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When massage can help and when it’s not advised

Massage has been around for thousands of years, and it is continuing to evolve. New research is now proving the effectiveness of massage for numerous conditions and demographics. There are some conditions though for which massage may not be beneficial. When going to get a massage, make sure you discuss your health conditions with the massage therapist to ensure you receive the best massage treatment.

Massage therapy has been proven to help reduce anxiety, improve sleep, lessen the intensity of back pain, reduce symptoms of depression, reduce tension headaches, improve quality of life for individuals living in hospice and palliative care, decrease pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, alleviate muscle spasms, and overall give a sense of well-being. However, massage does come with caution because it can cause adverse results for people with certain conditions. It is important to speak with your doctor about massage and your condition(s) before you receive a massage. Massage is not advised for people who have a fever, deep vein thrombosis, uncontrolled hypertension, uncontrolled diabetes, contagious diseases like the cold or flu, contagious skin conditions, advanced kidney or liver failure, sepsis, or for those under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Massage can also be enjoyed by people with certain conditions as long as modifications to the massage treatment are done. Modifications can include using lighter pressure, less time on a specific body part, less time for the entire massage session, not massaging certain areas, and positioning adjustments. Conditions that necessitate modifications include pregnancy, varicose veins, asthma, fibromyalgia, seizure disorders, osteoporosis, immunosuppressed patients, and cancer.

Overall, most people can receive some type of touch therapy. A well trained, licensed massage therapist can help determine if you qualify for a regular massage, a modified massage, or if massage is not advised.