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When Massage isn’t a Good Idea at All (Part 1)

The benefits of massage are known and proven by science, and it’s a fact that contributes to the enduring popularity of reputable massage centers like Massage Luxe. When properly applied, massage can promote blood circulation, mind-body relaxation and sleep quality, among others. 

But there are times when massage isn’t such a good idea despite these numerous benefits. You should seriously reconsider going for it, even go as far as making a cancellation of your massage appointment, when you have one or more of these conditions. These are known as systemic contraindications because of their whole-body effect.  

If You Have a Fever

Keep in mind that a fever is an indication of your immune system at work in killing an infection or an invasion of foreign bodies, such as bacteria. While a fever isn’t exactly a pleasant feeling, it should generally be left to run its course unless there’s cause for concern. 

Generally speaking, if your fever is under 104°F, then don’t try to get rid of it by drinking analgesics and the like; let it run its course since your body’s at work already fighting off the infection. But if your fever hits 104°F or above, you should seek immediate medical attention. 

In either instance, you should avoid getting a full body massage although a few minutes of back rub can bring relief. Why? Massage will increase blood circulation resulting in an increase in body temperature and in faster fluid circulation that will, in turn, likely spread whatever your body’s fighting off to spread. 

Just stay at home and get some rest when you have a fever. A visit to your favorite massage clinic may just make matters worse.  

If You Have an Infection 

Let’s say that you probably have an infection caused by bacteria or virus, such as the common cold or pneumonia. You think that a whole body massage will ease the aches and pains that usually come with whatever infection you’re suffering from. You then go for a massage. 

But we don’t recommend it! Aside from the abovementioned reason, you’re essentially spreading your infection to other people, especially the massage therapist and the clients who come in for a massage after your session. You’re putting other people at risk and it isn’t fair to them. 

While reliable massage centers clean the rooms on a regular basis and massage therapists wash their hands between clients, there isn’t much that can be done about airborne diseases. There may also be less time than necessary for a massage therapist to clean and disinfect the room where you went in for a massage in time for the next client.  

Again, just stay at home or seek medical attention instead of getting a massage when you have an infection, especially an infectious one.  

If You’ve Been Drinking Alcohol

Keep in mind that alcohol changes your pain perception because the substance dulls the pain receptors. You won’t feel as much pain as when you’re sober and, thus, you can get injured during a massage without being aware of it. You may, instance, get a deep tissue massage and you aren’t aware that the massage therapist is putting too much pressure – and you end up with bruises and a hangover.  

Your judgment will also be impaired by alcohol so you’re more likely to make inappropriate actions. You’re essentially putting yourself and your massage therapist at risk, such as when you fall out of the table.  You will also be more likely to vomit since you’re in a prone position, not to mention that the soft tissue manipulation can stimulate the vomit response. 

You’re also likely to become more drunk, as if you’ve drunk another bottle.  This is because circulatory massage causes blood vessel dilation (i.e., increase in size) resulting in an increase in blood alcohol level; your blood circulates faster and, thus, the alcohol circulates faster, too. You may think that a massage will make you feel less drunk but it actually has the opposite effect.  

The bottom line: No matter how crappy you feel after a drinking session, you should avoid a massage if you want to feel better. As with a mild fever, you should sleep off your hangover or just suffer its effects because, well, you asked for it.  

If You Are on Medications or Use Recreational Drugs 

Massage therapists will not make judgments on their clients’ lifestyle choices. But it’s important to tell your massage therapist if you’re on over-the-counter and/or prescription drugs, particularly pain medications, and/or using recreational drugs. These substances change your pain perception and tolerance, too, so you may be getting injured yet you’re not expressing your pain to the massage therapist.  

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to massage. You may want to keep certain things to yourself as well as keep a piece of underwear, particularly your panties or boxers, on your body. But it’s a good idea to tell the abovementioned things to your massage therapist.

Category: Other Tips


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