Massage is a wonderful tool for the relief of pain and stress, as well as an important type of preventive care. But, as much as I hate to say it, there are some times when it isn’t a good idea to receive a massage:

If you are sick and/or if you’ve had a fever in the last 72 hours. It’s one thing if you have the sniffles (although massage can sometimes make you feel worse if you’re fighting something), but if your nose won’t stop running from a cold or you’ve got a stomach bug, please don’t come receive a massage, for both your health and mine. That’s especially true if you’ve had a fever in the last 72 hours – a fever is a sign that the body’s immune system is fighting hard, and massage can interfere with that process. If you start to come down with something before a scheduled session, please let me know right away, even if it’s the morning of the appointment.

At certain times during pregnancy. I enjoy practicing prenatal massage. I have done continuing education to support my prenatal work, but I do not hold an advanced prenatal certification. That means I don’t feel comfortable doing massage with you in your first trimester, though other therapists might. No matter how many weeks along you are, it’s a good idea to talk to your OB/GYN or midwife prior to receiving massage, especially if they consider your pregnancy to be high risk.

If you have any medical condition for which your doctor has advised you not to receive massage. This could include high blood pressure, blood clots, cancer, specific musculoskeletal conditions, or immune system disorders.

If you’re unsure, just ask!