hat are the Contraindications to Massage Treatment?

Massage treatment is non-invasive, relaxing and natural. It is therefore generally considered a safe treatment for most people.

However, there are three types of contraindication (conditions that make massage unadvisable):

  • TOTAL, when massage should not be performed at all
  • LOCAL, when massage can be performed but not over the contraindicated areas
  • MEDICAL, when massage can only be performed once medical permission has been granted


I have put the following restrictions in place to protect your health and well-being. Thank you for taking them as seriously as I do.

Total Contraindications

When you have any of these conditions, please do not book a massage:

  • Fever
  • Contagious diseases, including any cold or flu, no matter how mild it may seem
  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol-including prescription pain medication


Disorders of the Nervous System

  • Stroke
  • Undiagnosed Severe Headaches that come on suddenly, with no previous history of similar headaches, and dizziness, numbness or sleepiness
  • Meningitis


Infectious Respiratory Disorders

  • Tuberculosis (TB)


Disorders of the Heart and Blood

  • Heart attack
  • Haemophilia
  • Severe Anemia


Disorders of the Abdominal Organs

  • Hepatitis is contra-indicated in acute stages.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver


Disorders of the Urinary System

  • UTI's are uncomfortable and when acute, may involve fever and malaise
  • Acute or Chronic renal failure
  • Kidney Stone attack
  • Acute stages of gout


Conditions of the Reproductive System

  • Herpies
  • Genital Warts
  • Syphilis


Infectious Skin Conditions
(viral, fungal, parasites and bacterial)

  • Scabies
  • Head Lice
  • Ringworm
  • Impetigo


Non-Infectious Skin Disorders

  • Areas of skin that are bleeding, broken or weeping fluid.
  • Open wounds


Disorders of the Immune System

  • Cancer – if undergoing treatment.


Skeletal System Diseases

  • Osteoporosis


Disorders of the Nervous System

  • Stroke – after 6 months
  • Transient Ischaemic Attack
  • Meningitis, Brain haemorrhage and Brain tumours
  • Epilepsy


Disorders of the Motor Nerve System

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Neuralgia


Disorders of the Endocrine System

  • Diabetes


Inflammatory Respiratory Disorders

  • Emphysema


Disorders of the Heart and Blood

  • Unstable angina
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Thickening of the arteries - Seek medical permission, and then give gentle massage only.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Leukaemia (‘cancer of the blood’)


Disorders of the Immune System

  • HIV/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome


Other Conditions

  • Fever
  • Inflammation
  • Any headache that is accompanied by fever, confusion or numbness is a contraindication for any massage

Local Contraindications

The therapist can massage but not over any areas affected by:

  • Undiagnosed lumps or bumps
  • Pregnancy
  • Bruising
  • Cuts
  • Sunburn


Skeletal System Injuries

  • Partial fractures
  • Simple fractures
  • Compound fractures
  • Sprains

Joint Problems
  • Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis – in acute stages
  • Ankylosing spondylitis – in acute stages


Disorders that affect motor nerve supply

  • Shingles


Non-infectious Skin Conditions

  • Skin cancer
  • Blisters
  • Eczema – only when open and weeping
  • Psoriasis – only when skin is broken
  • Recent Surgery and open wounds


Infectious Skin Conditions (bacterial, fungal and viral)

  • Acne (vulgaris) – depending on severity and degree of inflammation
  • Boils and carbuncles
  • Warts and Verrucas
  • Herpes – coldsore
  • Athlete’s foot


The Cardiovascular System

  • Varicose veins - Massage is contra-indicated in the area directly over, or immediately below the veins
  • Phlebitis - Massage of the affected area is contra-indicated.


Disorders of the Abdominal Organs

  • Abdominal hernia

Abdominal Contraindications – massage needs to be adapted.

  • Endometriosis
  • IBS
  • Crohn's
  • Colitis
  • Cysts
  • Fibroids if localised pain


Urinary System Disorders

  • Joints/limbs affected with gout or on the abdomen in non-acute stages of urinary tract infection

Medical Contraindications

If you suffer from any of the following conditions, massage can only take place once it has been approved before your session in writing by your Medical Practitioner.

Skeletal System Diseases

  • Osteoporosis


Disorders of the Nervous System

  • Stroke
  • Transient Ischaemic Attack
  • Epilepsy


Disorders of the Motor Nerve System

  • Parkinson disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)


Disorders of the Endocrine System

  • Diabetes


Disorders of the Heart and Blood

  • Angina
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)