Massage Therapists: Know Your Limits

Massage Therapists Need to Know Their Limits

Massage Therapists Need to Know Their Limits

Everyone agrees: massage promotes rest and relaxation, and wellness.  Speak to anyone who has had a massage and you’ll hear only positive comments about their massage experience.

It is clearly the “go-to” method for de-stressing because it allows you to close your eyes and be oblivious to the troubles of the outside world – even for just an hour.

As you complete your courses in massage school and prepare for your license, some of your instructors who will no doubt discuss the safety factor in massage therapy.  This is important because when we spread wellness, some of us tend to think that we have all the answers to health problems.

Some successful massage therapists begin to believe that they have the knowledge and power to cure. They don’t.

When you start to practice, you may receive numerous compliments from clients praising you for your massage skills and how much you made them feel better.  Your sacred duty as a massage therapist – even if you possess all the proper credentials – is to always remember that you are not a doctor of medicine.

Given that some clients forget about accidents or illnesses they had, you may want to ask them questions about the medications they’re taking, accidents they’ve had, if they are prone to asthma or are pregnant – just to be on the safe side.  It is natural to want to take in as many clients, but there are certain clients you may have to turn away, encouraging them instead to see a doctor.

What kinds of clients should you NOT massage?

Pregnant women in their first three months of pregnancy are one example. If you’re planning the use of aromatherapy substances, you cannot massage women who are breastfeeding.

Clients who are alcohol or drug dependent should not be massaged, and patients who have been diagnosed with thrombosis or certain types of cancer should also be on your NO list until their conditions return to normal.

A massage applied to patients with thrombosis could dislodge a blood clot; as for cancer patients, they must have their doctor’s written authorization for a massage.  Better to be safe than sorry!

Massage therapists would also avoid massaging certain areas in the body such as:

–  swollen areas provoked by arthritic attacks, gout, bursitis and other similar conditions
–  open wounds and bruises
–  herpes, warts, bacterial/fungal infections
–  broken bones or ligaments
–  breakage in soft tissues
–  undiagnosed lumps
–  varicose veins (the general rule of thumb is that when varicose veins are serious, no massage is allowed; in moderate cases, very light pressure can be applied)

The best advice for massage therapy students:  always ask your instructors about the safety factor in massage therapy.  Also, update your knowledge and skills.  If you are considering branching out to medical massage or orthopedic massage, find a good school that offers training, licensing and certification in these specializations.

Be wary of courses or schools that state you will be certified as a medical massage specialist with just a few hours of training or after attending a three-hour workshop.



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  1. Woodrow Kerkel says:

    Good blog! I truly love how it’s easy on my eyes and the facts are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which need to do the trick! Have a nice day!

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