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Total, local, and medical contraindications are the three types of common contraindications that might prevent or restrict your clients from obtaining therapy. You should evaluate each client individually to identify and address any contraindications, which should be addressed in order of severity. Keep in mind that any total contraindications rule out massage therapy completely.

Total contraindications are medical disorders that prevent your clients from having massage therapy because their ailment puts you or the client at risk.

Local or medical contraindications limit massage therapies by avoiding areas affected by a medical condition or requiring a doctor’s approval before the treatment may be performed.

Below you’ll find a list of the most frequent massage contraindications, including deep tissue massage contraindications.

You should use a client questionnaire to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to detect any contraindications in your clients and that you’re complying with common insurance policy terms before performing any treatments. It should be thorough, covering some of the most common illnesses and disorders and inquiring about any other known ailments that aren’t covered on the form.

Infections caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Because of the nature of the treatment, any infection in your client poses a risk to you as a massage therapist. Massages are quite hands-on, which means you will come into close touch with anyone who walks into your treatment area.

Many viruses and bacteria can be transmitted through the air, so you could get infected just by being in close proximity to an infected person, but especially by touch. It could also be passed on to other clients who happen to be in the same room as you or who come into touch with you after you’ve been infected.

While doing treatment, fungi particles can readily attach themselves to your hands and then spread to other surfaces and equipment in the room. If you touch your mouth, eyes, or nose before fully washing your hands, you may transmit some dangerous cells to your face, resulting in further infection spread. As a massage therapist, you must maintain sterility in your working environment and equipment at all times. This also implies that you should pay attention to your personal cleanliness and, if necessary, wear gloves and masks.

You should refuse to perform massage treatments, especially facial and deep tissue massages, to customers who have any kind of infection as an extra precaution and to reduce the chance of infection spreading.

Fever with a high temperature. Treatment should be refused to clients who have a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or higher), as this could indicate that they are fighting an illness. If you massage a client who has a high temperature, you risk disrupting their natural defences, which could contribute to the sickness lingering longer and necessitating more forceful treatment. Before providing massage therapy to a customer, it is preferable to wait for whatever is causing the temperature to go away. This will also keep you from contracting an infection and perhaps spreading it to others.

Heart Attack / Stroke

If your client has just had a stroke or a heart attack, you should hold off on giving them a massage until they are no longer in the acute phase of the condition. This should be confirmed by their practitioner on a signed letter, and a disclaimer signed by the client saying that they are aware of any hazards should be signed just to be safe. Because of the significant danger of a second stroke or heart attack occurring within the first few months after a stroke or heart attack, several precautions must be taken.

Skin Problems.

Some skin disorders, such as severe acne, eczema, psoriasis, cold sores, and open sores, should be avoided or limited when it comes to massage to avoid the development of more serious conditions. Massage treatment should be avoided in patients or afflicted areas to reduce the danger of transmission, as some illnesses are infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. If your client has a skin condition, make sure to study what treatments, if any, can be performed and ask them to produce a physician letter stating that massage therapy is safe for them to receive.


There are a number of massage contraindications for pregnant women that may prevent or limit the therapy you can deliver to your clients. It’s critical to figure out whether your pregnant clients have any of the following issues:

  • Eclampsia
    Organs pushing on veins and arteries cause varicosities.
    Poor posture causes hyperkyphosis or hyperlordosis.
    Syndromes of Compression
    Diabetes During Pregnancy


Cancer patients are likely to receive treatment that includes chemotherapy and radiotherapy, all of which have a significant influence on the body, particularly the immune system. Cancer patients may be at risk of developing an infection that they will be unable to fight. It is critical for them to avoid public locations such as massage parlours and spas in order to prevent putting their bodies under undue stress from a massage.

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