Massage is a great way to relax and heal the body from the stress of everyday life. But when is it best to avoid a session? Although we can treat most sports injuries, if you have any kind of serious inflammation, getting a massage may do more harm than healing. Inflammation is easy to spot when you, let's say, sprain your ankle. Initially it's swollen, red, hot, and you can't really move nor put weight on that foot. After visiting your doctor, give it a couple weeks of rest, ice and elevation before you visit your massage therapist.
Illness, nausea and fever are also good reasons to avoid massage, as they may point to a potentially serious problem like a viral infection. Massage affects metabolic processes in the body and may hurt you more than help you. This is a good time to stay at home and rest! If you have a fever, especially one that lasts for more than a day, seek medical attention.
Any kind of communicable skin condition, such as a rash, should throw up red flags as well. Getting a massage could spread the infection, both on your body and onto your therapist. I'll also mention that sunburn, covering a larger portion of your body, is a reason to stay home and hydrate, rather that get a massage, which can be painful on sensitive skin.
Injuries and surgical procedures are always delicate matters in bodywork. If you have an injury that is causing you pain and you haven't seen a doctor, please do so first before calling for a massage session. Surgery, no matter what the type, is something that your therapist needs to know about—and if you haven't given your body enough time to recover, the best thing to do is stay at home to recuperate from your procedure.
If you want a massage session but you're not sure if you should, a good rule of thumb is to always consult with your doctor first. Your health and wellbeing is very important to us! If you ever have a question, we'll be happy to discuss if massage is an appropriate treatment.