Massage chairs are a highly effective and safe way of relieving pain and stress. They deliver the right amount of force and vibrations to the pressure points of your body in a manner that imparts a relaxing effect on the body.
Although massage chairs are safe and can be used by almost everybody, there are some problems and conditions that need attention before using a massage chair. Below we have discussed the most common problems which contraindicate the use of massage chairs and should be addressed before getting massage therapy.
When you have a fracture of a bone, the doctor reduces (aligns) and fixes the area with plaster, for example, and you are advised to get adequate rest and limit the movements of the affected area so that the bone gets time to heal with proper alignment.
Using a massage chair can put pressure on the healing bones which can interfere with the healing process and may also disturb the alignment of the fractured bone.
Therefore, allow your fractured bones to heal properly, before using a massage chair.
Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by weak bones due to the deficiency of calcium in the body. It is common among elderly people and is one of the leading causes of bone and joint injuries in older adults. The bones are too fragile that they are prone to fracture even with a mild force of impact.
Although massage chairs have shown beneficial effects in osteoporosis as they increase the blood flow to the muscles surrounding the bones and joints, they can cause damage as well. The pressure exerted by massage chairs can be too intense for the fragile bones to handle and can lead to fractures. Therefore, many experts forbid the use of massage chairs in elderly people with osteoporosis.
However, not everyone with osteoporosis has the same degree of weakness. Consult your doctor regarding getting a massage with a massage chair.
High-grade fever is another contraindication of using massage chairs. Fever indicates that you have some kind of infection and your body is trying to fight it off.
As massaging increases the circulation of blood, it can cause the infection to spread rapidly in the whole body. This not only can increase the duration of the illness but also make the disease stubborn, therefore, requiring more aggressive treatment.
So, if you have a high-grade fever, you should get yourself treated before using a massage chair.
A Recent Sprain or Injury
When you get your ankle twisted while playing football, fall over your back, or have received any kind of traumatic injury, most of you might think about getting a sound massage to help with the pain. However, it’s not a good idea.
Research has shown that where massage improves blood circulation, it can be bad in case of acute injuries as it can increase swelling and bleeding. It may slow down the recovery or even worsen the injury during the first 48 hours.
So, if you have recently got an injury, it is recommended not to use massage chairs for the first 72 hours, and let the acute phase of injury pass off.
A Recent surgery
The same is the case when you have a recent surgery. Your wound is fresh and stitches are in place to keep the wound close.
Massaging using a massage chair can prevent the healing of the surgical wound, and can aggravate the risks of swelling, infection, and bleeding.
Have you got a rash? It can be infectious and probably be a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. Massaging over these areas using a massage chair can cause the infection to spread and also make the condition more painful.
Similarly, if your skin is damaged or broken, for example, you have a bruise, cut, burn, abrasion, or even an open wound; you should avoid using the massage chair. Massaging can slow down the healing process, and can also increase the risks of bleeding and infection.
Our skin contains some superficial veins that are usually not visible, and they function to bring the blood back to the heart. These veins contain small valves which keep the blood from returning and ensure a unidirectional flow. In conditions like varicose veins, these valves lose their function and as a result, blood pools up causing these superficial veins to dilate.
Having a massage using a massage chair can not only cause pain but also push the blood in the wrong direction. Besides, there are high chances for these fine, fragile, and dilated veins to burst due to the pressure of the massage.
Moreover, sometimes the superficial dilated veins indicate a compromised blood flow in the deep veins due to some clot, as in deep vein thrombosis of the legs. Massaging in such a condition can dislodge this clot which may result in complications like pulmonary embolism, heart attack, etc.
Consult your doctor if you notice dilated veins in your leg or belly, and do not use a massage chair before getting the condition treated.
Pregnant women face many problems due to their growing belly. It puts a strain on their spine resulting in backache. The massage chair can not only help in relieving such pains but also improves their sleep and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
However, some conditions contraindicate the use of massage chairs during pregnancy. For instance, the enlarged organs in pregnant women can compress the arteries and veins leading to the development of varicosities (dilated superficial vessels). As discussed earlier, massaging can cause damage to these blood vessels.
Similarly, massage increases the circulation of blood which may not be good for pregnant women who have or are at risk of high blood pressure conditions, like eclampsia and pre-eclampsia.
Besides, pregnant women may develop hyperkyphosis or hyperlordosis due to poor posture, thus, contraindicating the use of massage chairs.
Seek medical advice from a healthcare practitioner regarding the use of massage chairs during pregnancy.
Several other problems are there which need attention before using a massage chair. These include;
· Bleeding disorders
· Seizure disorders, e.g. epilepsy
· Implanted electrical devices, like pacemakers
· Undiagnosed lumps or tumors – etc
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