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Know When to Say NO to Massage

Massage therapy has been shown to have few serious risks provided it is performed by a properly trained therapist and appropriate cautions are followed.

Avoid massage all together if the following are present and until they are resolved:

  • significant fever

  • severe unstable hypertension

  • systemic contagious or infectious diseases, including the common cold and flu

  • acute conditions requiring first aid or medical attention

  • blood clots

Avoid massage on the affected area for the following conditions:

  • Acute flare-up of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis

  • aneurism

  • local contagious or irritable skin conditions

  • open sores or wounds

  • recent surgery

  • recent burn

  • varicosities

  • malignancy

General cautions for massage include:

  • Although massage therapy appears to be generally safe for cancer patients, they should consult their oncologist before having a massage that involves deep or intense pressure. Any direct pressure over a tumor is discouraged. Cancer patients should discuss any concerns about massage therapy with their oncologist.

  • Massage should not be done in any area of the body with blood clots, fractures, open or healing wounds, skin infections, weakened bones or area of a recent surgery.

  • Vigorous massage should be avoided by people with bleeding disorders, low blood platelet counts and if taking blood-thinning medications such as Warfarin, or Coumadin.

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