Should You Get a Massage While Feeling Sick?
Winter brings much cooler temperatures, holiday celebrations and seasonal illnesses. During this time of year, many of my clients frequently ask if they should receive bodywork sessions if they are sick. The short answer is no.
Aside from the obvious danger of spreading contagious illnesses, massage therapy during an illness can actually make you feel worse! Massage therapy does boost the immune system and can relieve your tension. However, when your body is already fighting off a virus due to a cold or a flu, a massage can actually make things worse. Massage increases circulation throughout the body. With this increased circulation and manipulation of the muscles, it releases and/or pushes metabolic waste through your system faster than normal. Have you ever gotten a massage and noticed about halfway through you get a little congested? That is a sign your body is ridding itself of waste, it gets a little backed up in the sinuses. When you are already dealing with cold/flu symptoms the massage can compound your symptoms and make you feel worse. Pressure to your sinuses while your head is in the face cradle will cause increase pain. Your body is already having to fight off the virus, so you don't want to be adding to it. A massage session will increase blood circulation and place demands on your body during a time when you should be resting. Getting a massage can seem like resting, but it is actually hard work for your body to respond to the bodywork techniques. Our bodies cannot heal easily when its working, and instead of feeling energized you may end up feeling totally exhausted. The best idea is to stay home and rest.
Make sure you are past the initial, acute stage of the sickness and never come in for a treatment if you are contagious. That is just being considerate of your therapist and the other clients.
Best for everybody if you come back when you are feeling better.
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Be safe and wear your mask please