Possible Side Effects of Massage Therapies


Massage therapies are not just for relaxation but they unveil various health benefits even with conditions when a human body is suffering from extreme pain and some chronic diseases. Massage therapies have proved to help patients with diabetes, arthritis, cancer, depression and other disorders and diseases. It enhances health of heart patients and those with high blood pressure. Not only are these but there areseveral other benefits of a massage therapy. Apart from benefits, a massage therapy may also result in an undesired or adverse outcome. Reason behind a negative or side effect may be specific cases and conditions or inappropriate application of massage therapy but effects can be life-threatening too.

Possible Side Effects:

With all the pros of a massage therapy, it cannot be said that massage therapy is a correct answer to all your health issues and problems. Some wrong application and some specific conditions may result in worse effects.

Incorrect Massage Application:

Each and every person has a different body structure, type and needs with several different health conditions to take care of. Each person thus would need a different massage therapy that is customized according to their condition of skin and overall health. It is important to choose a massage therapy that would suit the type of your skin and body. Any therapy or product that may not be suitable for your body can cause side effects that may lead to skin irritation, excessive sweating, enlargement of vessels and any other side effects. Thus it is important to test your skin for a massage therapy by applying massage at a small area of your body and check for results.

It is dual responsibility of the person getting massage and the massage therapist to communicate and discuss all health related details including skin type, allergies, any disease with history so that type of body can be assessed and a suitable massage therapy can be selected.

  • Soreness around your body: One possible side effect of a massage therapy can be soreness. Usually this problem arise with massage therapies of high intensity such as a deep tissue massage. Extreme pressure may not only make you uncomfortable during the therapy but it may result in soreness over different parts of your body after some hours of session. Although any soreness that you may experience as a result of massage therapy should not last more than one or two days and if it does, you should get back to your therapist or consult a doctor in order to further assess the soreness. Remember that soreness means that your muscles have decreased flexibility and you should avoid massage therapy or any kind of pressure over such condition as it may further worsen to cause osteoporosis, cramping or sprain in your muscles.
  • Fractures in bones: This is a possible side effect with patients dealing with cancer, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and some other conditions. In these diseases, your bones become fragile and can fracture even with a light touch of your massage therapist. Before opting for any massage in such conditions, you should seek permission from your doctor.
  • Bruising around body: Bruising is a common side effect with massage therapies. It is important to communicate your massage therapist about your body type especially if you bruise easily. Even those who take blood thinning medicines. Apart from that any recent wound, fracture, infection or similar conditions must not be massaged or you may be facing severe complications.
  • Over stimulates your body resulting in lack of energy: An intense massage therapy may over-stimulate your nervous system and can cause fatigue. Such massage therapy may leave you less energized and dehydrated after the session and you may feel tired all day long. This is why it is recommended that high intensity workout should be avoided after a massage therapy however it is best to remain active with low intensity activities. An overloaded nervous system and an exhausted body would thus take some time to get back to its normal condition.
  • Low level of blood sugar: One of the aftermaths of a massage therapy could be a huge drop in your body’s blood sugar level. Thus for all those patients of diabetes who wish to get a body massage must closely monitor and regular their blood sugar level and make sure that you inform your therapist about level of this diseases before he/she begins to work on your body for a therapy.
  • Reaction because of allergies: Some swelling or reaction to your skin may occur if you have allergies of some sort. These reactions may occur because of allergies caused with the use of some massage products. Some people have allergies to scented oils and creams and any such reaction must be immediately reported to a doctor.

Some Important Tips:

  • Cancer Patients: Those suffering from cancers should avoid massage therapies as any pressure directly applied to a tumor can be life-threatening and thus it is completely discouraged. Cancer patients must always consult their doctor before opting for any kind of massage therapy.
  • People who have blisters, burns, ringworm and other similar skin problems must completely avoid massage therapies. Applying massage therapy and using any massaging product on or around that area may worsen the condition. Nature of some infections is such that there is risk that even massage therapist may catch infection.
  • If you face any blood disorders or bleeding issues, you should strictly avoid any forceful massage therapy.
  • It is best to look for a licensed therapist specialized for giving massage to people with different medical and health conditions.
  • Communicate all your health issues with your massage therapist. 


Massage therapy for sure is something that gives great benefits to your health and wellbeing however there are some threats associated with massage therapy and may cause temporary or permanent discomfort if is not properly chosen according to your body type and condition. An inappropriate therapy may give you relaxation initially but may later result in side effects so be very sure about a massage therapy before you actually opt for it.

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