September 2019

"The secret of health for both the mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present wisely and earnestly"

 - Buddha


This article has been a challenge for us to write at Osetra Wellness. We pride ourselves in being able to take in clients when other therapeutic options fail them. We love being able to help you all along your healing journeys so your massages can become maintenance massages. However, there are times where manual manipulation of the body isn't a safe option. We will do our best to bring your awareness to General and Local Contraindications in this article. If you have any questions, we will try our best to answer in an email reply!
 Keep in mind that everyone's health is unique and as a Wellness focused practice, we have to take in consideration of all of our clients' wellbeing.  

General Contraindications

When is massage more harm than good? Massage may be relaxing but it is always stimulating. And when our bodies are being overworked by illness, injury, or intoxication, massage will exacerbate symptoms. The therapists also look out for  advanced Diabetes , aneurysms, clotting, organ conditions, some seizure conditions, cancer, diarrhea, vomiting, and complicated pregnancies. These situations are considered General Contraindications for massage. As in any massage treatment will cause harm to the client. If the condition is contagious, the therapist is at risk of becoming a vector for all of their clients. Since Osetra sees a lot of pregnant women, we thank you for rescheduling your appointments when you are dealing with a contagious condition.   

As we go into the Cold and Flu Season, our immune systems get a bit more active. Like we previously mentioned, massage is stimulating for the circulation of the body. If your immune system is producing more lymphocytes and you get a massage, you have a large possibility of experiencing a Healing Crisis. This is the term used for a fever that occurs after bodywork when your immune system is active. In European Wellness Spa and Ayurvedic Medicine, fever inducing is used to speed up the immune response. But in our massage practice, we prefer to err on the side of caution and have you reschedule the appointment since that window of time can be very contagious. 

Medication Side Effects

We also have to consider medications with side effects that interfere with the client's blood pressure, perception of touch, filtering organs, and alertness. For most medications with these side effects, we can massage with caution. We just have to end the session with some more stimulating massage techniques like tapotement/drumming and active breathing exercises. But if you are coming in for your massage already feeling dizzy, having difficulty with eye tracking, and/or slurring speech, we will exercise our right to cancel or reschedule the appointment for your well being. 
This 2011 resource from AMTA is written for Massage Therapists in mind, but clearly explains what the client and therapist need to know when it comes to massaging while on medications.

Local Contraindications 

These are injuries and health conditions where we cannot work on directly. You'll be able to receive a massage that helps address the compensation pattern or decrease your general tension. The common Local Contraindications are Acute injuries that don't limit your full mobility on the table, sunburns, non-contagious rashes, broken skin, and benign skin biopsies.   

We classify the moment of injury and the following days to be the Acute stage. This is the stage where the body is at it's most defensive for the area of trauma. Massaging the area will most likely be mistaken as more trauma. Once you're in the Subacute stage, we can address the injury more directly. This is the stage where the inflammation has decreased and the tissue and bone are starting to repair. There are many massage techniques we can use to coax the muscles and connective tissue to maintain better alignment in the healing process.

"Try Something New" Special

We are offering $10 off a session if you ask to try a massage style or technique you haven't received before and want to try. We have experience in a lot of different styles of massage outside of Deep Tissue and Swedish. If you're interested in the special but don't have anything in mind, we can discuss what new techniques would benefit you most.

This is only valid for one session paid out of pocket excluding Groupon and Spafinder. We don't offer Thai Massage.

Osetra Wellness
1777 Borel Place, Ste 104
San Mateo, CA 94402