Getting Massages While Sick-Yay or Nay?

So, you’re sick. You woke up with unmistakable body aches, your nose is so plugged you can only breathe through your mouth, and your temperature is off the charts. You call out from work, but decide to keep your massage appointment.  After all, your therapist did tell you massage helps relieve aches and pains and the idea of a session may seem extremely relaxing. However, getting a massage while sick is actually not the best cure; in fact, it’s not a cure at all and can make things worse.

Here’s why:  Massage increases circulation throughout the body. The technique used creates pressure that moves blood from muscles and allows new blood to flow in. Massage also releases metabolic waste from the muscles and organs and pushes it through your body. Let me put it this way: half way through a massage, have you ever felt congested? Your face is in the face cradle and all of a sudden, your nose starts to feel plugged and possibly begins to run? This is because metabolic waste is being released and your body is trying to find ways to get rid of it. This increase in blood flow and surge of metabolic waste will only make you feel worse if you are already sick. Your body has to fight even harder, increasing the severity of your symptoms.

Keeping a massage appointment while you are sick can affect your massage therapist and other clients. During a massage session, you’re in a warm, closed space with minimal ventilation for an hour or more. The time spent in the room allows your virus to spread. Of course, your therapist will wash their hands after your session and make up the table with clean sheets, but simply talking or touching a counter can still spread the virus. The spread of viruses can be costly. Some clients may not be able to take over the counter medications to ease the symptoms of the virus and if the virus affects your therapist, they may need to cancel appointments so they can take time to feel better themselves. Not to mention your weakened immune system. Should a different virus be lurking at the clinic, you may leave feeling worse and even more sick then when you came in.

Receiving regular massages can have major benefits to your body and your health. Like I said above, massage increases circulation, releases metabolic waste, and can strengthen your immune system, making it harder for viruses to bring you down at all. Massage can also relieve tension that may have occurred during your time sick. Coughing and sneezing, feeling achy and cold, all of these things can make your body tense, so once you’re feeling better, schedule a massage. If you’re sick, your therapist would much rather you cancel your appointment and reschedule once you’re feeling better.


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