Medical Contraindications


Contraindication – means you are not able to receive massage or the massage may be limited to certain areas of your body. Contraindications are there for your health and safety along with that of your therapist.

Total Contraindication – A situation where massage is avoided completely. This is usually for reasons presented by the customer and therapist safety and protection.

Relative Contraindication – a situation in which a massage Practitioner may proceed with the treatment with a doctor’s note, but will need to modify techniques related to the client’s condition e.g., using lighter pressure.

Local Contraindication – a situation in which a local area of the client’s body should not be massaged under any circumstances. This may be for the client’s own comfort, to avoid spreading infection or to avoid further injury

Please note that all treatments and packages are subject to medical status, some medical conditions require a doctor’s note. A full list can be found below. If you are unsure, please contact me where I will be able to advise further.

Suitability of treatments will be confirmed on arrival at the Spa with a consultation with your therapist. If treatments are unsuitable we will endeavour to offer alternatives, where possible.

Body Sense Therapy reserves the right to refuse treatment where it is deemed to be a risk to the health and safety of the client or therapist.

Total Contraindications

Disorders of the Nervous System

  • Stroke

    There is a high risk of a second stroke occurring within six months.

  • Undiagnosed Severe headaches

    That come on suddenly, with no previous history of similar headaches, and dizziness or numbness or sleepiness.

Disorders of the Heart and Blood

  • Heart attack

    Because there is a very high risk of a reoccurrence in the two to three months after the attack, massage is contra-indicated. After this time is permitted with a doctor’s note.

  • Haemophilia

    Severe haemophilia is a total contraindication to massage. (Mild forms consult a doctor)

  • Severe Anemia

    Massage is fine for mild anemia, but contraindicated for severe anemia.

Disorders of the Immune System

  • Cancer

    If undergoing treatment.

    If the client is currently undergoing any form of treatment for cancer then a doctor’s note must be produced prior to treatment. If the doctor is happy for the client to receive treatment then his note should be attached to the therapist consultation form and then the relevant treatment can be carried out.

    If the client has cancer but is not currently undergoing any treatment for the disease then we would carry out the treatment, making any relevant notes on the consultation form. If the client is having a massage then the following adjustments should be made by the therapist: the massage should be very light and gentle, no aromatherapy oils should be used and the site of cancer if relevant should be avoided.

Disorders of the Abdominal Organs

  • Hepatitis

    Is contra-indicated in acute stages for client/therapist protection

  • Cirrhosis of the liver

    Is contraindicated for advanced cirrhosis

Disorders of the Urinary System

  • Acute urinary tract infections

  • Acute or chronic renal failure

  • Acute stages of gout

  • Kidney stone attack

  • Kidney stone attack

Conditions of the Reproductive System

  • Pregnancy

    We recommend that massage is avoided during pregnancy due to facilities not being consistent across the estate.

    Spa Pools/Saunas/Steam rooms where heat is prevalent needs to be avoided during pregnancy.

Infectious Skin Conditions (viral, fungal, parasites and bacterial)

  • Scabies

  • Head Lice

  • Ringworm

  • Impetigo

  • Non Infectious Skin Disorders

Areas of skin that are bleeding, broken or weeping fluid.

  • Open wounds

Undiagnosed Conditions

  • Fever

  • Inflammation or Odema

Skeletal System Diseases

  • Osteoporosis

Undiagnosed Severe headaches

  • That come on suddenly, with no previous history of similar headaches, and dizziness or numbness or sleepiness.

    Proceed with caution (treatment can go ahead with a doctor’s note or require separate Risk Assessment)

Disorders of the Nervous System

  • Stroke

    After 6 months

  • Transient Ischaemic Attack

    (TIA- a mini-stroke from which the person recovers with little or no damage.

  • Meningitis, Brain haemorrhage and Brain tumors

  • Epilepsy

    Active epilepsy only (previous 18 months). Do not use essential oils.

Disorders of the Motor Nerve System

  • Parkinson’s disease

    Massage: is indicated under medical supervision, to maintain flexibility and reduce anxiety

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

    Massage: is indicated in sub acute stages, when the client is in remission.

  • Neuralgia

    Massage: Light massage to relieve muscle tension can be beneficial. Deep massage on the site is contra-indicated

Disorders of the Endocrine System

  • Diabetes

    Doctors note only needed if not under medical control (diet or insulin)

Infectious Respiratory Disorders

  • Tuberculosis (TB)

    Until the client has been on medication for 1 month

Inflammatory Respiratory Disorders

  • Emphysema

Disorders of the Heart and Blood

  • Unstable angina

    Should only with permission from the person’s doctor.

  • Heart failure

    Get medical permission, and then give only gentle massage to avoid stressing a weak heart.

  • High blood pressure

    Deep abdominal massage is contra-indicated, high blood pressure that is not controlled by medication requires a doctor’s note. Low Blood pressure is not contraindicated but extra care is needed.

  • Thickening of the arteries

    Seek medical permission, and then give gentle massage only.

  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

    Totally contra-indicated for 3–6 months after diagnosis, for client/therapist protection. After that period, seek medical permission, and give gentle massage only.

  • Leukaemia (‘cancer of the blood’)

    Seek medical permission and then use gentle massage.

Disorders of the Immune System

  • HIV/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

    See guidelines and separate risk assessment which assist with this condition

Local Contraindications – avoid the affected area (therapists)

Skeletal System Injuries

  • Partial fractures

  • Simple fractures

  • Compound fractures

  • Sprains

Joint Problems

  • Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis

    in acute stages

  • Ankylosing spondylitis

    in acute stages

Disorders that affect motor nerve supply

  • Shingles

Non-infectious Skin Conditions

  • Skin cancer

  • Blisters

  • Eczema

    only when open and weeping

  • Psoriasis

    only when skin is broken

  • Recent Surgery and open wounds

Infectious Skin Conditions (bacterial, fungal and viral)

  • Acne (vulgaris)

    depending on severity and degree of inflammation

  • Boils and carbuncles

  • Warts and Verrucas

  • Herpes


  • Athlete’s foot

The Cardiovascular System

  • Varicose veins

    Massage is contra-indicated in the area directly over, or immediately below the Veins

  • Phlebitis

    Massage of the affected area is contra-indicated.

Disorders of the Abdominal Organs

  • Abdominal hernia

Urinary System Disorders

  • Joints/limbs

    affected with gout or on the abdomen in non acute stages of urinary tract infection.

Abdominal Contraindications – massage needs to be adapted

  • Endometriosis

  • IBS

  • Crones

  • Colitis

  • Cysts

  • Fibroids if localised pain

Contact Me

The combination of remedial and deep tissue massage, muscle energy techniques and neuromuscular techniques during treatment, combined with advice on remedial exercises will be used to personalise a rehabilitation programme to meet specific needs of the patient.

Scroll to Top