It sounds like a no-brainer. Of course we should all get massages. They relieve stress, right? Or can it actually be stressful to get a massage?

As you know, no two people always respond the same to the same treatment or stimulus. This concept applies to massage as well. They’re not for everyone. So how do you know if they’re good for you? Well, how do you feel after a massage? Do you get extremely tired, spaced out and need to take a nap afterwards? Do you feel completely energized and wish you could get a massage daily because it revives you so much? Lastly, do you simply feel at peace and less stressed after a massage? Let me explain the difference in meaning between all of these outcomes.

  1) You feel extremely fatigued and spaced out after a massage.

An outcome of this nature indicates that your brain is not healthy enough to handle the stimulation of massage. Realize, every single sensory input (smell, taste, touch, sound, and light) that gets registered in your body is processed by your brain. Brain cells become stimulated which help you identify the stimulus and make a decision on that stimulus. Sometimes, if the stimulus is overwhelming for your brain cells, or the brain cells are too unhealthy to handle the stimulus, they will not function properly. This very often manifests as fatigue or brain-fog (cloudy-headedness). Another example of this brain-based concept is when bright lights, computer screens, or loud noises cause people to develop a migraine.

So if you’re experiencing fatigue after a massage, it’s a good indication that your brain isn’t healthy enough to handle the sensory barrage that your muscle, skin and joint receptors are sending to it for processing. If this is the case, you either should avoid massages or get one for a shorter period of time where you don’t become fatigued afterward. Lastly, if this is you, it would help to implement strategies that can repair your overall brain function. This would include nutritional and physical treatments.


2) You feel revitalized by massages.

If you feel totally alive and “ready-to-go” after a massage, you should probably continue to get them! This would indicate that your brain cells actually need the activation massage provides by stimulating your muscle, skin and joint receptors. That’s the good news! However, if this occurs with you, it would also indicate that your brain may be under-functioning and might need support with nutritional and other treatment strategies. Afterall, you shouldn’t need a specific treatment on a regular basis in order to feel alive and “ready-to-go”. You should always feel great!


3) You feel at peace and less stressed after a massage.

Great! If this is you, enjoy your regular massages! This indicates a normal brain response to the stimulation massage provides. In the long-term, it’s probably even assisting in keeping your brain healthy!

I hope this helps you understand why different people react differently to the same stimulus. And hopefully you can now make more informed choices.

Dr. Rob D’Aquila – NYC Chiropractor – Diplomate and board-certified teacher of the International College of Applied Kinesiology – Member of the International Association of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation – Associates Degree in Homeopathy

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