Why Do I Cry After a Massage?

Finding yourself tearing up or crying after a massage is surprisingly common.

The release of chronic muscle tension and opening of energetic blockages during bodywork can unleash potent emotions and memories stored in the tissues.

Key Facts:

  • Crying after massage is often a form of emotional discharge and release from the body. Suppressed feelings surface.
  • Massage accesses stored memories and traumas locked in the muscles and fascia. Releasing this allows healing.
  • Deep tissue massage and myofascial release techniques deeply unwind areas of chronic tension that bind emotions.
  • Emotional release crying during massage is a common occurrence and nothing to feel embarrassed about.
  • Therapists are trained to facilitate emotional release and provide support if crying occurs.

While you may feel embarrassed or confused by unexpected tears during or after a massage session, crying can signify deep healing and restoration taking place.

This emotional discharge is your body’s way of letting go.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the reasons you may cry during or after massage therapy and why this emotional release provides profound mind-body benefits.

Keep reading to understand this cleansing response and how your therapist can help create a safe space for emotional breakthroughs during bodywork.

What Causes Someone to Cry During or After Massage Therapy?

Crying after a massage stems primarily from the discharge of suppressed emotions, memories, and energetic blockages released from muscles and tissues during bodywork.

As the massage therapist works areas of chronic tension, this allows memories and feelings lodged within the tissues in these regions to come to the surface to be processed and released.

Exactly why does the body store unexpressed emotions and past traumas?

When difficult experiences and the feelings they provoke get “stuffed down” or go unresolved, the emotional energy and memories often manifest physically within the body.

crying and emotional - illustration

Muscles and connective tissues retain the burden we are trying to avoid or forget.

Physical chronic tension patterns in the body frequently link back to emotional experiences and pain we would rather not confront.

Yet holding in and locking away the memories and feelings takes an enormous toll on the tissues and bioenergetic field over time.

Massage therapy allows this burden we’ve been carrying to unlock, flow out of the tissues, and be acknowledged at last. The tears represent purified release, lightening your vibrational load.

What Emotions Get Released Through Crying After Massage?

The types of emotions that may surface and find release through crying after bodywork involve:

  • Suppressed grief
  • Long held resentment
  • Unresolved trauma and related anger, fear, hurt
  • Old shame or humiliations
  • Childhood sadness or neglect
  • Joy at finally letting go of past pain

Crying during or after massage may feel unfamiliar or embarrassing initially. Yet it provides a powerful opportunity for emotional and energetic cleansing less accessible through just talk therapy or daily life.

Is Crying After Massage Therapy Common?

Yes, crying or tearing up in response to stored emotions and memories being accessed during massage is extremely common.

Massage therapists receive dedicated training to handle emotional release crying and non-judgmentally support clients if it occurs.

An estimated 20-60% of clients report crying at some point while receiving regular therapeutic massage. And chances increase when receiving targeted deep tissue techniques.

So if you find tears streaming down your face on the massage table, know that this is a common reaction that therapists see on a regular basis.

There’s no need to feel self-conscious. The therapist will have tissues and water readily available.

Why Does Massage Promote Emotional Release?

Massage elicits deep emotional release for several key reasons:

  • The massage table fosters a safe, sacred space of non-judgment to relax protective walls.
  • Deep pressure reaches suppressed energies bound in chronically tense, painful areas.
  • Physical release of muscle adhesions allows associated memories to surface.
  • The caring therapeutic touch of a therapist accesses vulnerable emotions.
  • Tissues discharge memories and energy ready to be felt and expelled.
  • Hormones like oxytocin and endorphins are released, opening the heart.

Through massage, the body-mind finds holistic balance by dislodging that which no longer serves its highest alignment. The tears represent deep purification in service of your whole being.

Which Massage Techniques Are Most Likely To Cause Crying?

While any style can potentially elicit emotional release, the deeper modalities using sustained pressure and myofascial stretching tend to prompt crying more frequently:

  • Deep Tissue – The slow, deep pressure penetrates rigid, achy muscles that bind suppressed energies. This elicits release.
  • Sports Massage – Works chronically tense areas and may activate memories of old injuries.
  • Myofascial Release – Unwinds fascial restrictions around emotional holding patterns.
  • Neuromuscular – Recognizes link between muscles and emotions/stress responses. Aims to relax nervous system patterns.
  • Rolfing – Uses deep pressure on fascia to unstick bound energy and holding patterns.

Discuss your tendencies towards crying and emotional responses with your therapist so they can tailor the right approach. Lighter modalities like Swedish massage are less likely to prompt tears.

Is Crying Normal When Getting a Massage for the First Time?

