Anxiety After a Deep Tissue Massage. What’s the Deal?

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If you are a regular visitor to a massage parlor, you may or may not realize that anxiety after a deep tissue massage is a thing that affects many people!

Having a deep tissue massage performed on you has a positive outcome. But there is sometimes a bit of temporary negative that lasts for a short time. And that is anxiety.

A deep tissue massage by massage therapists, for all its benefits, can cause tremendous emotional release. Along with the positive energy, you may find anxiety sensations that may have been in your body for a very long time flowing freely.

If you are planning for a deep tissue massage, this is a possibility you should prepare your mind for.

Some people get flu-like physical symptoms after a deep tissue massage. Others may feel ill even though they are not really ill. But there is a class of people who develop anxiety attacks before, during, or after a deep tissue massage.

Below, we discuss what a deep tissue massage is and why some people experience anxiety attacks because of it.

What Is A Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage therapy is a special kind of massage technique. It uses more hand pressure than normal massage techniques.

This type of massage is highly recommended for people experiencing different muscle problems. This type of massage will like injuries, tightness, soreness, or prolonged muscle pain.

While performing a deep tissue massage, massage therapists will execute slow and deep finger pressure strokes. This is to relieve the patient of muscular tensions in the deep muscle layers or tissues.

A single massage therapy session may last for an hour or more. During the process, the massage therapist works every muscle in your arm, legs, and back including the abdominal region.

It can feel amazing and is quite a release. But the aftermath can come as a surprise.

While performing a deep tissue massage, the therapist will execute slow and deep finger pressure strokes to relieve the patient of muscular tensions in the deep muscle layers or tissues

Experiencing significant pressure is normal during a deep tissue massage. The therapist applies pressure to reach muscle tissues deep inside the body.

But doing this may trigger an emotional release in the form of anxiety attacks. There is a reason for this.

Why Do Some People Experience Anxiety After a Deep Tissue Massage?

You need to understand that the human body has an unbelievable ability to store pain in the form of emotional stress. Every taste, touch, sight, and sound you’ve ever experienced is stored in the form of emotion. And this can remains in your body for years without you even knowing.

As the emotions build up in the body, tension levels increase as it tries to hold everything in. This will last until such a time when it can release it all.

This is similar to crying.

You may have been dealing with a lot of negative emotions for a long time. But there comes a time when something happens that reminds you of the episode. Your natural reaction is to break down and cry.

Or maybe you bottle up all those little frustrations, until some point when you have a trigger, and all that stuff in the bottle flows out.

The same phenomenon can happen when you undergo a deep tissue massage. As the therapist works your muscles and tissues, the tension is released.

This release may trigger anxiety.

And as you already know, people respond differently to anxiety.

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, there are different types of anxiety disorders.

If you develop anxiety before, during, and after a deep tissue massage, you may be experiencing one or two of these disorders.

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Also called GAD, this disorder plagues people who worry about everyday things. GAD can cause restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, edginess, and other gastrointestinal issues.

Women are twice as likely to suffer from GAD than men.

3. Panic Disorder

Another type of anxiety disorder is Panic Anxiety Disorder. This is triggered by extreme fear or the feeling that you need to escape from impending danger.

This causes heart palpitations and breath shortness, sweating, dizziness, or chest pain. This one also affects more women than men.

3. Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is another type of anxiety that may cause you to experience an anxiety attack. This is one of the most common ones affecting many people. It is triggered by the fear of being judged or corrected by society for whatever reason.

Social anxiety forces the sufferer to refrain from engaging others in conversation.

People who suffer from social disorders are often reclusive. They are extremely shy and viewed as social outcasts. This type of person will need a lot of convincing to undergo a deep tissue massage.

4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Commonly called OCD. Victims of this anxiety issue suffer from intrusive thoughts that they cannot control.

This thought forced them to engage in unconventional rituals that may seem odd. For instance, they may fear the thought of illness. This will then compel them to clean thoroughly at every single opportunity they get.

The factors that cause people to become anxious vary from one person to the next. The way they respond to it is also different.

A person suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder may experience a stronger anxiety attack. This is more than a person who has too much testosterone in their system.

Why A Deep Tissue Massage Is Highly Recommended

A deep tissue massage by a massage therapist is highly recommended. It is almost impossible for you to work all your muscles on your own.

Many people will experience a release and feel cheerful and calm after a massage. But others may develop a panic attack after the session.

Despite this feeling, deep tissue massage therapy has benefits.

Being consumed with fear before, during, or after a deep tissue massage therapy is not something to worry about. The feeling is only temporary. We will argue that anxiety for a short while after the massage is a sign that the therapist did a good job.

The deep tissue massage released all those negative emotions that you weren’t consciously aware of, and now they’re gone.

The deep tissue massage released all those negative emotions that you weren’t consciously aware of, and now they’re gone.

As they work their way from layer to layer, massage therapists will find areas of tightness. They focus on those areas to relieve them of negative tension.

As they massage the area without applying too much pressure, the tension stored there is released. The bloodstream will flow properly to improve mental health.

Mental tension will flow in a similar fashion.

And the good news is you don’t have to engage your mind to be free of this anxiety, it just leaves on its own.

If you start to cry during or after the session, don’t feel awkward. It is only your body reacting to the pent-up tension and emotional trauma you have been carrying for years. Take deep breaths and try some anti-anxiety meditation.

Let the healing process run its full course.


Experiencing anxiety after deep tissue massage is normal and nothing to worry about. It will go away, and you will feel better afterward.

After the session, go back home and take a warm bath.

Depending on what you prefer, eat if you must. Then lay down and sleep to regain your balance and enjoy gradual pain relief.