Believe It or Not: There are Times You Should Not Get a Massage

Massage is generally safe, but there are some times when you shouldn’t get a massage.  At your first massage appointment, you will complete an intake form about your health. You may wonder why your massage therapist needs to know all this stuff. It’s important to give a complete picture of your state of health so your massage can be modified, if necessary.

Some reasons massage may need to be modified or avoided altogether:

  • If you have a cold, flu, or contagious condition. Stay home, get some rest, and follow your doctor’s orders. Two reasons: Your body is already working hard to get better and massage may be too much for it.  And, if you are contagious, the infection could spread to others, and nobody wants that.
  • Certain noncontagious skin conditions, like dermatitis, may be irritated by massage. In this case, massage may be done with a hypoallergenic lotion or the area may be avoided.
  • Massage may need to be modified or avoided for those with certain medical conditions, like heart disease or kidney failure. Care must be taken not to overstress the body.
  • Medications may call for modifying massage. For example, your ability to give feedback about pressure may be impaired by pain killers.

Massage can be a great way to deal with stress and pain. But,in some situations, you should not get a massage at all. In others, certain areas of the body or certain massage techniques need to be avoided. When experiencing any health problem, it’s important to consult your medical professional. And, if you have any questions about whether massage is right for you, check with your doctor, your massage therapist, or both.