It’s very common for first-time massage clients to become emotional and even cry during initial sessions. The massage therapist will not be alarmed or surprised if this happens.

Reasons it’s common to cry during an introductory massage include:

  • The unfamiliar experience of caring therapeutic touch.
  • Nervousness and letting down one’s guard on the table.
  • Relief after releasing chronic deep-seated muscle tensions for the first time.
  • Feeling emotionally vulnerable in a new environment.

Therapists expect an initial adjustment period both physically and emotionally when introducing massage. Don’t feel embarrassed about crying! It shows the therapeutic benefits have begun.

massage therapist providing emotional support

What Should I Do If I Start Crying During a Massage?

First, don’t feel ashamed! The therapist will respond sensitively.

Here are tips on handling emotions if crying during a massage:

  • Notice where the feelings originate in your body without judgement. Breathe deeply.
  • Let the tears flow freely rather than resisting. This allows full expression and release.
  • The therapist may pause massage strokes to let the process unfold or provide tissue/water.
  • Release any tension around the crying itself. The therapist offers a safe space.
  • Speak up if you want the therapist to discontinue or if touch intensifies feelings.
  • Allow extra time after to rest before getting up from the table.

Trust your inner guidance and the therapist to guide you through emotional opening to receive the full healing benefits.

How Do Massage Therapists Handle Clients Crying on The Table?

When a client cries during massage, a therapist responds with great sensitivity:

  • The therapist stops massage strokes and allows the expression without trying to “fix” it.
  • They offer a tissue, a glass of water, and make the client as comfortable as possible.
  • The therapist listens without judgment if the client wishes to talk about the emotions.
  • Guiding the client to take deep conscious breaths often helps the wave of feeling discharge fully.
  • The therapist will ask if the client wants massage to continue or to take a break.
  • Ending the session early is perfectly fine if emotions feel overwhelming. Extra time is scheduled for rest and grounding.

Experienced therapists are trained to facilitate emotional release and tears in ways that leave clients feeling safely supported, understood, and cared for on the table.

Should I Tell My Massage Therapist If I’m Emotional?

Yes, it can be helpful to inform your therapist ahead of time if you tend towards emotional responses, anxiety, or crying during massage.

This allows them to adjust pressure, music volume, temperature, and technique to maximize your comfort.

Here are some tips on communicating with your therapist about emotions:

  • Mention if you’ve cried or felt suddenly angry on previous massage tables. They won’t be surprised.
  • State where you tend to store stress in the body that may correlate to emotional holding patterns.
  • Request slower strokes and lighter pressure around vulnerable areas prone to triggering feelings.
  • Ask therapists about their experience handling clients’ emotional responses on the table. Find someone attuned to your needs.

Clear communication allows therapists to create as soothing and contained a space as possible for you to feel safe during emotional openings.

What Should I Do After Crying During Massage?

Be sure to take time to integrate and nurture yourself after an emotional massage experience.

Useful aftercare approaches include:

  • Resting quietly to allow feelings to settle before hurrying back into daily life.
  • Drinking plenty of water to hydrate and support internal shifts.
  • Journaling about any memories, insights, dreams that arise afterwards.
  • Trying complementary therapies like acupuncture, reiki, or craniosacral to realign.
  • Talking through your experience with a counselor or support group.
  • Avoiding stimulants like caffeine, sugar, or alcohol that may agitate fresh emotions.
  • Trusting your inner guidance about making any life changes that may arise organically.

Give yourself ample time and space for self-care following emotional openings prompted by massage. The effects continue unfolding for days afterward.

Why Do I Sometimes Feel Euphoric After an Emotional Massage?

If strong emotions like grief or anger surface and find release through crying on the massage table, you may feel curiously euphoric and blissful afterward.

This is the lightness and peace that comes after the body-mind finally expels old energetic blockages and burdens it has carried. Emotions ready for expression finally got discharged from your tissues.

Happy emotions

A profound sense of relaxation and restoration follows.

Trauma once stuck in the body now becomes transformed into greater warmth, openness and optimism as it exits your field. Think of it as spring cleaning for your soul!

Are There Any Risks With Massage Releasing Trapped Emotions?

While emotional discharge through massage provides healing catharsis and renewed wellbeing, in some cases additional support may be needed to process what arises:

  • Severe trauma related to abuse may warrant counseling in tandem with massage therapy.
  • Those prone to panic attacks or severe anxiety should first discuss emotional responses to massage with their doctor.
  • Make sure to hydrate, rest and avoid stimulants after intense release.
  • Inform therapists of any vulnerable injuries or physical limitations that could intensify emotional responses.
  • Massage may dislodge more than is readily digestible. Take things slowly and get extra rest.
  • Consider discussing intense memories that arise with a counselor or support group.

