Having a massage can provide great benefit for most people, most of the time. However there are occasions for which massage is just not appropriate. When this occurs then massage is referred to as contraindicated which means that a person may have symptoms, a condition or disease where a massage on the whole body (or a certain part of the body) is just not the right thing to do.
Sometimes these contraindications can be so absolute that a massage is not appropriate at all. There may even be other conditions that the massage therapist should know about the negative side effects that the massage could cause but are contraindicated massage techniques even though modified massage applications can have very positive effects.
When a client partakes in his or her first interview, the therapist will ask pointed and specific questions about the client’s health to deduce whether or not they have any contraindications. If that particular client is under strict care from a physician then the therapist should consult with the doctor before undergoing any massage treatment for the client.
Some of these major contraindications would be:
An Abnormal body temperature: if the presenting client has a fever greater than 37.5 deg C, the massage should not be given. Mostly, fevers mean that a person body is trying to locate and dispose of an invading organism. The human body will activate its defensive measures so it can isolate and take of the ailment. A massage may halt or hinder this process.
Infectious and acute disease: Clientele that have contracted any infectious diseases like typhoid, influenza, or any other sort of severe cold should not be administered massage treatment. A client who receives a massage while they have an acute viral infection may have their illness intensified, whilst there is also a risk that the therapist may contract the virus.
Inflammation: This type of situation is very common. If an individual has some acute inflammation, a massage will only add to the irritation and further the spread of the inflammation. If you have sustained an injury in the past twenty-four hours like an ankle sprain or hurt something in your back, then you should submit yourself to the first aid principle of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
It is also advisable at this point to make a call to your doctor. Receiving a massage to an inflamed area will only cause you more harm.
(nb, you should apply ice in fifteen-minute intervals- homemade ice packs of ice cubes and a towel will work as well as a commercial one. You do not want to put the ice pack directly to the skin or let it sit on the area for long periods.)
Even though massaging directly on that are will be contraindicated, it may be very beneficial to a person to massage not on the area but around that area so that you can relax the muscles and prompting the body to naturally heal itself. After a person has had the inflammation subside after 72-96 hours, having a massage can dramatically help a person’s mobility of joints as well as helping reduce scar tissue forming.
Varicose veins: When the valves of your veins have a break down it is due to back pressure causing the veins to stick out and bulge. You can usually see this happen in your legs because of gravity, this occurs when the legs or crossed or are put in other sitting positions that hinders blood circulating to your legs. Standing for a long time will also do this and add to it. Women in pregnancy can experience this from pressure on the veins of the pelvic region and can cause varicose veins.
Massaging legs which have large bulging varicose veins has the risk of releasing blood clots in the body’s circulatory system and massaging these areas is contraindicated.
Osteoporosis: This condition in its later stages can cause bones to become extremely brittle which can easily be broken or cracked. Before you start massaging a person afflicted with this condition it is advisable that the client speak with their doctor on this matter to see if this would worsen their condition or not.
High Blood Pressure: If you happen to have a client who has or has had high blood pressure, then that person’s physician should be consulted before undergoing massage therapy. Massage therapy can actually help reduce some of the hypertension that usually accompanies high blood pressure. You will usually not have to worry about massaging a person with a low blood pressure but you will want to be careful since this can cause some clients to feel dizzy after the therapy because of a drop in their blood pressure
Other contraindications: There are a plethora of different contraindications for getting a massage. The guidelines for this are straightforward enough- you do not want your therapist administering the massage to worsen any medical condition you may have, and you do not want to give anything contagious to your massage therapist. Please consult your doctor before receiving massage therapy if you are at all unsure on this issue.
Other conditions can include:
1. Fracture, burns, or bleeding
2. Blood Clots
3. Opened sores or lesions
4. Systemic infections
There have been cases with women during their period that have received massage therapy within the first few days of their menstruation noticing the flow of blood a lot heavier than normal.
There is some debate on the issue of massage therapy being contraindicated during the first trimester of pregnancy. Usually, if there are not any underlying medical problems and the pregnancy is moving, as it should without history of miscarriage, then receiving massage therapy from a professional is ok. Please take up any doubts on this issue which your doctor or health care professional.