Make sure the therapist knows your medical situation
There are a few safety precautions to take into consideration when providing or receiving massage.
If you are receiving massage from a professional massage therapist (even if they are a family member or friend), make sure they are aware of any medications or treatments you have received or are currently receiving. This is because certain medications like blood thinners, blood pressure medication, chemotherapy, or radiation will impact your body’s tolerance of massage and could put you at greater risk for harm. If they are unfamiliar with your medication and treatment plan, they should not do massage and you should seek guidance from your medical team.
TitleWhen to avoid massage
While massage is safe most of the time, there are instances when it should be avoided or delivered with caution. If you do get a massage in the situations listed below, the therapist should adjust the amount of pressure and length of massage accordingly.
- Broken, irritated, or blistered skin
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Cancer bone metastases
- Low platelets, increased INR or clotting disorder
- Neurological immaturity (infants, spina bifida)
Note that therapists should exercise caution with lymphedema or excessive fluid overload, edema, and third spacing. During pregnancy, you should only get a massage from a specialized massage therapist.
Massage to the following areas is not recommended. If you choose to do so, use extra caution.
- Around the eyes
- On the neck, below jaw and earlobe
- Inside bend and outside of elbow
- Kidney region of the low back
- Belly button area
- Groin area
- Behind the knee