When utilized wisely, massage can safely nurture profound mind-body-spirit cleansing. But additional care may optimize the benefits.

The Takeaway: Massage Releases What Your Tissues and Soul Wish to Discharge

Crying and emotional responses to massage therapy are incredibly common yet complex experiences.

While you may initially feel embarrassed about crying on the massage table, tears represent the profound healing process of your body-mind letting go and realigning.

Through caring therapeutic touch and deep unwinding of chronic knots, massage accesses vulnerable emotions and memories stored from life experiences in your deep tissues and bones.

An emotional release provides the psyche catharsis.

Experienced massage therapists welcome emotional opening with professionalism, tissues and water at the ready. They know crying signals therapeutic change unfolding.

With sensitive guidance through periods of crying or anger, the massage table becomes a safe space to untangle old hurts.

Many clients describe euphoric peace afterward as persistent burdens in the body finally relax and dissipate.

While upsetting memories may arise for further care, overall massage dissolves the physical and energetic stagnation surrounding emotional wounds, transforming them at last into freed light.

Key Takeaways:

  • Crying during or after massage is the body’s natural emotional release response.
  • Chronic muscle tension binds unexpressed emotions and memories from trauma. Massage dislodges this material.
  • Deep tissues hold memories and feelings. Massage evokes release when ready to be felt.
  • Any style of massage can cause crying, but deep modalities access vulnerable and suppressed places.
  • Skillful therapists compassionately support clients experiencing emotional responses and tears on the table.
  • Communication is key. Inform therapists of areas that trigger emotions or past injury.
  • Many clients feel euphoric relief and lightness after the body finally discharges old burdens through tears.
  • Take time for self-care and integration after emotional massage experiences to maximize the benefits.


Q: Why do I cry after a massage?

A: There are several reasons why you might find yourself shedding tears during or after a massage. One of the main contributing factors is the release of emotional or physical baggage that your body may be holding onto.

Q: How does a massage help in releasing emotions trapped in the body?

A: Massage therapy is known for its therapeutic benefits, and one of those benefits includes the release of emotions trapped within the body. When we experience emotional or physical pain, these feelings can become stored in our muscles and joints. Through massage, these areas of the body are targeted, helping to release tension and promote the release of trapped emotions.

Q: Can a massage bring up feelings we’d rather forget?

A: Yes, it is common for a massage to elicit feelings we’d rather forget. This is because it can bring attention to areas of the body that hold memories of emotional or physical trauma. While this can be uncomfortable, it is ultimately a necessary step in the healing process.

Q: Is crying during a massage a sign of weakness?

A: No, crying during a massage is not a sign of weakness. It is a natural response to the release of pent-up emotions. Remember, emotions are a normal part of being human, and allowing yourself to express them, even in the therapeutic setting of a massage, is a healthy and courageous act.

Q: How can a massage therapist know if someone is carrying emotional baggage?

A: A skilled massage therapist will be able to recognize signs of emotional baggage during a session. They may notice areas of tension, changes in breathing patterns, or emotional cues from the client. It is important for the therapist to create a safe and non-judgmental environment for the client to express and release their emotions.

Q: Can a massage help in releasing negative emotions?

A: Yes, a massage can certainly help in releasing negative emotions. By targeting specific areas of the body where emotions often get stored, a massage can facilitate the release of this emotional pain, allowing for a more balanced and positive state of being.

Q: Why is it important to acknowledge and release emotional pain during a massage?

A: Acknowledging and releasing emotional pain during a massage is important because it allows us to address the underlying causes of our physical and emotional ailments. By releasing these emotions, we can begin to heal and move forward with a greater sense of well-being.

Q: How does a massage therapist work with emotional release during a session?

A: A massage therapist who is trained in therapeutic techniques will work with emotional release during a session by creating a safe and supportive space for the client. They may use specific massage techniques that target areas of the body where emotions are commonly stored, allowing for the release of tension and emotions.

Q: Can a regular massage help in relieving emotional and physical pain?

A: Absolutely, a regular massage can help in relieving both emotional and physical pain. By addressing the tension and imbalances in the body’s muscles and joints, a massage can promote better posture and relieve aches and pains. Additionally, the release of trapped emotions during a massage can provide a sense of emotional release and well-being.

Q: Why do we sometimes cry when we are touched during a massage?

A: When we are touched during a massage, it can often trigger a release of stored emotions. This is because touch has the power to evoke both positive and negative emotions. It is important to remember that crying during a massage is a normal part of the healing process and should not be perceived as either good or bad.