Who Should Avoid Massage Therapy?

Avoid Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is extremely effective at easing physical as well as mental stresses and strains. Many of us have benefited from one form of massage therapy or another. Considered safe if properly performed, some massage techniques can backfire and affect people already afflicted with certain disorders. The article discusses these afflictions and explains why some people should avoid massage therapy.

Avoid Massage Therapy with these Conditions

Massage is considered risky for people with certain medical conditions, risky enough to make your current condition even more serious. People with fractured or broken bones, burns, blood clots, skin infections, etc. should avoid massage therapy sessions at all costs. Massage can result in the following side effects for these conditions:

  • Burns: Avoid applying massage therapy to skin that’s been the site of burns or open soars and wounds. The severity of these burns or wounds must be considered when deciding whether to massage unaffected parts of the body.
  • Skin infections: Massage can easily spread a skin infection (ringworm, herpes, cold sores, etc.) to other parts of your body. Furthermore, the massage could just as easily pass the infection on to the therapist.
  • High Blood Pressure: People who suffer from high blood pressure run the risk of a build-up of plaque in their arteries. This can lead to the formation of blood clots (a phenomenon quite common nowadays, even among the young). Excessive pressure applied during massage therapy can dislodge plaque and blood clots. This can send them to sensitive areas of the body with potentially fatal consequences. Individuals suffering from deep vein thrombosis are particularly at risk.
  • Fever: Patients with a fever should avoid massage therapy while the fever lasts. Massage can sharpen the fever or even cause your therapist to catch it.
  • Cancer: People suffering from certain kinds of cancers should avoid massage therapy altogether. Patients whose cancer has spread to their bones are at greater risk. The same goes for those undergoing radiation or chemotherapy. If you have cancer, no matter what type, consult your doctor before arranging any therapy.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Some people say that massage therapy is good for arthritis sufferers as it relieves pain and improves the condition. This is true for some kinds of arthritis but not for rheumatoid arthritis, which can get worse after a massage. With this condition, massage therapy is neither comfortable nor relaxing.

Please note: If you suffer from any of these disorders, always consult your doctor before arranging a massage.

Go to a trained therapist!

Massage therapy is not something just anyone can do. It calls for knowledge gained from proper learning and training. If you want an effective massage, always go to a trained and trusted therapist with positive client reviews. Untrained therapists may adopt bad massage practices. They may exert too much pressure on your muscles or manipulate your tissues in a harmful way. In the worst-case scenario, a bad massage can result in nerve damage and severe pain.


In combination with other forms of medication, massage therapy can ease many problems associated with pain and illness. Massage, however, is not a therapy you can apply in all conditions. It is also important to understand its limitations and contraindications. So, if you’re worried that your disease may deteriorate as a result of therapy,  consult your doctor or simply avoid it. Do some background research and choose a therapist with positive reviews and plenty of recommendations from satisfied clients.


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