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Ask a Therapist # 17: When SHOULDN’T I receive a massage?

Heather Aug 22, 2013

With all the talk about how amazing massage is, and the benefits you can receive from it, it is easy to forget that it is a therapy, and those benefits can easily turn into trouble if you aren't careful.

One of the easiest rules of thumb to use when deciding if you are ready to get a massage is to ask yourself, "Am I sick?"  If you have a fever, or a strange rash, any infectious diseases like colds and flus, it's probably best if you reschedule when you are feeling better, your body is not at it's peak form, and the massage can make it worse.  Infectious diseases like colds and flus will only pass between you and your therapist, and more than likely, they really aren't looking forward to taking their own sick days.

Since massage works heavily with the cardiovascular system, if you have had blood clots or heart problems, check with your doctor to get cleared for massage.  In these cases massage can actually exacerbate conditions.  In this vein if you have varicose veins, be sure to let your therapist know, they can hide blood clots and should be avoided during your massage session.  Same with high blood pressure.  Let your therapist know so they can modify the massage to make it safe and comfortable for you.

Clearly open wounds should be avoided, in fact, they should be covered at all times during the session and if they are bad enough, the therapist might reschedule your massage until they are fully healed.

There are other conditions you should watch for, Osteoporosis can cause brittle bones, so avoid a really deep tissue massage.  If you have a hernia let the therapist know and they can avoid that area. Diabetes has several issues the therapist needs to look out for, etc. etc.

This is why communication with your therapist is key.  Fill out the health form fully and the therapist will look it over to see if there is anything they need to avoid, or if they need to reschedule the massage all together.  Trust me, you might miss out on a great massage right ~now~ but it's better than feeling worse than when you came in.

Massage is therapeutic, that means it affects the body on several levels, making sure your body is up to the massage will assure you have the best experience!

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