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I'm sick. Should I come in for a massage?

I'm sick. Should I come in for a massage?

Karyl Taylor, LMP MA60475800

So you have a massage scheduled by the end of the week and you are looking forward to it. You get the confirmation call and are all set up to have an amazing massage experience. The morning of the massage you wake up, your eyes are puffy, your nose is runny, and then the cough starts! You are sick! What do you do now? Well you have heard that massage can help push out toxins from the body, massage will help make this cold pass faster and provide some relief right? Wrong. There are a few things to consider here. Massage helps increase circulation. When you are feeling fine is that’s true, but when you are in the beginnings of a cold or flu that could cause you to feel much worse. During the acute phase of a cold or flu is when the symptoms are most severe and are best taken care of at home resting in bed. Not to mention, if your sinuses are congested, having your face pressed against the face cradle for a prolonged amount of time just sounds down right uncomfortable. Being sick also lowers your immune system and makes you more susceptible to other viruses that could be lurking about in public areas. Another thing to consider is the spread of the virus. During the massage you are in an enclosed room with minimal ventilation. A massage session can last anywhere from 55 minutes to 110 minutes, gives the virus time to spread to the therapist and surrounding surfaces. Now the therapist has been exposed and possibly the next few clients. Butterfly effect at its best

We covered the bad aspect of when you are sick. Here comes the good news. Massage can be wonderful after the initial cold has passed. Usually the rule of thumb for waiting for the cold to pass is a week after the symptoms started. When you are sick your body can get tight from all the coughing and sneezing. Massage is an excellent way to help relieve that tension.

A few guidelines to stick by:

If you have a fever: Stay home

If you know you are contagious: Stay home

If it’s with in the first 2- 3 days of being sick: Stay home

Being mindful of how your body is feeling is not only helpful to you but will also prevent others from getting sick as well. It is important to give your body the proper time to heal so you feel better and get back to your daily life. We always enjoy a returning face as well as a new one. We just want you to be healthy! 

Share your thoughts, leave a comment!

Comments (3)

Anne Milewski on Jan 20, 2016
why not read your own article dated 10/8/2015 stating "The next time you start sniffling, try a relaxing massage for natural cold relief." Your own articles contradict yourself. As healthcare providers, please be aware of providing accurate information that doesn't contradict your own disseminated information--is this a new double speak?

Peter Jaramillo on Mar 29, 2016
I'm a caregiver for my 89 year old mom.
Thank you for your great info on NOT getting a massage during a cold!

Jeremy on Jan 15, 2018
thanks for the article. i feel run down and fatigued. should i go for now. thanks