In the perfect world suggested by most massage marketing, the morning after a massage will always be a day of abundant sunshine, big smiles with outstretched arms, and a body free of all aches and pains. Ahhh, what a nice world….

I am not a believer in the “no pain, no gain” philosophy. Our bodies reflexively guard against pressure that is too deep, sudden, or intense. Communication during the session is essential for finding the therapeutic threshold in any session.

However, the days following treatment may (but do not always) include some residual muscle soreness as the session’s effects are received and processed by your body. Particularly in cases of deep tissue or myofascial release therapy, it is wise to wait 48 hours to assess the result of the session.

“Your body is one of the most complex machines in existence. There is an interplay between body and mind that is only really beginning to be understood. This connection could, however, explain the soreness experienced the morning after a massage. Neurological sensitivity, or “sensitization,” explores the “whole response of what’s going on in a person.” During a massage, the body’s experiences are processed through the central nervous system to be understood by your brain. At times of high stress, the nervous system and the brain may feel overwhelmed by this increase in information. The soreness and tiredness experienced the following day are then understood as side-effects of this information overload.”

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