Massages are often associated with relaxation and holistic healing. However, there are times when getting a massage could cause more harm than good. Despite its myriad of benefits, there are in fact certain scenarios when a massage might not be the best option for you. Certain conditions contraindicate the advantages of this practice, either because of the risk it may pose to the therapist or to the client.
These are the top 6 reasons you should not get a massage.
Don’t get a massage if you’ve been drinking the night before, as it can make you even drunker. Since circulatory massage dilates your blood vessels, it gives the alcohol easier access. This consequently leads to the chance of your blood alcohol level rising. Blood also moves faster when you get a massage, so it’s best to skip it if you’ve had a few drinks at your local watering hole.
Faster Alcohol Absorption
It is not advised to drink before a massage. Be aware that if you do this, your therapist can refuse to work with you for safety reasons. Massage also increases blood circulation, which equates to faster absorption of alcohol in your body. Experts advise that you wait at least four hours after consuming alcohol before getting a massage.
Symptoms of Illness
One of the wonderful benefits of massage is that it boosts your immune system and provides immediate relief from muscle tension. However, when your body is in the process of fighting off a virus due to a cold or the flu, getting a massage can actually make matters worse. When you are in the early stages of any sickness, don’t get a massage. This, as repeatedly mentioned, will help your blood circulate faster—and, by extension, the virus or bacteria in your blood cells.
This is related to point number 3. When you’re sick, a massage can actually speed up your recovery time. The caveat is that you end up experiencing the full-blown symptoms of your illness in the span of 3 to 4 days since the massage essentially forces all the toxins through and out of your body. To avoid getting sick again, let your body heal naturally at the usual rate of 1 to 2 weeks before going back to your therapist.
An injury is generally considered a contraindication. Sure, a feeling of soreness or pain might seem like something a massage could alleviate, but most injuries are contraindicated for at least 24 to 48 hours – depending on the severity. This is to avoid making the injuries worse. Wait for a few days first, and then book your massage appointment.
If you have open wounds or pain (i.e. sunburn, rashes, eczema, etc.), it’s best not to touch the area to avoid infection. A massage may be fine if you have a non-contagious skin condition that isn’t causing you any pain. However, if your skin issue is contagious, it is a contraindication. Let your therapist know about any rashes or skin problems. They can then decide whether or not a massage can help you.
If you suspect that you are not in the right condition to get a massage, it’s always best to consult your physician first. The good news is that massage has many healing benefits, and it is quite rare to encounter situations where massage should be avoided for a long time.