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Contraindications and Cautions for
Massage Therapy Treatments

(A contraindication is a specific situation in which a procedure should NOT be used, because it may be harmful to the person/client)

Disclaimer: Information on this site is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment. Massage.ca does not provide diagnostic or treatment services. Individuals should contact their Registered Massage Therapist for further information or their physician for a diagnosis.



Local Contraindications: (treatment can proceed with these conditions on unaffected areas of the body). Before treatment begins, the therapist should be informed of any of these conditions. There will be cases where the practitioner will require a release from the physician prior to the treatment.
These are particular situations where massage and bodywork to a specific or local area will not be warranted. These include, but are not limited to the areas of a:

Acute inflammation

Broken bone /over a non-consolidating fracture

Recent surgery

Inflammation of the skin

Varicosities (varicose veins) over sites with deep vein thrombosis

Local contagious conditions

Blood clots

Open wound or sore

Local irritable skin conditions

Undiagnosed lump

Acute lesion

Malignancy / over sites of active cancer

Skin infection

Tumor (2).

Acute flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis

Recent burn

Phlebitis (inflammation of a vein)

Phlebothrombosis (thrombosis is the formation of a clot; in veins that develop thrombosis, the veins are known to have phlebitis)

Arteritis (condition in which inflammation of the arteries occurs)
The therapist should be informed before treatment begins of any of these conditions. It is always important that the client inform the practitioner of their current health status. However treatment may proceed in the presence of these conditions on other unaffected areas of the body. There will be cases where the practitioner will require a release from the physician prior to the treatment.

Complete Contraindications:

Clients experiencing the following illnesses or conditions should NOT get Massage therapy; these include, but are not limited to:

Burns (severe)

Infectious disease

Anaphylaxis (life threatening allergic reaction)

Appendicitis (painful inflamed appendix)

Cerebrocardiovascular accident (stroke)

Insulin shock or Diabetic coma

Epileptic seizure (convulsions)

Myocardial infarction (heart attack)

Pneumothorax (air or gas within the chest cavity around the lung)

Atelectasis (a collapsed portion of the lung which does not contain air)

Severe asthmatic attack

Syncope (fainting or loss of consciousness)

Acute pneumonia

Advanced kidney failure, respiratory failure, or liver failure (a very modified treatment may be possible with medical consent)

Diabetic complications such as gangrene, advanced heart or kidney disease, or very unstable high blood pressure

Eclampsia (a severe form {life threatening} of pregnancy-induced hypertension resulting in seizures)

Hemophilia *severe type (a hereditary bleeding disorder)
*under a Doctorsí care & taking corrective prophylaxis those with moderate hemophilia receive modified massage therapy.

Hemorrhage (involves rapid and uncontrollable loss of blood

Arthrosclerosis (severe forms of stiffening or hardening of the joints

Hypertension (unstable) (conditions that are not stable i.e., post stroke or heart attack)

Medical shock (a life-threatening medical emergency and one of the leading causes of death for critically ill people: the body reacts, and produces insufficient blood flow to reach the body tissues)

Fever above 38.5 degree C or 101.5 F (significant)

Some highly metastic cancers (diagnosed not to be terminal)

Systemic contagious or Infectious conditions

For more conditions that we treat click here
Useful links:
Medline Plus

Disclaimer: Information on this site is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment. Massage.ca does not provide diagnostic or treatment services. Individuals should contact their RMT for further information or their physician for diagnosis.

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