Recovering from Neck Pain

Three Ways To Reduce Or Avoid Light-Headedness After A Massage

by Janet Burns

If you're thinking about getting a massage to deal with sore or stiff muscles, you should be aware that a common and usually harmless side effect of being massaged is light-headedness. This feeling can occur for a number of reasons, but it's still an unpleasant effect that you'd likely rather avoid. There are ways to reduce or eliminate your chance of feeling light-headed after a massage, and they're easy to do. Here are three things that will help you stay level-headed after your time on the table.

Get up Slowly

Undergoing a relaxing massage has just that effect -- you become really relaxed, and a potential side effect of that is a drop in your blood pressure. In addition to this, if you stand up from a lying- or sitting-down position too quickly, you can experience something called orthostatic hypotension (OS) or postural hypotension, where gravity is actively pulling your blood down while the rest of you is trying to head up. The combination of OS and more relaxed blood pressure can make you prone to light-headedness. It should last only a few seconds but can be alarming if you aren't expecting it.

When your massage is over, move slowly. If you have to wait a few seconds before moving, do so. Sit and stand up carefully, stopping if you start to feel any light-headedness starting. If you do end up feeling light-headed as you stand up, stay still and hold onto the table or another stationary item until the feeling passes. If the feeling lasts more than a few seconds, you should consider talking to your doctor to ensure there are no underlying health problems.

Eat Something Earlier in the Day

Treat a massage like sports; don't eat right beforehand, don't gorge yourself on terrible foods that day, but don't go without eating, either. Not eating, or eating too much, can make you feel light-headed because of effects on your blood sugar. Have reasonable meals earlier in the day so that you're not hungry when you go in for a massage.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration, believe it or not, can make you light-headed. While the right amount of water for everyone varies -- the eight-glasses-per-day figure has been found to be a myth -- you do have to drink enough each day to avoid dehydration. Sip water slowly throughout the day, and drink a little more water after a massage. Keeping your body hydrated lets you handle the changes from a massage more easily.

If you have other questions about the side effects of massage therapy, or if you want to learn about other styles of massage, talk to the massage therapists in your area and see if they have any special recommendations. Note that if you have repeated bouts of light-headedness, or if the feeling turns into outright dizziness or vertigo, you need to seek medical attention. The problem is not necessarily an emergency, but there could be other health issues at play that you need to take care of. To learn more, contact a company like Healing Hands Therapy & Tea.