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Health, Stress and health, The massage

Massage and illness

When you are sick, you shouldn’t get a massage. It can be put as simple as that. In worst case it can complicate matters further and do damage, and in best case it will just not be pleasant to you. For some illnesses and problems massage is not advice since it can be harmful. For other conditions a partial massage or a certain massage type can be recommended in smaller quantities.

If the massage therapist notices problems and conditions she might recommend the client to see a specialist or doctor to get a medical opinion if it’s safe to massage. If not, then the client will have to wait until the issues have been settled and treated.

Situations where any massage can be harmful:

  • Active state of contagious diseases
  • Acute skin conditions and diseases
  • Cancer without doctor’s approval
  • Cardiac arrest and other heart related problems
  • Severe diabetes without doctor’s recommendation
  • Fever
  • Inflammation
  • Hepatics
  • Lice
  • Significant recent injury
  • Recent surgery
  • Under influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Certain medical drugs

Situations where local massage can be harmful:

  • Abnormal lumbs
  • Acne and like skin conditions
  • Blisters
  • Fresh bruises
  • Cysts
  • Herpes outbreaks
  • Inflammations
  • Open wounds
  • Shingles outbreak
  • Skin rashes on a small area
  • Spina bifida (split spine) and other spine conditions
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Unhealed burns and abrasions
  • Warts

Situations where referral to a doctor might be necessary:

  • Severe pain
  • Significant fatigue
  • Inflammation
  • Lumps and changes in skin
  • Oedema
  • Unstable mood and strong changes in mood
  • Infections
  • Bleeding or bruising
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Fever

These lists are far from comprehensive but meant to give an idea of what sort of conditions you should pay attention to when considering a massage. If you are in doubt if a massage is appropriate or potentially harmful, get your doctor’s evaluation and respect his recommendations. Wait the time asked, avoid the type of massage, and fully inform the therapist about your conditions and what your doctor has said.

The Concise Book of Muscles

About Pia Poulsen

Pia Poulsen is educated as a wellness massage therapist at Institut FIGARI in Paris, from where she passed her certification exam in January 2008. Since then she has expanded her skills to become the first Advanced LaStone® practitioner in France as well as a certified LaStone® instructor.


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