Massages are often seen as a luxurious treat that can help you relax and relieve tension in your muscles. However, have you ever wondered if there are any potential risks associated with massages? Could a massage actually make you sick?
In rare cases, yes, it is possible to become ill after receiving a massage. While most massages are safe, there are some precautions you should take to ensure you don’t end up feeling worse than when you started.
In this post, we’ll discuss the ways in which a massage could make you sick and what measures you can take to stay safe during your next massage. We’ll cover everything from choosing a qualified therapist to checking for contagious skin conditions before your appointment.
While massages can be incredibly beneficial for many people, it’s important to understand the potential risks involved. By being aware of these risks and taking steps to mitigate them, you can enjoy all the benefits of a relaxing massage without worrying about getting sick.
“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Understanding the Risks Associated with Massages
The Potential for Injury During Massages
Although massages are generally considered to be safe and effective, there is always a risk of injury involved. Deep tissue massage, in particular, has been known to cause bruising, muscle tears, and sprains if performed incorrectly or too aggressively.
In addition, any type of massage can potentially exacerbate existing injuries or medical conditions. For example, people with herniated disks, osteoporosis, or high blood pressure should exercise caution when getting a massage and make sure that their therapist is aware of their condition.
“Several studies have reported injuries resulting from therapeutic massage, especially deep-tissue massage, given to healthy clients” – Dr. Gena M. Kadar
The Risk of Cross-Contamination with Unsanitary Equipment
A massage involves close physical contact between the therapist and client. This means that there is a risk of cross-contamination if proper hygiene practices are not followed. The use of unsanitary equipment, such as towels or massage tables, can spread bacteria and infections.
Clients who have open wounds or contagious skin conditions should avoid getting a massage until they have fully healed. It is also important to check whether the massage therapist is properly licensed and follows strict sanitation guidelines.
“Doctors now understand that about 20% of all infectious diseases—such as hepatitis C, staph, HIV/AIDS—are transmitted by touch.” – Mark Davis, MD, author of Demons of Democracy: A Psychological Perspective on How Voters Choose Their Leaders
The Possibility of Allergic Reactions to Massage Oils and Lotions
Many massage therapists use oils, lotions, or other topical products during a massage to help lubricate the skin and facilitate the therapist’s movements. However, some clients may have allergic reactions to these products, particularly if they contain fragrances or other additives.
It is important for clients to inform their massage therapist of any allergies they may have before the session begins. This will allow the therapist to choose suitable products or make appropriate accommodations to ensure the client’s safety and comfort.
“Aromatherapy can provide an uplifting, pleasant environment while aiding in relaxation, detoxification, and rejuvenation. Sadly, however, the beauty industry frequently takes advantage of consumers’ lack of knowledge and mislabels synthetic fragrance ingredients as ‘essential oils’.” – Dr. David Lortscher, MD
While massages offer many benefits, it is important to be aware of the potential risks involved. By being informed and taking necessary precautions, clients can enjoy a safe and beneficial massage experience.
Preventing the Spread of Infections: What to Look for in a Massage Therapist
If you are one of those people who enjoy getting a relaxing massage occasionally, then you may share concerns about personal hygiene and preventing the spread of infections. Can a massage make you sick? Yes indeed! If proper sanitation practices are not followed by the massage therapist, you could contract any of several skin infections that can range from mild irritation to severe complications.
Proper Sanitation Practices
One must observe high levels of cleanliness while dealing with other people’s bodies during massages. When seeking professional massage services, ensure they have maintained impeccably clean towels and clothing as well as cleaned massage tables before every session. Even if a massage is performed on an uncovered part of your body such as the feet or hands, sheets should still be changed between clients. Proper hand washing should take place at all times while providing any service.
“Practitioners should use only disposable fabric towels and sterilized equipment when needed” -Massagemag.com
To prevent different types of infections, it’s essential to disinfect objects used commonly after each customer. Such items include doorknobs, handles, armrests, and props like bolsters and pillows. Massage therapists also need to change their clothes regularly and maintain good respiratory hygiene to reduce exposure to infectious disease agents.
Use of Disposable Materials
The use of disposable materials when performing a massage can guarantee safety and convenience to both client and therapist. Essential things like cotton rounds used around eyes and face should only be put on once and discarded afterward. Make sure to ask what brand/type of lotion, oils, or creams was used during your therapy. Some lubricants contain ingredients that irritate some individuals’ skin more than others.
The massage therapist should also discard anything they have touched during your session, such as cups, bowls, and oils. They must utilize clean sheets for each person. This practice ensures that no germs or bacteria stay on the object post-massage.
“Your best bet is to schedule your appointment first thing in the morning when everything has been cleaned” -Goodhousekeeping.com
Certification and Licensing
One of the most critical things to look for in a massage therapist before deciding whether to receive therapy services from them is confirming their qualifications. It is crucial to pick a licensed practitioner with comprehensive knowledge and training since they understand the importance of cleanliness and personal hygiene while working with clients.
