clients, the better.

You should also always tell your clients to drink plenty of water right before and after a massage session to avoid dehydration.

And from a professional’s diligence perspective, it’s best to be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation training should you need to exercise in the event of an emergency.

How Can Clients Reduce Detoxification Symptoms

There are many ways the symptoms of detoxification can be reduced.

These methods are quite easy to try, and can really relieve clients of their discomfort.

Of course, there is no harm if the clients do not want to actively reduce these symptoms.

They will run their course and go away with time. The detoxification symptoms are not harmful at all.

For this reason, you should never force the detoxification methods on your clients.

However, be sure to guide them about and through the methods if they so desire.

But if they do not want to try them, make sure you are not forcing them.

Let’s look at the most common methods used to relieve these symptoms:

Water Consumption

It is a great idea to offer your clients a glass of water after a massage, but don’t force it if they tell you they are not thirsty.’

Simply remind them to drink plenty of water if they want to recover quickly and relieve any uncomfortable feeling in their body.

Water can be very effective as it could help the body the drain toxins.

If you drink lots of water, the toxins may flow out of your body quicker and you could feel relieved much quicker.

Bathe Post Massage

Another way of speeding up the toxin release is to bathe in Epsom salts.

This can not only soothe the body but also relieve the symptoms of detoxification.

Strictly from a physical perspective.

It will also wash away the oils/lotion applied to the body. Some people are bothered by the “icky” feeling after a massage.

Rest Is Necessary

It is normal to feel tired after a massage.

If your clients experience this feeling, be sure to tell them to get enough rest.

Explain that a massage is a workout activity wherein the body’s muscles are worked on.

It is natural to feel tired and getting rest will only help the muscles recover faster.

Educating Your Clients

As a massage therapist, you should be well aware of possible uncomfortable symptoms following a massage therapy session.

Although this material is taught in massage school.

You should not expect your clients to know about it until they are told.

It is your responsibility as a good massage therapist to educate your clients.

Before you begin the therapy session, you should educate them about how the massage affects the body.

How they should anticipate feeling during and after the massage.

This should be done in detail so that when you get to the part about detoxification.

They have a profound understanding of what it is and why it is needed.

Once you have explained the detoxification process, you can tell them more about the uncomfortable symptoms so that they are prepared and understand that it is just a temporary effect.

By guiding your clients to ways in which the symptoms can reduce.

Your clients will appreciate you being honest and will trust you more because of the genuine caring gesture.

Without such guidance, some clients may assume that you gave them an improper massage.

If you educate them, they could be prepared for the symptoms and will trust you even more as a therapist.

The body responds much better over time as clients get accustomed to massage.

Make sure you tell them that.

They will realize it more over time as they incorporate regular massages in their lifestyles.

In summary, be sure to study as much as possible about the symptoms of the body’s detoxification and educate your clients thoroughly beforehand.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

14 comments on “How to Spot Detoxification after Massage
  1. Fareed Mohammad says:

    This is a great learning of self while taking a massage therapy, keep sending me tips and updates on detox massage

  2. Melissa says:

    Thank You Neal for sharing about detoxification after a massage. People need to drink half their body weight in water and ounces daily. If you weight 200 lbs then 100 ounces of water daily. The water cleanses the body and sends the metabolic waste through much easier. I wish ALL our clients would drink their water!

  3. Jesse says:

    I got my first full body massage today.

    No oils, no face massage.

    I got a breakout of acne. I think that is a side effect of the detoxification process.

    Im sure my body has stored some toxins throughout my body and the massage released them into my bloodstream

  4. Heather says:

    I know that you always have toxins in your body, but how long after a DT massage do the toxins attach themselves back into the muscles? I drink a bottle or 2 of water. Is that enough after a massage or should I be drinking more water than that?

  5. Katie says:

    Hello – I recently got a deep tissue massage (Wednesday), I used to get them monthly and haven’t had one in about 7-8 months. It was much needed and seemed like it was a great job. Yesterday started to feel like I was getting a respiratory infection and all of a sudden that’s gone and I have body aches like the flu. Could this be a type of detoxification because I hadn’t been in so long? I’ve drank PLENTY of water and green tea the past two days as well. Any feedback is appreciated – thank you!

  6. Angela says:

    Hello – I received an aromatherapy back, shoulders and neck massage a few days ago – which was fab at the time. I drank my water religiously however I ended up in hospital with a twisted bowel (which thankfully untwisted itself). Could this have been the result of my body trying to detoxify itself? I began to feel better once I vomited!!! But also had blood in my stools – I’m suspecting a lot of toxins wanted out!! Oh, and also, therapists should be reminded to take a client’s medical history – mine is quite complex and may have helped my therapist, (and consequently my symptoms/body’s response) if she had bothered to find out.

  7. MMD says:

    Hi, I am glad I found this site. I am deaf and wear hearing aids plus an additional FM listening system that I wear to hear students/teachers speak. I went in for a usual massage – this time focusing on the neck, shoulders, blades, and head. After this session, I was extremely nauseated to a point I couldn’t walk in a straight line. Nausea continued for a few days until I got hit again with the stomach flu this time with an extreme headache. My vision was affected to a tunnel-like. I was given Zofran to cease the nausea. But it has taken nearly 10 days to cease the nausea.

  8. Katrina says:

    I recently got a 90 minute massage – longest massage I have ever received and only one I have gotten in a year. Within the hour, I started to feel off. My stomach never felt great that day and by that night, I was throwing up, chills, and had diarreah. It was awful!! It has been two days and I still do not feel back to normal! My husband has not gotten sick so I really think it was the massage.

  9. Meg says:

    Deep tissue massage can cause Rhabdomyolysis, which has nausea and vomiting as a symptom (coke colored urine is another). Rhabdo can cause kidney problems (hence why you should drink a lot of water after a massage).

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