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Massage Therapy Contraindications

Monday, 22 January 2018 13:29

While massage is very safe and non-invasive, there are contraindications based on existing medical conditions that need to be considered before having a treatment. Many of these contraindications are pretty self-explanatory, some not so much. There are quite a few in total, so I’ll just cover the main ones. If you’re ever unsure, always check with your doctor beforehand, and always inform your therapist.

Heart and Circulatory Problems - There are many types of heart condition, and massage may or may not be performed depending on that condition. Massage can affect your blood pressure which may not help your condition, and heavy pressure over clogged arteries may dislodge plaque deposits and cause further complications.

High or Low Blood Pressure - As massage can affect your blood pressure caution is advised. If you feel unwell during the treatment, tell your therapist and stop.

Varicose Veins - Avoiding heavy pressure over a varicose vein is essential, but if you have them in your legs and your having a shoulder massage then there should be no problem.

Cancer - Unless otherwise advised by your doctor, massage should be avoided to prevent cancer cells being spread around the body by the massage.

Osteoporosis - This condition won’t necessarily prevent you from having a massage, but the amount of pressure used should be moderated in relation to the severity of your condition.

Pregnancy - For obvious reasons it’s a good idea to cautious with what’s being done and how it’s done. In most cases, if you’re suffering some aches and pains during pregnancy there should be something we can do to alleviate those problems. I find the biggest problem is dealing with all the mis-information and “old wives tales” that surround any kind of therapy during pregnancy. Quality information on the subject is hard to come by, even on some of the more “official” health websites, so if you’re ever in doubt, ask your doctor and inform your therapist accordingly.


There are other factors that may affect how a treatment is performed and what sort of impact they may have on results. I’ll be quick with these.

- Previous medical history

- Age

- Body mass, especially if you’re overweight

- Alcohol consumption

- Smokers

- Medications

- Fitness

- Frequency of exercise


Remember! A massage therapist is not a medically trained professional. Make sure they know your medical situation and medical history, and if you’re ever in doubt, ask your doctor for advice before having a treatment.