Getting a massage is similar to doing a workout. Your muscles may not be used to the experience, especially if you tend to get one yearly massage. The muscles are being moved in ways they’re not used to moving. Any pain should last for no more than two to three days. If it lasts longer, you may want to decrease the amount of pressure during your next massage. Let your therapist know which level of pressure you prefer and they will be happy to customize the massage to your liking.
Your massage therapist will be able to find the areas you need special attention, but it helps to let them know where to avoid and where to focus on. Therapeutic massage releases tension, works out the kinks and helps your body relax so it can function at an optimal level. All of this work stretches muscles, pushes blood into them, and releases toxins. Pain and other occasional after-effects may be the result of a system that has received more information than it can handle at that particular time. And because the amount of sensory input we receive during any day or week is always fluctuating, sometimes we may be overloaded and other times not. It depends on the total stress (emotional, spiritual and physical) being experienced by the body at that moment.
So what can you do to minimize sometimes painful side effects? It's important to communicate with your massage therapist regarding your expectations, as well as your current state of health. Your therapist can then tailor the massage to your personal needs and desires, and make adjustments in intensity or technique as the session proceeds. Maintain good health practices and keep your mind free of negative clutter. Drink plenty of water immediately following your treatment, and continue to do so for the next day or two. This will rehydrate your tissues and ease the effects. Take it easy after your massage. Go home, relax and just allow your body to find its balance naturally. Like exercise, make bodywork a habitual practice for good health. And if you wake up the next morning a little sore, it's probably because you had a really good massage.