Should I be bruised after a deep tissue massage?

by admin on October 8, 2013

I was using Neuromuscular Therapy to treat a client with tennis elbow when she asked, “Why don’t I bruise from a massage? I always expect to be black and blue afterwards but I never am.”

This is a really good thing!

No, you should not bruise from any type of massage. It may happen on occasion but if you are walking away from your massage beat up and bruised, you might want to consider finding a new therapist.

massage destroys pain

Bruising results form trauma to the muscle tissue when blood vessels are broken, whereas, massage therapy smoothes and elongates the tissue while breaking down adhesions. Gliding and kneading strokes increase circulation, flooding the compromised tissue with fresh oxygen and nutrients. The treatment is meant to be therapeutic rather than traumatic.

It is common to be somewhat sore after a deep tissue massage. You might even feel as though you have a bruise, however, there typically should not be an actual bruise and any soreness should subside within a couple of days. ¬†Bruising may occur if the therapist doesn’t use caution around bony prominences such as the spine or shoulder blades. It may also occur if the therapist’s approach is to aggressive by not slowly working their way into the deeper muscle layers

As a client, you should always inform your therapist of any medication or supplements you are taking. He or she definitely needs to know if you are on a blood thinner which causes you to bruise more easily. That being said, a competent massage therapist should not cause any bruising during a massage regardless of your condition or the type of massage performed. Precautions should always be taken and whatever adjustments necessary should be made.

You shouldn’t have to feel apprehensive about getting a massage. There is tremendous benefit to having a deep tissue massage to treat muscular pain and tightness. Be sure to seek out a qualified therapist by asking friends and family for a recommendation or speaking directly with the massage therapist to find out their level of training and experience.

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