Have you ever had an emotional response after a massage or bodywork session? Where several hours later, you maybe found yourself all of a sudden sensitive, or weepy, or emotionally drained, or even angry? It’s not uncommon to have an emotional release after a bodywork treatment. Why does this happen? It’s mostly due to unreleased stress and unresolved emotions.
This high-tech, modern society we live in has conditioned us to overload our senses, overwork our minds, overextend our bodies and wallets, and push ourselves past our limits. We walk around with smartphones attached to our ears, and smart watches attached to our wrists, with wi-fi in our homes and cars and electromagnetic radiation surrounding everything we do. Physiologically, all this “overload” taxes our energies and zaps our ability to fully de-stress on a regular daily basis. Being unable to de-stress can potentially make us numb to some of our own emotions.
Our human bodies are made up of layers. There is the physical layer of course, along with energetic layers that work with our mental, emotional, and spiritual energies. Did you know that your body holds on to unresolved emotions, traumas, injuries, hurts, pain, etc? Most people can deal with simple emotional stress pretty well. However, sometimes there are deeply painful or traumatic emotional issues or even shock that can go unresolved for years. What about those emotions we are numb to from all the overload of our everyday lives? What happens when ANY emotions go unresolved? They can get stuck in the body, and if left unchecked, can potential turn into a physical illness or ailment.
Because massage and bodywork affects all human energy layers, as well as the lymphatic fluid and circulation of the body, we can actually “stir up” some of these unresolved emotions. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing! The emotional response one might experience after a massage or bodywork session is actually a release of that emotion or pain that’s been stuck. Release is ultimately good, however it can definitely be uncomfortable sometimes.
In my private practice, I do strive to help clients achieve balance and wellness on all levels, whether they are physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. Sometimes to reach that balance, those emotional triggers come forth to be released. I do my very best to offer a warm, nurturing, grounding, comfortable environment and safe space for my client treatment sessions. I care a great deal about each individual, and I am genuinely concerned when those emotions start to flow. But what about once the client gets home and has a delayed emotional response? What can they do to release what may have been stirred up in their treatment? What tangible, positive, constructive things can a client do to quell that emotional response if and when it comes up?
First, I always tell my clients to be gentle on themselves. If you experience an unexpected emotion, see if you can tune in to it and understand where it might be coming from. Journaling is a great tool to get those thoughts out of your head, and when you look back it can sometime provide clarity. Honor the emotions that come forth so that they can be released… have a good, old-fashioned cry, or go take that kick boxing class, or even knead some bread dough! Drinking plenty of pure, filtered or purified water helps to flush those emotions away. Taking a salt bath with some relaxing essential oils is a great way to calm down. Holding a rose quartz or other healing crystal is also known to relieve emotions. Coming back to the Studio for Reiki Energy or Crystal Healing treatments can help to balance the emotional, mental, and spiritual energy bodies. Even just having a hot cup of herbal tea can do wonders to relax the spirit and quiet emotions. Spending some time grounding yourself with your bare feet on the earth (grass, sand, dirt, salt water) helps to calm the body and emotions, too. Taking some timeout for yourself, perhaps with a good book, can be a good outlet. A great reference book on how emotions and mental causes affect the physical body, and ways to overcome them is the book entitled Heal Your Body A-Z by Louise L. Hay.
A mild emotional release is not uncommon after a massage or bodywork session. Releasing those stored emotions is a natural response and healing process and ultimately, it’s a good thing! Take good care of you, honor your emotions, be gentle with yourself, and find positive outlets for those feelings that come up. Coming in for regular massage or bodywork sessions will also help to balance and minimize emotional responses to emotional response to treatment as well. You’ll feel lighter, grounded, and balanced. Balance leads to health and wellness, which is always the goal.
Have YOU ever had an emotional response to massage or bodywork? What happened? How did you deal with those feelings? I’d love to hear your story!
Love, Cam xoxo
Disclaimer: In the event of extreme emotional distress, contact your professional mental health provider for help in dealing with severe traumas and unresolved traumatic emotions. An extreme emotional response after massage is rare, however not impossible. Suggestions on this site are NOT a substitute for professional medical care, and are NOT meant to replace conventional medical treatments, but rather to complement and enhance them. Information on this site is by no means medical and should not in any way be used or applied as such.