Massage therapy is a great way to relax and reduce stress, but it is important to be aware of the contraindications of massage. Contraindications are conditions or injuries that may make massage therapy unsafe or even dangerous. There are two types of contraindications: absolute and relative. Absolute contraindications, also known as total contraindications, completely prevent massage therapy.
These include serious, acute, or infectious conditions where massage is likely to do more harm than good. Examples of absolute contraindications are open wounds, bruises, varicose veins, bone fractures, burns, and some skin conditions. Relative contraindications are conditions that affect the entire body but are generally less serious or acute. These include chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and anxiety.
People with these conditions can often receive massages and body exercises safely with appropriate treatment modifications. It is important for massage therapists to be aware of the contraindications of massage in order to create a safe environment for their clients. If a client has any of these conditions, the therapist should discuss their concerns with the referring doctor and inform them why this condition is considered a contraindication for massage. For example, massage and body work are usually contraindicated for a pregnant client during the first trimester of pregnancy.
In addition to systemic contraindications, there are also local contraindications which affect specific areas of the body. People with contraindications for massage therapy should avoid massages or body work until the condition has disappeared. When there is an absolute contraindication, no treatment modification is sufficient to guarantee a safe massage. It is important to complete a massage therapy program to learn about all the benefits and contraindications that may affect a client during a massage treatment.
Massage therapists who work in a medical setting or who receive recommendations from doctors may receive a client with a prescription for a massage therapy treatment that is actually contraindicated for this client. The client should always consult a doctor before starting any massage therapy or if they have any new conditions that may be a contraindication for massage.