Legally regulated therapists provide superior quality wellness care, maintain professionalism throughout the service, and possess visible certificates and licenses upon request from customers. Knowing these guarantees will ensure proper treatment, alleviate any fears or reservations you might have had initially, and promote an environment of trust between you and the therapist.
“Certification shows that someone knows what he or she is doing”-Ncbtmb.org
To conclude, seeking a professional massage can be a rewarding and relaxing experience if conducted correctly by certified practitioners trained to observe reasonable precautions against transmitting infections among customers. Acknowledging the niche’s importance helps eliminate the chances of contracting different infections caused by improper sanitation practices and their consequences.
If you feel uncomfortable about getting a massage at a particular place due to its cleanliness standards, do not hesitate to ask important questions concerning specific measures taken towards ensuring customer satisfaction and safety. Your health matters more than anything else; therefore, cutting corners regarding hygiene and other related aspects may compromise it in the long run.
Common Illnesses Associated with Massages and How to Protect Yourself
A fungal infection is a common illness associated with massages. Fungal infections can be caused by different types of fungus, which are easily spread through contact.
The most common fungal infection that occurs after a massage is athlete’s foot, caused by a type of fungi called dermatophytes. Athlete’s foot appears as scaly patches on the feet, accompanied by itching and burning sensations. Although athletes’ foot is not considered a severe condition, it can be uncomfortable and unpleasant.
To protect yourself from fungal infections during a massage, avoid sharing towels or other personal items with others, wear flip flops in communal areas, and ask your massage therapist to wash their hands thoroughly before starting the massage.
Bacterial Skin Infections
Bacterial skin infections are another common health issue associated with massages. These infections are caused by bacteria entering and infecting cuts, scratches, and damaged skin.
One of the most common bacterial infections linked to massages is Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus). This bacterium can cause pus-filled boils and folliculitis (inflammation of hair follicles), both painful conditions that need medical attention.
To reduce the risk of developing bacterial skin infections after a massage, ensure that your skin is healthy and free of any cuts, scrapes, or open wounds. Also, make sure that the massage table and equipment used during the session have been disinfected.
“To prevent infections such as MRSA, cleaning is critical. Massage therapists should always clean their hands and massage table between clients.” -Dr. Bhanu Sud
If you suspect that you may have a bacterial skin infection after your massage, consult your doctor immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the spread of the infection and prevent it from becoming more severe.
Other Ways to Avoid Getting Sick After A Massage
Aside from preventing fungal and bacterial infections, there are other ways to protect yourself from getting sick after a massage:
- Drink plenty of water before and after your session. This helps flush toxins out of your body and prevents dehydration.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals before and after your massage. These substances can interfere with the massage and cause nausea or dizziness.
- Talk to your therapist about any pre-existing medical conditions you may have, such as allergies, heart disease, or diabetes. They should be aware of these conditions to tailor the massage to meet your specific needs.
- Consider taking a shower or bath before your massage. This can help relax your muscles and remove any dirt or sweat on your skin that could affect the quality of your massage experience.
- If you feel uncomfortable during your massage, speak up. Your therapist will adjust their pressure or technique if you let them know how you’re feeling.
“Massage is generally considered safe for most people. But if you have certain health conditions, such as thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), deep vein thrombosis, or peripheral artery disease, talk to your doctor before having a massage.” -Mayo Clinic Staff
Massages can offer many health benefits, but they also carry some risks. Being aware of the common illnesses associated with massages and knowing how to protect yourself is essential in enjoying your massage therapy safely and effectively.
The Importance of Proper Hygiene in Massage Therapy
Reducing the Risk of Infections
When getting a massage, many people don’t think about the possibility of contracting an infection. However, if proper hygiene is not maintained by the therapist and their facilities, it can happen. There are several types of infections that could be transmitted during a massage:
- Bacterial infections: Staphylococcus aureus (staph) or Streptococcus pyogenes (strep) can be contracted through open wounds or broken skin.
- Fungal infections: Athlete’s foot or ringworm may be transferred through contact with contaminated surfaces like floors, towels, or bed linens.
- Viral infections: Flu-like symptoms may occur after exposure to common viruses such as colds and flu virus.
To reduce the risk of infections, massage therapists should always follow established protocols for cleanliness and hygiene. They should clean all instruments and surfaces after each client session, use fresh laundered sheets and towels, sterilize equipment that cannot be cleaned thoroughly(Disposable items should also be thrown away), wash hands frequently before, during, and after sessions.
Maintaining a Safe and Healthy Environment
Proper hygiene in massage therapy not only helps reduce the chance of infection transmission but also maintains a safe and healthy environment. Unhygienic practices create unpleasant conditions that can make clients uncomfortable and unwilling to return. To keep a safe and healthy establishment, following guidelines should be followed:
- Cleanliness: Wiping down surfaces, scrubbing tubs thoroughly, vacuuming carpets regularly, sweeping nondisposable flooring, washing fabric surfaces on a daily basis, throwing out garbage often.
