Indications and Contraindications
In the massage context an indication is a condition that massage may be able to positively influence, or a reason to give someone a massage. (e.g. pain, tension, swelling, etc.)
A contraindication is something that massage may interact negatively with, or a reason to avoid massage.
Contraindications may be further defined as Absolute or Relative, General or Regional. Absolute and relative contraindications may be considered as polar opposites, as can general and regional contraindications.
Something is an absolute contraindication when under no circumstances should the client be given a massage. An example is that when someone has deep vein thrombosis under no circumstances should they receive massage to the lower calf.
Something is a relative contraindication when there is some danger associated with the provision of massage, but massage may be modified to provide safe treatment. An example is massage to the site of a recent injury where massage may be extremely useful and effective but can only be provided by a suitably qualified therapist who can avoid any strokes that would damage the newly healing tissues.
Something is a general contraindication when the contraindication affects the entire body.
Something is a local contraindication when the contraindication affects a localized area of the body.
A condition may be any combination of (absolute or relative) and (general or local). Following are some examples of conditions which fall into each category.
|General|| the Flu |
Any infectious disease
|Local||Deep vein thrombosis||Acute injury to the biceps insertion into the radial tuberosity|
What types of things are contraindications to massage practice?
Certain medical conditions, medications, and specific areas of the body may be considered contraindications to massage practice.
Read your textbook to find out more about Indications (or conditions that massage can benefit)
- Salvo(2007) - p. 93 - 96