Most peoples are great candidates for the relaxation and health benefits of massage therapy. However, there are times when a massage may not be the right choice for a particular client. Certain conditions contraindicate massage, either because of the risk it may pose to the client or the risk it poses to the therapist.
For example, if a client has a cold, flu or other contagious viral or bacterial infection, the therapist may choose not to work with them because they don’t want to catch a cold and risk passing the infection to other clients. When someone has a cold or flu, a massage might seem comforting. However, when someone has an infection, their body is already working hard to fight it and recover. If a client has a skin condition or rash, massage is also contraindicated. If the condition is infectious, it could spread to the therapist and, in turn, to other clients.
Another occasion when a massage should be postponed is if the client is intoxicated. Many folks seek out massage while on vacation or under stress. They may have also had a few cocktails to relax as well. Intoxication is a risk during massage primarily because it desensitizes the client and any feedback becomes unreliable.
Certain medical conditions may contraindicate specific types of massage. For example, if someone has heart or kidney failure, circulatory massage may place excess demands on an already failing organs. An acute injury is also likely to be a contraindication to massage. Although it may seem like a good idea right after straining a muscle, if there is damage to the area, massage may actually interfere with the healing process.
Finally, certain medications (OTC or prescribed) may indicate that the massage may need to be modified or not advised. Such as: Blood thinners, blood pressure meds, injectable meds, such as insulin, topical drugs such as hormone or antibiotic creams, muscle relaxers and pain killers.