Massages are AMAZING! I’m obviously bias, but I’m still right 🙂
If you are stressed, get a massage. If you are sore from a workout, get a massage. If you have a knot in your shoulder that just won’t go away, get a massage.
Massages can break up scar tissue, boost your immunity, promote relaxation, enhance your complexion… the list goes on.
Despite all of the benefits that massage has, there are times you should NOT get a massage. Here are some times when you should just do yourself (and your massage therapist) a favor and stay home.
1. When You Are Contagious
Seriously, keep your sickness out of my 10×12-foot massage studio!
Not only are you exposing me to your germs, but you are putting every single one of my clients at risk.
Not to mention, it’s hard on YOUR body. Massage increases blood and lymph circulation, so you are essentially spreading the pathogens throughout your body.
What to do instead? Stay home, rest, drink fluids, wash your hands, and feel better soon!
2. If You’ve Just Experienced An Injury
I will not massage the area if the injury occured within the last week. Period.
Trust me, it’s for your own safety. Massaging the area might make you feel good for a couple of hours, but I would just be adding inflammation to the area and potentially tearing very fragile tissue.
Plus, your nervous system won’t be able to determine a safe pressure. It’s just going to make it worse, and it’s not worth it.
After a week, we can look into light work to flush out the swelling, but don’t anticipate any deep work on the area for a few weeks. The body needs to rebuild tissue and that just takes time.
What to do instead?
See a doctor. I can’t diagnose conditions, so if you think it’s serious, then seek medical attention!
Reduce movement to that area. Ice the area by doing 20 minutes of ice and then 20 minutes without. Make sure to put something between the ice and your skin. Frostbite is a real thing. Sleeves and ACE bandages will help keep swelling down, and elevation will pull inflammation out of the area.
3. If You Have A Competition Coming Up
Unless you want something light and relaxing, don’t schedule a massage within five days of your competition.
Feeling loose is great, but when muscles are stretched farther than they are used to, they can lose power. Not something you want before a comp.
Also, because muscle soreness can have a delayed onset, you don’t want it manifesting itself on gameday.
What to do instead?
Reschedule your massage for after your competition. I’m sure your body would love that! Or do a sports massage.
Sports massages consist of more interactive stretching and light work. This helps loosen up muscles without causing too much inflammation or overstimulation of the nervous system.
4. If You Plan On Doing A Tough Workout Later
Seems like loosening up your muscles in a massage would be good before a workout, right? Wrong!
Getting a massage is essentially the same as a workout on your body. It taxes your nervous system, it can create micro tears in your tissue, and may loosen up tendons and ligaments needed to stabilize lifts. This puts you at a higher risk of injury.
Plus, you likely won’t be able to lift as heavy, run as fast, or perform to the best of your abilities. That’s going to piss you off and ain’t nobody got time for that.
What to do instead? Keep it light intensity or call it a REST DAY 😉
5. If You’re Overheated Or Dehydrated
This is more common in a post event setting, but it can also happen if you hop on the table after a workout.
Massage promotes blood flow and circulation. That can result in raising your already too warm body temperature. It can also release toxins into your bloodstream to get filtered out by your kidneys, which removes even more fluid for your system.
This can result in cramps, spasms, hyper- and hypothermia, nausea, and even passing out.
What to do instead?
Get some fluids in you and give your body some time to balance back out. Take a cold shower. Lord knows you need it after a workout.
If it’s serious, seek medical attention!