Can Massage Be Unsafe?
It can, although massage is generally felt to be safe. Only extremely assertive massage techniques should cause pain, bruising, or other unpleasant side effects.
However, certain situations call for caution. Those with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar closely to ensure that it does not fall too low after a massage (massage can help to regulate blood sugar over the long term). Pregnant women should also be very careful about massage during pregnancy and seek out a therapist trained to perform prenatal massage.
Who Should Avoid Massage?
Do not have a massage if you have a contagious skin condition, a bleeding disorder (such as hemophilia), blood clots in the legs, renal failure, heart failure, phlebitis, or cellulitis.
Massage may also be contraindicated if you have cancer, as it can hurt tissue weakened by radiation or chemotherapy. Those with autoimmune diseases such as eczema or other skin-lesion-causing diseases, or rheumatoid arthritis should avoid massage while a flare-up is occurring. Individuals with high fevers, low white blood cell or platelet counts also should not receive massages.