Contraindications of Massage Therapy

There are some conditions that are contraindicated locally. That means that the massage therapist can give you a massage but must avoid those areas with those conditions when giving you the massage. Here are a list of common contraindictions:

  • Cuts or open wounds
  • Bruises
  • Varicose veins
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Some skin conditions

If you have these massage contraindications and you want a massage you should let your therapist know about them. Hopefully the massage therapist can work around these areas. However, if they prove too severe massage may not be appropriate. In that case, the therapist reserves the right to refuse treatment to ensure maintenance of health standards.

Other massage contraindications are more specific. You cannot get a massage if you have these conditions because massage could cause these conditions to flare up making your problem worse. Here are the conditions that fall into these category;


Anytime you have a fever, whether from a cold, the flu or some other infection, you should not get a massage. Massage increases circulation that may in turn help the infection increase the severity of the fever and the infection.

Contagious Diseases

If you have a contagious disease you are putting your therapist and even your therapist’s other clients at risk of getting it. Please be considerate to your therapist and cancel your massage if you come down with a contagious condition.

Blood Clots

Massage can loosen blood clots. This could be dangerous because the clot could migrate to the brain, lungs or heart. If you are aware of any blood clots, consult your doctor before massage to make sure that it will not be effected by massage therapy.


Unless a therapist has been trained in prenatal massage, pregnant shouldn’t women should not have massage treatment. It’s especially risky in the first 3 months of pregnancy. RMT Kathy Pantalon is a Certified Doula and is well qualified to do pre and post natal massage. Please give us a call to find out which therapist is the right one for you.

Kidney Conditions or Liver Conditions

Massage can put increased strain on both the liver and kidney if they are not functioning normally. This occurs because massage increases blood flow, increasing the movement of waste through the body. If you are experiencing a health problem with either your kidney or liver it is likely that massage will not be appropriate for you. Talk to a health care professional to see if massage will aggravate any kidney or liver condition.


Though massage is good at relieving some of the discomfort caused by cancer, it should only be given by someone trained to work with cancer patients. The patient should obtain a release form from his/her doctor to get treatment.


If you have inflammation of any kind massage to the area will further aggravate the situation.

Uncontrolled Hypertension

Massage increases blood flow. If you have high blood pressure that is not under control, the increased blood flow that is a result of massage therapy may cause problems.