Indications and contraindications for massage


Old age is in itself an indication for a massage that is aimed to improve the quality of life of senior citizens. General indications are joint pain, muscle pain, as well as social and emotional needs.

Numerous indications apart from those already mentioned include:

  • depression
  • arthritis and soft tissue inflammation (once the acute condition has resolved)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • senile dementia
  • stiffness of muscles and joints
  • stress
  • insomnia
  • poor skin condition (dryness, itching)
  • pressure ulcers or risk of developing them
  • constipation
  • lymphoedema
  • post-stroke condition
  • respiratory problems
  • headaches
  • multiple sclerosis
  • peripheral circulatory disorder (cold hands and feet)
  • low self-esteem and lack of confidence
  • loneliness and social isolation
  • mood depression, anxiety
  • prolonged immobilisation
  • people in a terminal state


In the case of elderly people, it is advisable for the attending physician to decide whether the patient should get a massage. Not all contraindications are a categorical prohibition. They usually concern selected areas of the body. It is important to realise that even just a hand massage, holding someone’s hand,
being present and expression of good will of the masseur can bring extraordinary benefits.

Nevertheless, certain conditions requiring special attention should be  mentioned, and these include:

  • thrombophlebitis
  • arthritis in the acute phase
  • high fever
  • calf pain with warmth in the area
  • aneurysm
  • varices
  • burns
  • trauma
  • post-surgical conditions
  • infection
  • highly acute pain
  • fractures
  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • undiagnosed rashes
  • ulcers
  • intake of blood thinners
  • people with a history of blood clots
  • advanced atherosclerosis.


Whenever there is doubt about a senior’s health and  performing a massage, a doctor should be consulted.

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