Contraindications in Massage

Yellow and Red Flags by Samuel Weatherill

Red Flags

Red flags in massage are certain barriers in which the massage should not take place at all. Red flags can vary from injuries or medical condition that the client may have suffered from recently or in the past, to the different genders of the client and the massaging person. This is why before a massage the client should carry out some sort of medical questionnaire followed by what they would prefer in terms of the massaging person (prefer how the massager acts and who they are etc).

Yellow Flags

Yellow flags are certain barriers which may stop the massager from allowing a certain part of the body to take part in being massaged, the massage still takes place though. It is important that the massager identifies the yellow flagged area and keeps communicating with the client so that they feel comfortable throughout the massage.

Skin conditions

Skin conditions in massage can be seen as either red flags or yellow flags. Measles is an example of a red flag skin condition because it can be contagious; not only if the area with the spots is touched but also being anywhere near a client with measles can cause contagion. Acne is skin condition which causes black heads and inflamed zits to appear in certain areas. This condition can cause large amounts of scarring but the condition is not contagious and massage can be carried on as long as an eye is kept on the area. (yellow flag).

Circulatory conditions

Circulation conditions involve a limited blood flow to the brain, heart, kidneys and limbs, this is often the result of certain disorders. If left untreated it can cause large amounts of organ damage. Massage can help in the treatment process as it helps to promote blood flow around the body to support the organs as well as the muscles. It is best to make sure that prescription treatment is used before going for a massage to gain best treatment. This is seen as a yellow flag because deep work can cause the blood pressure to rise, gentle massage can open the arteries and increase the range of the blood flow. Avoid deep massage and ask for medical clearence. An example of a circulatory condition is angina, angina is pain caused in the chest or heart area. This pain is caused because of obstruction or spasms in the coronary arteries.

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a disease which affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, this causes problems with muscle movement, balance and vision. In the inflammatory stage it is best to not carry out any massage and therefore this can be seen as a red flag. This can be seen as a yellow flag too because massage can be carried out as long as the numb areas are avoided, working on the muscles in massage can bring a sensation back in certain muscles allowing the signals sent to the brain throughout the body to begin to slowly work again. Multiple sclerosis is a disease which can block the signals sent through the spinal cord.