By itself, touch is a therapeutic measure. It generally results in a positive impact on blood circulation, the skin and several vital organs as well as systems of the body. Since massage is considered to be a restorative or curative art, being familiar with what needs to be done and what ought to be avoided is equally important as being acquainted with what one is competent and able enough to do.
It is important to note that performance massage cannot be carried out when the recipient is enduring certain conditions. Performance massage should be avoided when the following conditions are present.
It is advisable not to carry out performance massage when the recipient's tissues are inflamed (swollen and tender). In effect, inflammation forms an element of the defense system of our body. In addition, it is also a part of the healing process that occurs when any tissue has either been injured or harmed. Inflammation is also an endeavor by the body to segregate the harmed tissues and shield them from added injuries. Inflammation can be distinguished by five indications, such as redness in the affected area owing to augmented flow of blood to the body part, swelling or distention caused by augmented activity of the cells in the area and puffiness due to blood, heat in the affected area owing to the increased flow of blood and pain owing to the discharge of the chemical histamine as well as enhanced pressure of the fluids present in the nerve cells in that body part. Apart from these signs, inflammation can also be recognized by loss of mobility caused by increased activity of the nervous system due to some stimulus, tightening of the muscular system of the body (musculature) as well as enhanced fluid build up in the affected area.
Always remember that you should never apply pressure on swollen/ distended or aching joints. If arthritis and bursitis patients receive performance or any unsuitable massage, it is possible that these conditions would worsen. While carrying out performance massage, the practitioner should always keep communicating with the recipient in order to understand that no pressure is being applied unintentionally on the chronic or arthritic joint condition.
When an individual is enduring acute pain in the muscles, bones or joints, he/ she should never receive any form of massage. The symptoms mentioned here may be signs of fractures, sprains or any additional condition that are not to be treated by any form of massage. Since they are beyond the extent of any massage session, no massage should be given in such conditions.
While giving massage to patients who are in advanced stages of diabetes, the practitioner needs to be extra careful. People suffering from advanced stages of diabetes often experience acute blood circulation disorder that is distinguished by edema (build up of serous fluids in tissue cavities) as well as distension of the joints. Applying deep pressure may also result in damaging tissues and, hence, such people should consult their physician prior to receiving any form of massage.
It is advisable not to massage any area affected by cancer, tumour or cysts. In case you have any reservation or suspicion regarding any specific lesion, you should be careful and keep away from that particular body part. In addition, recipients also ought to talk to their physician about any anomalous growth or tumour. People suffering from contagious ailments or high temperature should not receive any form of massage. As ailments like flu, colds and some other diseases caused by viruses usually make a person feeble, giving a massage in such times may result in nausea.
It is also important to bear in mind that body parts having any burn injury or open wound should not be massaged under any situation. Also, never give massage directly on any body part affected by rashes or any type of skin infection. However, in most instances, a localized rash should not prevent a practitioner from performing a massage on the other parts of the recipient's body. Here is a word of caution - never put direct pressure on the varicose veins.
Body areas where there are blood clots or inflamed blood vessels (phlebitis) should not be massaged. Therefore, preparing a medical profile would be helpful in exercising prudency. In addition caution should be exercised while giving massage to individuals enduring cardiac problems, for instance, extremely high and untreated blood pressure or a recent heart attack. In such cases, the heart of the recipient is unlikely to be capable of enduring the augmented stimulation caused by a deep massage. Nevertheless, athletes as well as individuals who are physically very active and keep their blood pressure under control using medications may receive massage. As effective precautions, practitioners or therapists may restrict their massage session to 15 minutes and make use of light pressure.
Before wrapping up this issue, it is important to mention that individuals who might be feeling ill physically should not be given any massage. People experiencing symptoms like trembling, nausea/ queasiness, profuse sweating, fatigue, dry skin or too much cramping owing to hyperthermia (abnormally high body temperature) or hypothermia (body temperature below normal) ought to be referred to a healthcare professional prior to giving any form of massage. Usually, such symptoms occur when an individual (athlete) is at the finishing line of an important marathon or triathlon. In such situations, it is essential to refer the athlete to a primary healthcare provider.
There are three main techniques of performing the performance massage - rocking, shaking and abdominal sandwich. All these three techniques of performance massage are discussed below.