The word massage is a generic term for manipulating the skin, muscles, and ligaments. They have been touted for their many benefits and are no longer limited to luxury spas, becoming available in businesses, hospitals, and even airports. It is being used as both a complementary and an alternative medicine.
But does it come with health risks along with its benefits?
Yes, if the person wanting a massage has certain medical conditions. Bone damage, such as severe osteoporosis may mean that massage is not right for you. It may be more risky, too, if you’re on blood thinners or conditions such as deep vein thrombosis. It is also a risk for people who have blood clots; they may become dislodged and travel to the heart or brain, causing heart attack or stroke. Most health risks are minor, but you should still discuss getting one with your doctor beforehand, particularly if you have a condition that affects your bones or blood, or if you have an injury. Getting a massage can make some injuries worse.
There is also a slight risk of allergic reaction to massage oil or lotion. Not all massages use these. They are used to reduce friction with the skin, which is not always necessary. However, if you have sensitive skin mention it to your massage therapist to rule out any possibility of allergic reactions.
A common after effect of massage is soreness, particularly during deep tissue massage. However, pain during massage is not good. Working out knots may be uncomfortable, but shouldn’t hurt. If a massage hurts, speak up. Additionally, if you experience muscle weakness after the massage, call your doctor immediately.
This 4,000 year old treatment has a wide range of health benefits and is very safe, except for a people with a few certain medical conditions. Pain and other side effects are generally caused by an overly vigorous massage, and simply speaking up will help prevent that. If you have any doubts whether massage therapy is right for you, or whether getting a massage will be safe, schedule an appointment with your doctor to talk it over.