When does massage need to be avoided or modified
What are the Contraindications to Massage Treatment?
Massage treatment is non-invasive, relaxing and natural. It is therefore generally considered a safe treatment for most people.
However, there are three types of contraindication:
The following restrictions in place to protect your health and well-being. Thank you for taking them as seriously as I do.
When you have any of these conditions, please do not book a massage:
The therapist can massage but not over any areas affected by:
If you suffer from any of the following conditions, massage can only take place once it has been approved before your session in writing by your Physician.
Not always. In fact, massage can be very therapeutic for many medical conditions. However, in the above cases it is best to have advice from your physician. Massage therapists, unless they are also qualified doctors, may not, under law, attempt to diagnose a condition.
If you have further questions or concerns, please contact me for more information.
Prescription Drugs that may Contraindicate a Massage Treatment
Painkillers and Anti-Inflammatories
Painkillers (also called analgesics) and anti-inflammatory drugs have a lot of overlap between them because many analgesics work by limiting inflammation, which takes some pressure off irritated nerve endings. These medicines are often classed as acetaminophen, salicylates, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and steroidal anti-inflammatories. Several of these drugs are available without prescription, but this does not mean they are risk free. (Steroidal anti-inflammatories have their own set of cautions and are discussed separately.)
Cardiovascular Disease Management Drugs
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States today, and its earliest stages are often subtle or completely silent. Many people who want to reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke manage their condition with drugs that reduce the workload on the heart: angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and digitalis; drugs that decrease fluid retention (diuretics); cholesterol-lowering medication; or clot management drugs.
If you take any of these, it is important to inform your massage therapist because several of these drugs reinforce the relaxation response that massage brings about. In other words, you may be getting a double dose of stimulus that causes your blood pressure to drop or your heart to beat with less vigor. This doesn't mean you should skip your dose on the day of your massage! But it does mean that your massage therapist needs to know, so he or she can adjust your session for your best benefit.
Diabetes Management Drugs
Type 1 diabetes involves an inability to produce enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be related to low insulin secretion, insulin resistance, or both. Both type 1 and type 2 can cause dangerously high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia. If it is not carefully and consistently treated, diabetes can lead to amputations, blindness, heart attack, kidney failure, skin ulcers, stroke, and many other serious complications.
Antidepressants and Antianxiety Drugs
Antidepressants and antianxiety drugs are used to treat many disorders, including various types of depression, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, fibromyalgia syndrome, and others. Several of them work by changing the way chemicals are secreted and reabsorbed in the brain.
Many people find that the side effects of their medications are especially severe when they first begin a treatment regimen. Side effects can include headaches, dizziness, and lightheadedness, which massage can make worse if a practitioner doesn't make appropriate adjustments. This is why it is important to let your massage therapist know if you use these medications. Furthermore, some of these drugs are associated with other health risks (liver problems, toxic reactions with other medications), so they must be monitored carefully.