I feel like I am coming down with a cold or flu – has my massage therapist given it to me?

If you are feeling cold or flu like symptoms in the days following your massage it is only natural to worry or question, why? You may even wonder if your massage therapist has given it to you. Now more than ever before, we are very conscious of being in contact with someone who could potentially transfer viruses and bacteria on to us. Although this is a possibility, it is not an uncommon massage side effect to feel cold like in the days following a deeply releasing remedial massage treatment.

Based on our experience, the fact that you are feeling under the weather may indicate that your treatment has worked well. I know you wouldn’t have signed up to massage to experience cold-like symptoms or headaches, and you may question how is that possible? Well, let us explain.
healthy blood flow

If experiencing a symptom of muscle pain, tension, or tightness was what brought you to react and choose a massage there was already an underlying dysfunction. Dysfunctional tissues are usually inflamed, dehydrated, and contracted. Sometime for a prolonged period of time – way before your massage! Suffering from shortened muscles may not always cause us pain. However, such contraction compromises the flow of healthy blood flow that is responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients into your cells and muscles, restricting vital supplies. Imagine blood vessels squashed between muscle fibres that are glued together and unable to create little channels for blood to circulate freely in and out of the tissues. Restriction in blood flow and lymphatic drainage causes the tissues to starve of oxygen and nutrients. Lack of circulation fluid means there is not the flush required to remove metabolic waste efficiently. These waste products naturally build up with time and become stuck around your cells, resulting in an unhealthy muscle condition. 

water_lady.jpgThe mechanical effect of the massage treatment is responsible for helping to free up your muscle fibres, thus opening blood vessel channels. Blood vessels carry the supplies to enable your body to efficiently hydrate, oxygenate, and nourish your muscles and other cells. It also allows for lymphatic drainage and removal of any waste products that have been causing havoc by stagnating and irritating nerves with their acidic substances. As great as it sounds to have the relaxing effect of deep tissue massage, after the first treatment your body could be dealing with a huge amount of released metabolic waste - and this can trigger a response from your immune system. This toxic overload is what can make you feel poorly. The sudden increase in blood flow and rapid delivery of “good guys” (nutrients and oxygen) also requires more water from your bloodstream which can leave you significantly dehydrated. Now you may be realising why every therapist on planet earth advises you to drink gallons of water!


All the changes described above are good for you in the long term. However, if muscle tension was causing blood flow restriction and the build-up of metabolic waste in your body for a while, this can create a short-term toxic environment that your body now needs to deal with. The good news is, this usually only happens if you haven’t received a massage for a long time, or have been under significant chemical, emotional, or physical stress in your body. It also happens if you have a very sedentary lifestyle, and your body hasn’t been moving enough to circulate vital fluids. Even so, your future regular massage treatments should help your body keep up with the demand of delivering water, oxygen, and food to your cells and help you regularly remove any metabolic wastes from your body without alarming your immune system. Your liver and kidneys will certainly thank you for that!I

And now that you what probably caused you to feel this way, let’s give you some advice as how you can get back to normal. water.jpgThe main thing is to drink plenty of water. Hydration will assist your body in flushing out metabolic waste. Metabolic wastes are naturally occurring toxic by-products that often contain chemical wastes from cellular processes, acids, excess fat, viruses, bacteria and even allergens. Flushing them out is the only way forward to make you feel better, otherwise they can also be re-absorbed into the bloodstream and prolong the toxic battle your body is fighting. We believe that hydrating in hours leading to your massage is equally important as hydrating after the massage. It helps the body prepare for the work that is going to happen during your massage. It is also very smart to ask your therapist for a cup of water during the treatment if you are feeling thirsty. This is your body giving you a signal that it’s already working hard on processing and discharging the “bad guys” in order to prevent the overload.

If in the past you have experienced cold-like symptoms, headaches, nausea as a result of receiving massage, always let your therapist know. Adjusting the pressure during your first massage might give your body more time and support to deal with the changes it will undergo. You can then normally increase the pressure in following treatments without risking feeling poorly. 

We want your experience to be as enjoyable and positive as possible. Scheduling regular massage is the best way to maximise your treatment benefits. Massage works best as course of treatments for numerous reasons, and we simply cannot wait to show you what you can achieve with a care plan that is personalised for you and your lifestyle! 

If you would like to arrange a conversation with a clinic director to better explain how massage works and what your options are by choosing to take your massage care further, then please call our reception team on 02037949760 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you for your trust in using our service!

Agata and team.

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