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May 3, 2004

When To Avoid Massage

Some good cautionary advice about when to avoid massage comes out of Austin, TX.

People who should be extra cautious about massages include:
- Individuals who have open or healing skin wounds, skin infections, recent surgery or blood clots.
- Individuals with bleeding disorders or low platelet counts, or those taking blood-thinning medications.
- Pregnant women, particularly if the abdominal area is involved.
- Those with pain between the upper borders of the shoulder blades (this is likely usually from a pinched nerve in the neck).

Advice for how to find a qualified therapist:
Gotlin recommends you try a professional from the American Massage Therapy Association for the best chance at a safe massage. Therapists in this group have gone through 500 hours of training and know the basics of body anatomy and physiology. Experts also say make sure you select the massage technique that suits you best.

Keep in mind that Texas has a tiered training plan for massage therapists. Your therapist could have 300, 600 or 900 hours of training, so buyer beware.

And while I do disagree with some of the advice in this article, such as deep, high-pressure massages, such as Swedish massage and shiatsu, are terrific for breaking up tight muscles but can damage muscles in thin people, it's good to realize that there are times when massage therapy is not appropriate treatment.

Posted by linda at May 3, 2004 9:55 AM

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