Abnormal body temperature (fever) – should not exceed 99.4 degrees.
Acute infectious diseases (e.g. severe colds, flu, typhoid).
Acute arthritis…massage is appropriate for chronic arthritis.
Acute inflammation due to soft tissue damage, e.g. immediately after a whiplash incident or a sprained ankle. Massage at a later time is quite effective.
Varicose veins. Light work or avoid the area entirely.
Inflammation of a vein (phlebitis).
Certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and bruises.
High blood pressure not well controlled by medications – lighter work and get MD input.
Active cancer- no massage directly in an area that is cancerous. However, a general massage may be indicated and very soothing.
Diabetes- possible hypoglycemic reaction and decreased sensations in limbs.
Very frail elderly – lighter work of shorter duration.
Osteoporosis- lighter pressure and receive MD input.
Alcohol intoxication- all types of bodywork are inappropriate if the client is intoxicated.
While the above conditions may rule out the use of massage, other types of bodywork such as Reiki and Therapeutic Touch may be quite helpful.
SOURCE: Beck, Mark. The Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage, 1988.