- Hand washing: Massage therapists should use soap and water to wash their hands thoroughly between each client and after using the bathroom or handling potentially contaminated materials.
- Disinfection: All frequently used equipment such as massage chairs, headrest covers, bolsters must be disinfected with an EPA-approved product.
“Maintaining clean surfaces within a professional setting is essential for creating a safe environment for massages.” -Allyson Kollaja, MScN, RN, CCRN
Massage therapy can have great benefits on mental health and physical injuries; however, when not executed under proper hygiene standards, it has the potential to make people sick. It is necessary that clients seek establishments adhering to proper hygienic practices, ensuring safety, and sanitary conditions.
What to Do If You Experience Symptoms After a Massage
Seek Medical Attention
If you start feeling sick after a massage, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. While this isn’t common, some people may experience an adverse reaction to a massage, especially if they have certain health conditions. Symptoms of this type can include nausea, dizziness, headache, fatigue, muscle soreness, and skin reactions. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and their duration, seeking medical attention promptly can prevent further complications.
It might be easy to dismiss these symptoms as normal post-massage reactions, but differentiating between ordinary soreness and something more serious is essential. Some red flags indicating that you should consult your healthcare provider include persistent or worsening symptoms, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or worsening swelling at the site of the massage. Keep in mind that untreated infections or allergic reactions can escalate quickly if left unaddressed.
“Massage therapists are not qualified to diagnose or treat medical problems.”
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) warns customers not to rely on massages alone to cure health problems. They recommend customers keep up-to-date with their medical check-ups and ask questions before scheduling therapeutic sessions to ensure the therapy meets their needs.
Contact the Massage Therapist or Spa
If you think there was something wrong with the massage session itself, such as inappropriate pressure modes applied, timing issues, techniques used, communication breakdowns, simply appraise the therapist or spa management accurately and without condemnation. Don’t go online to vent about the negative experiences immediately, which could be damaging to reputation or as written by wisegeeksite.com, only writes reviews when you’ve calmed down.
You might want to contact either the massage therapist who performed the treatment or the spa and discuss the symptoms you are experiencing. After all, they need to know if something went wrong during your session so that others don’t make the same mistakes.
Much can go wrong while getting a massage so dishonest quietness will take no one anywhere. Communicating with licensed therapists or competent health professionals is what provides accountability for any side effects that may occur during massage therapy. The therapist might have used too much pressure on an area of your body that shouldn’t be touched, or they didn’t correctly identify a specific condition before beginning treatment.
“We constantly advance our craft.”
Big thank you to leading-edge technology and continuing education classes improve courses focused on minimizing adverse reactions from clients also decrease occurring easily in spas. Rest assured knowing your spa invests as much in safe-precautionary measures as their staff training efforts!
If you experience symptoms after receiving a massage, do not hesitate to speak with both your healthcare provider and the therapist who performed the procedure. You want to protect yourself against potential ill effects and prevent future incidents from happening, but at the same time, you oughtn’t scare off future helpful massages due to untruthful accusations!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a massage spread infections?
There is a low risk of infection transmission during massage, but it is possible. To minimize the risk, massage therapists should follow strict hygiene protocols, use clean linens, and avoid working on areas with open wounds or infections. Clients should also disclose any communicable diseases or skin conditions before receiving a massage.
Can a massage trigger an allergic reaction?
It is rare, but possible for a massage to trigger an allergic reaction, especially if the client has a known allergy to massage oils, lotions, or other products used during the massage. Clients should inform their massage therapist of any allergies before the session begins. Massage therapists should also be trained to recognize the signs of an allergic reaction and take appropriate action if necessary.
Can a massage make you feel lightheaded or dizzy?
It is possible for a massage to cause lightheadedness or dizziness, especially if the client is dehydrated or has low blood pressure. If a client experiences these symptoms during a massage, the therapist should adjust the pressure and position of the client to alleviate the discomfort. Clients should also drink plenty of water before and after the massage to prevent dehydration.
Can a massage cause muscle soreness or pain?
It is common for a massage to cause temporary muscle soreness or pain, especially if the client has not received a massage in a while or is undergoing deep tissue work. This discomfort typically subsides within a day or two. Clients can reduce the risk of soreness by drinking plenty of water before and after the massage, and communicating their comfort level with the therapist during the session.
Can a massage worsen an existing medical condition?
It is possible for a massage to worsen an existing medical condition, especially if the client has a chronic or acute injury. Clients should inform their massage therapist of any medical conditions, injuries, or medications they are taking before the session begins. The therapist should also be trained to modify the massage to accommodate the client’s needs and avoid exacerbating any existing conditions.
Can a massage make you feel fatigued or run down?
It is common for a massage to make clients feel relaxed and calm, but it is possible for some clients to feel fatigued or run down after a massage. This is normal and typically subsides within a day or two. Clients can reduce the risk of post-massage fatigue by drinking plenty of water and getting adequate rest after the session.