Massage Therapy (cont.)
Massage therapy appears to have few serious risks -- if it is performed by a
properly trained therapist and if appropriate cautions are followed. The number
of serious injuries reported is very small. Side effects of massage therapy may
include temporary pain or discomfort, bruising, swelling, and a sensitivity or
allergy to massage oils.
Cautions about massage therapy include the following:
- Vigorous massage should be avoided by people with bleeding disorders or low
blood platelet counts, and by people taking blood-thinning medications such as
- Massage should not be done in any area of the body with blood clots,
fractures, open or healing wounds, skin infections, or weakened bones (such as
from osteoporosis or cancer), or where there has been a recent surgery.
massage therapy appears to be generally safe for cancer patients, they should
consult their oncologist before having a massage that involves deep or intense
pressure. Any direct pressure over a tumor usually is discouraged. Cancer
patients should discuss any concerns about massage therapy with their
- Pregnant women should consult their health care provider before
using massage therapy.