Medications and Massage Therapy: Eight Key Precautions

So, you have properly asked about what medications your client is on as part of your history.  And, you are likely aware that there are potential interactions between medications and massage treatments. In this blog post, let’s explore eight possible precautions and what to do when working with clients on medications.

1. Blood thinners: Clients taking anticoagulants or blood-thinning medications may be at an increased risk for bruising or internal bleeding during a massage. It’s crucial to be gentle and use light pressure while avoiding deep tissue techniques. Always ask about the client’s medications before starting treatment and modify your approach as needed.

2. Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers like NSAIDs or prescription pain medications can mask pain during a massage, making it difficult to gauge the appropriate pressure. Encourage your clients to communicate their pain levels throughout the treatment; respond appropriately.

3. Muscle relaxants: Clients taking muscle relaxants might experience heightened relaxation during a massage, potentially leading to drowsiness or dizziness. Adjust your techniques and pressure to ensure your clients’ comfort and safety.

4. Diabetes medications: Diabetic clients may have altered sensations in their limbs, making it challenging to perceive pain or discomfort during a massage. Exercise caution and maintain clear communication with the client to avoid causing discomfort or injury.

5. Topical medications: Some clients may use topical medications, such as corticosteroids, which can cause skin thinning or sensitivity. Always ask what topical medications your client is using and avoid massaging those areas.

6. Immunosuppressant drugs: Clients taking immunosuppressant medications may be at a higher risk for infections. Covid substantially increased the risk of illness for this population. Use proper protocols for sterilizing in between clients. Always avoid treatment if there are any open wounds or skin infections.

7. Chemotherapy medications: Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy may experience increased sensitivity, fatigue, or compromised immune systems. A gentle, relaxing massage is often recommended for these clients. However, always consult with the client’s healthcare provider before performing any massage treatment on cancer patients.

8. Allergies: Some clients may have allergies to scents, oils or lotions, or even fabrics. Always inquire about any known allergies and have alternative products on hand.

Being aware of potential medication interactions and adapting your treatment approach will help ensure your clients have a beneficial massage experience. Always encourage open communication with your clients generally, and ask about medications and health conditions.

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