Can a Massage Cause Diarrhea Or Incessant Bowel Movements?

Last Updated on April 22, 2023 by Naomi Nimu

Massage offers numerous health benefits, but it also has certain downsides and possible side effects. One question many people often ask is, can a massage cause diarrhea? The answer is yes; you can experience diarrhea after having a massage.

In this guide, we take a look at why massage could cause diarrhea, how to minimize the chance, and other possible side effects to be aware of. 

Massages and Your Gut

Getting a massage sounds like a lovely treatment. We’ve heard many things about the numerous benefits of having massage therapy done by a professional massage therapist. Massage therapy helps increase blood flow, relax muscles, lower blood pressure, and help relieve chronic pain.

However, many people believe that having a good rehabilitative spa treatment like a relaxing aural therapy can cause them to feel nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.

You’ll be happy after a relaxing massage – but when you leave the spa, you will probably have a lazy run to the bathroom. Because massage stimulates your stomach muscles and helps you eliminate waste products from your body, it can cause you to have an upset stomach. 

Additionally, massages cause your body to move more easily, which will cause you to have more bowel movements. It stimulates the flow of lymph, which is an essential system that helps your body eliminate waste. If the massage is very intense or prolonged, you are more likely to be scrambled to use the bathroom more frequently.

Can You Have Diarrhea Following a Massage?

It’s also been confirmed by massage therapists and doctors that massage leads to diarrhea. There is a good reason your digestive tract might be upset after a relaxing massage. Lactic and uric acid may be present in your muscles during a massage, and both are harmful to your body.

When you receive a full body massage, you are likely to absorb more acid from your muscles. It is up to your body to fight back by quickly eliminating these substances, which may cause discomfort and cause you to go to the bathroom more frequently. 

Massage also tends to relax the muscles surrounding your stomach and intestines, even if your massage therapist does not touch your stomach. It is as though a gentle movement on your back and side will relax the muscles that store fat in your body. It can also cause you to eliminate waste you would have otherwise accumulated in your body.

How Long Does the Diarrhea Last?

If your massage causes you to have diarrhea, it will be brief; it will only take a short while for symptoms to pass. In very rare instances, clients have had diarrhea for up to a week following a deep tissue massage.

But there are many people who experience prolonged diarrhea after having a deep tissue massage. Those who experience it are often obese or unhealthy people who have higher toxic levels. 

If it turns out that you have diarrhea after a massage, here are the key steps to take to help you quickly feel better:

  • Take a medicine that you can buy at any drugstore.
  • Put a warm water compress on your abdomen to help loosen your stools.
  • Eat a banana, rice, or toast; all of these foods will help you to digest food items that are very difficult to digest.
  • Drink lots of water since diarrhea dehydrates the body.

The great news is that it is unlikely that the therapist giving you the massage will be administering it for the first time. They know the effect that massage can have on your digestive tract.

If there is a danger that you might get a severe case of diarrhea, they won’t allow you to even lie down to get a massage. If that is the case, get a massage at home. Overall, massages deliver a lot of benefits to our bodies.

Benefits of Heightened Bowel Movement After a Massage

Constipation is very uncomfortable, but having regular, frequent bowel movements is even more uncomfortable. Massage therapy has been proven to benefit your digestive system, relax your abdominal muscles, and restore normal bowel movements.

Massage relaxes the muscles that move along your abdomen and can help you stop feeling uncomfortable when you feel bloated. It also stimulates your digestive system and causes your body to release toxins that need to be eliminated quickly.

When your abdomen is being massaged, pressure is applied to areas in your abdomen that cause you to expel gas or waste. Massage can help you feel better quickly and relieve you from the symptoms of constipation. 

If your bowel problems have gotten worse over time, a visit to a massage therapist could be the cure. A regular massage therapy session can relieve you from the stress that comes with having a bowel disorder and the pain that you feel when you experience it.

Some people are unaware that there is a blockage in their bowels, causing them to feel very bloated or even feel like they are having some minor abdominal pain or discomfort. Massage can help to loosen up the toxins causing you to feel uncomfortable. It may relieve your symptoms and improve your health.

How to Minimize the Chances of Diarrhea After Massage

There are several things you can do to avoid having diarrhea after having a massage.

  • Choose a licensed massage therapist with a lot of experience to ensure the best care.
  • Tell the therapist if you have any allergies or if you have ever had diarrhea.
  • Drink lots of water before and after the massage to keep it hydrating.
  • Avoid having a big meal the night before your massage. Also, avoid high-calorie or sugary food.

Generally speaking, the health benefits that massage can provide for the body far outweigh the possible side effects. But if you have diarrhea or experience other symptoms that suggest you consult with your massage therapist, tell them about it.

Other Potential Side Effects of Massage Therapy

There are a few other possible side effects of massage. However, they are rare and minor. Besides diarrhea, other possible side effects of massage therapy may include:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle soreness

Luckily, these side effects are often temporary and will go away a few hours after the massage is over. But if any symptoms persist, speak to your doctor or massage therapist. Overall, massage is generally safe for most people.

However, you need to take certain precautions if you’re pregnant, under medication, or have a medical condition. Always talk to your doctor or massage therapist before you book a massage. They have the expertise to evaluate and determine if massage will be safe for you and what type of massage would be suitable.


Does Deep Tissue Massage Trigger Stomach Upset?

Deep-tissue massages can cause people to feel stomach upsets. That is especially true if you are constipated or have a sensitive stomach. If you’d like to know more about the possible side effects of deep tissue massage, talk to your doctor or your massage therapist. They may help you decide if deep tissue massage therapy is safe for you and advise you on how to avoid any potentially harmful effects.

Can Massage Help Relieve Constipation?

Massage may help relieve constipation by moving the muscles in the intestines. If you’ve blocked some of your bowel movements, massage can help you unblock them. It can also help you feel relaxed and comfortable. A massage can relieve constipation, which is good for many people. Talk to your doctor or massage therapist to find the one that works for you.

Bottom Line

Massage is generally safe and relaxing, but a few risks are involved, and everyone is different. One possible side effect of having a massage is to have diarrhea.

We’ve given some great information about why some people may suddenly have a running stomach after a massage and why having a bowel movement after a massage is actually healthy. 

We have also shared some helpful tips on how to avoid unexpectedly having diarrhea in public when you have a deep tissue massage. All in all, massage therapy and bowel movements are both very important if you want to live a happy life.

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