Why is it necessary to provide information about my medications?

Massage and Medications

Your massage therapist will review each medication that you are taking. Some medications have side effects that will affect your health during and/or after a massage.

For example:

Aspirin causes a lessened sense of touch and easy bruising. If a client has taken aspirin within 12 hours, they will not be able to receive firm pressure or a deep tissue massage.

Baclofen is a skeletal muscle relaxant that reduces the transmission of impulses from the spinal cord to the skeletal muscles. If it is administered into the spinal column, the massage therapist will need a written release from the client’s physician. If the medication is administered orally, the client will only be able to receive a gentle effleurage during a Swedish massage.

Lisinopril is a highly prescribed drug for lowering blood pressure. Side effects such as low blood pressure, dizziness, and sleepiness can cause clients to need assistance when getting on and off the massage table. It can also cause a rash, and if it is severe, no massage should be received.

Meperidine or Demerol is an opioid. It alters a person’s ability to detect pain, making deep tissue a contraindication for massage.

Amiodarone is used for cardiac ventricular arrhythmia. A written release from a physician is required before a massage can be given to a client taking this medication.

Atenolol is a beta blocker. It is commonly prescribed to reduce blood pressure and decrease mortality rates caused from heart attacks. Side effects of the medication may be drowsiness and weakness. Depending on the health of the client, a physician’s release may be required.

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