It used to seem like cold and flu season only hit in the winter time. Lately people are suffering from viruses year-round. A great question I hear regularly is, “I’m sick. Should I come in to have you push it out faster?” While it’s true that massage has wonderfully detoxing effects and enhances the immune system, getting a massage while in the throes of fever and sickness could be too taxing on the body. So what are some pro’s and con’s of receiving massage while sick?
Massage releases stored toxins in the system and flushes them out quickly. Sounds great, right? Absolutely, however during sickness, the body is already overloaded waging war on the virus. If the body then has to continue that war yet wage a new battle to remove newly released toxins, you could not only feel much worse in the short-term, but experience a longer recovery time. Based on whatever your work schedule is, the best thing could be to cancel the appointment, stay home and rest.
Each person is different depending on their history of how they handle being sick, the preventative healthy lifestyle being lived out, and the natural state of their immune system. The difference between a nasty head cold and full-blown flu symptoms are two different things. If a massage occurs at the onset of a bad cold, hang on – the cold’s intensity will happen in 3-4 days vs. spread out over 7-14 days. If your schedule can handle that then definitely have the massage quickly detox you. Massage works wonders clearing out the lungs and sinuses from all the mucus and drains the body of bacteria and virus. Massage brings relief to sore rib and back muscles fatigued with excessive coughing. Massage relieves sinus pressure and headaches. Illness can quickly feel isolating too. Massage instantly helps the body AND mind feel safe and protected as it engages in serious battle.
In massage sessions, I regularly use essential oils containing anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Applying these oils provide relief from symptoms as well.
On the con side, the other thing to consider is the spread of infection. Massage typically takes place in a small enclosed room running at a warmer temperature than usual. Viruses love that! Aside from small fans and the possibility of an air purifier, there are no open windows for ventilation. An hour session is a long time for a virus to spread not only to the therapist, but all the objects housed in the room. Clients coming in right after are then susceptible for being contaminated by the spreading of that same virus. Having said that, I regularly use antibacterial and anti-viral cleaning agents and oils after EVERY client to quickly minimize the spread of infection before the next session begins.
A Few Rules:
- If you have a fever – stay home.
- If you know you’re contagious – stay home.
- If you’re already nauseas, even slightly – stay home. Massage will only increase this feeling with the release of new toxins in the system.
Outside of these, come on in and we’ll hopefully have you feeling better quickly.
So What’s The Answer?
The best rule of thumb is be cognizant of what you have and decide accordingly. If your body is aching for touch and the schedule allows you for the possibility of being down in bed for a day or two afterwards, keep the appointment. If your skin is already sensitive to touch and fever is involved, a nice hot bath and bed rest may be the better option. I encourage both decisions because we all handle illnesses differently. I’ll be available, either way, because we’re all in this together.
See you on the table!