Why do I feel headache after a massage?

Why do I feel headache after a massage?

Numerous studies prove the health benefits of a massage. From shiatsu and reflexology to acupressure and lymphatic drainage, many massage techniques promote optimal health and effectively target specific aches. Massages are crucial elements of many ancient healing systems, such as Chinese medicine or Ayurveda. Its positive effects on our overall well-being are undeniable. Even advanced scientific researches confirm what was known thousands of years ago. However, it is not uncommon to feel a headache after a massage.

It is a widespread belief that this is due to the toxins released in the bloodstream. While this interpretation may be accurate to some extent, other more likely reasons cause the aches. So, let’s review those to figure out why you feel a headache after a massage and how you can prevent it. 

What are the effects of a massage?

Massage therapy is an effective treatment for many ailments and their prevention. There are various types and techniques of massages. However, what is common for all of them is the kidding and manipulation of soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and fascia, by applying certain levels of pressure. If done correctly, the positive effects on the body and mind are many. The most immediate benefits are a feeling of relaxation and relief after exercising too much. 

During a massage, the lymphatic system gets stimulated. This helps to improve the circulation of fluids in the body and flush toxins more efficiently. Thus, massage can be an excellent aid for losing weight. Besides, massage therapy is also effective for reducing stress and anxiety hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. It is also a method used to treat soft tissue injuries, chronic back pain, insomnia, high blood pressure, and many other health issues. 

With a long list of health benefits, experiencing a headache after a massage can be baffling. In most cases, this is not a real cause for concern. Yet, here are the main reasons why you could get a migraine after a massage. 

Causes of headache after a massage 


We all know how important water is for the proper functioning of our bodies. An expert in the field, Fitness Trainer Dubai, advises that to achieve your personal fitness goals and optimize the results of your training, you have to prioritize regular hydration throughout the day. In the long run, not drinking enough water can lead to health issues reflecting on your health and skin condition. 

Besides, dehydration is the leading cause of migraines. Often, we are not consciously aware that our baseline of hydration is low. In this case, deep tissue pressure can amplify the effects of dehydration. This is why you may feel a headache after a massage. So, make sure that your fluids intake is ample. To prevent getting a headache after treatment in the spa, have a glass of water, even though you may not feel thirsty. Like so, you will increase the volume of liquids in your body and facilitate the increased circulation to flow freely throughout your system without giving you the signals of dehydration in the form of aches.  

Product sensitivity 

Allergens present in the environment are often the reason behind headaches. For some people, this may be dust, and for others, various chemicals or synthetic materials. Thus, a migraine after a massage might be triggered by irritants present at the salon. You could be sensitive to an ingredient present in the massage oil or some of the cleaning products used in the space. So, make a point to do your research and select the best spa near you. Of course, cleanliness is the significant factor you should consider. Besides, if you are aware of your sensitivity to certain ingredients, make sure to inform your therapist when booking your session. 

Changes in blood pressure 

During a massage, you spend time lying down. Remaining in one position for a while causes blood pressure to drop. Moreover, the massage itself lowers high blood pressure. Thus, you may feel the increase in blood pressure after the massage in the form of a migraine. With this in mind, next time when you indulge in your favorite beauty parlor services, remember to have a short respite after your treatment is over. Taking it slowly and rehydrating is a sure way to evade a headache after a massage. 

Inadequate pressure 

A deep tissue massage is an ideal way to unwind and destress. Besides, medium pressure on tight muscles stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, increasing blood circulation. You will get the maximum benefit from a massage if your therapist applies the right pressure at the right spots. Of course, these vary from one person to another. The main takeaway from this point is to pick a reputable therapist with adequate experience. Nevertheless, listen to your body, and if something doesn’t feel right during the treatment, communicate it to your therapist. 

Pre-existing back and neck pain 

Most of us will experience aches and pains in the back and neck area at some point in our life. The cause for these can vary from severe injury to inappropriate posture and anything in between. Regular exercise and massages can help prevent neck and back pain from developing into a chronic condition. However, there are certain steps to take if such pain occurs regularly. First and foremost, consult a professional physiotherapist to assess your health condition that causes the pains. Then follow their advice and practice healthy habits, such as adequate physical exercise and proper nutrition. And so, if you experience a migraine after your massage session, the possible explanation can be your pre-existing back and neck condition. 


The migraines most people get after a massage range from mild to moderate. This in itself, in the worst-case scenario, may indicate low blood pressure, which is not a serious underlying health issue. However, it is imperative to listen to your body and self-assess the possible reasons why you feel a headache after a massage. This will help you avoid discomfort and get the maximum benefits out of your treatment. 

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