(not a comprehensive list, contact me before booking if uncertain)
Total contraindications – No massage should be conducted at all. Some conditions are temporary and waiting till you are better will be a greater benefit. Some conditions will need advice or conformation from GP or specialist for when you are ready to benefit from massage.
- Fever – massage can in some cases cause body temperature to increase.
- Coughs, colds, flu, and respiratory infections – “is contraindicated in the acute stage, because it will help spread the virus through the client’s body”
- Cancer/ tumour (there are therapists trained in oncology massage)
- Hyper/Hypotension (discuss with your GP if condition has stabilized sufficiently for massage treatment)
- Pregnancy (I’m not yet trained in pregnancy massage)
- Drugs/ alcohol – alters sensory feedback.
- Vaccinations – at this time it is advised to wait 48hrs after a vaccine as a precaution.
- Contagious skin infections.
- Sudden severe headaches/ severe migraine episode
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Compartment syndrome
- Cauda Equina Syndrome
- Epilepsy – (discuss with your GP if condition has stabilized sufficiently for massage treatment, conformation from GP or specialist will be needed)
Local contraindications – Affected area should be avoided
- Fractures – immediate area cannot be treated, you may benefit from massage to prevent overuse muscle strains from compensating. Once set, gentle massage is beneficial to muscles adjacent to the fracture to improve recovery program.
- Open wounds – ideally if a dressing can cover the wound, then massage to other body areas can be treated.
- Injection sights – intramuscular injections are local contraindications as the serum can track to under the skin instead of slowly absorbing into the muscle if massaged or even rubbed.
- Varicose veins – no massage directly over raised veins or just below but the rest of the leg will greatly benefit from light massage.
- Bursitis – no massage over area of inflammation but massage for the rest of the body to help overuse of muscles when compensating.
- Bruising – direct area needs to be avoided as still in the healing process.
- Inflammation – soft tissue or joint. Affected area should not be massaged but other body areas can be. Once inflammation has subsided light massage and mobilization will promote recovery.
- Acute soft tissue injury – muscle, tendon, or ligament. For 3 days direct massage is not advised due to the healing process. If the injury is assessed as a lower grade ice massage can be used within 3 days to reduce pain and swelling. Massage to adjacent areas and muscles which can reduce tension over the affected area.
Source – PRINCIPLES OF CAUTIONS AND CONTRA INDICATIONS, GCMT, 2006.