What are the Contraindications to Massage?

Massage is non-invasive, relaxing and natural. It is therefore generally considered a safe treatment for most people. However, there are three types of contraindication: TOTAL, when massage should not be performed at all, LOCAL, when massage can be performed but not over the contraindicated areas and MEDICAL, when massage can only be performed once medical permission has been granted.  The following restrictions are in place to protect your health and well-being.

Total Contraindications

When you have any of these conditions, please do not book a massage:

  • Fever 

  • Contagious or infectious diseases, including any cold or flu no matter how mild it may seem.

  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol- including prescription pain medication

  • Acute injuries (within first 48 hours)

  • Neuritis 

  • Skin diseases


The therapist can massage but not over any areas affected by:

  • Varicose veins 

  • Undiagnosed lumps or bumps 

  • Bruising 

  • Cuts 

  • Abrasions 

  • Sunburn 

  • Severe Inflammation (if the skin is red and warm)


If you suffer from any of the following conditions, massage can only take place once it has been approved before your session by your Physician.

  • Cardio-vascular conditions (thrombosis, phlebitis, hypertension, heart conditions) 

  • Oedema 

  • Psoriasis or eczema 

  • High blood pressure 

  • Osteoporosis 

  • Cancer 

  • Nervous or psychotic conditions 

  • Heart problems, angina, those with pacemakers 

  • Epilepsy 

  • Diabetes 

  • Bell’s palsy, trapped or pinched nerves 

  • Pregnancy (if there are any complications)

Does a contraindication mean that treatment cannot take place?

Not always. In fact, massage can be very therapeutic for many medical conditions. However, in the above cases it is best to have advice from your physician. Massage therapists, unless they are also qualified doctors, may not, under law, attempt to diagnose a condition.

Jen Shaw Trimble, LMT, NMT, MT000791

218 Johnson Ferry Rd NE

Sandy Springs, GA 30328



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