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Massage during Cold & Flu Season

Amy from Massage Blog Jan 3, 2013

It's the time of year when there always seems to be something "going around" - fever, runny noses, coughing, sneezing... you know what I mean.  Here are a few important things to know about massage and colds and flu.
 
Massage could be your secret weapon to help prevent colds and flu by:
 
  • Improving circulation of the blood and lymph systems. 
  • Reducing the effects of stress, making you less susceptible to illness.
  • Helping you sleep better, and adequate rest is a key for good health.
 
But that doesn't mean massage will help once you have a cold or the flu.  
Conventional wisdom holds that massage can help you recover more quickly from a cold or the flu, although you might feel worse immediately after the massage.  But there's no scientific data to back up that claim.  In fact, massage is contraindicated for people with a fever, diarrhea, or a contagious illness.  Here are a few reasons NOT to get a massage when you're sick.  (Or even if you just feel like you might be coming down with something.)
  1. In general, people with acute infections should not get massage, and infections usually accompany colds/flu.
  2. Massage can be taxing on your body, and your immune system is already working hard fighting off whatever is making you ill.
  3. Do you really think you'd enjoy a massage when you've got a fever, are congested, or otherwise uncomfortable.  I don't!
  4. If you're contagious, your therapist and other clients will thank you for staying home!

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