Massage and the Flu

I was working a Health Fair event the other day and had a conversation that went like this:

Client: “Gosh, a massage is JUST what I need today, I feel awful.

Me: “Why do you feel awful?”

Client: “Oh, I’m FREEZING, I just can’t get warm (note that it’s still 85 degrees here in Florida and he was wearing a big ol’ sweater), and my muscles just ACHE.”

Me: “You mean, like you have a fever or the flu? Because a massage isn’t going to make you feel better, it might actually make you feel worse.”

Client: “No, I’m just cold and achy.”

By this time another therapist called them over to their chair and while I believe they heard the conversation they were fine performing the massage and the client was happy to receive it. The conversation did make me realize that this is the perfect time of year for a little massage / flu education.

  • Massage helps increase circulation. This is the number one reason why if you’re feeling like crap, a massage will probably just enhance your crappiness. Your body needs to do its thing and adding a massage while your body is already fighting the ICK factor is not going to help. The only possible exception may be reflexology or acupressure.
  • Selfishly, I don’t want whatever you have. If you are in those terrible beginning stages of chills and aches, chances are you are contagious. I also don’t want to pass the ICK on to my other clients. My regular clients know, if I’m sick, I will reschedule your appointment. If you’re sick, I will extend the same courtesy to you and allow you to reschedule with no cancellation fee.
  • When can you come back? Typically, at the tail end of your sickness a massage will help loosen your muscles from all the extra hacking and retching motions you’ve been experiencing and make you feel much better.
  • Massage therapy can improve how the immune system functions, so receiving regular massages, especially during the winter months, can keep your body humming right along and can help fight off cold, flu and other seasonal illnesses  (AMTA – Massage Therapy May Boost Immune System Functioning) .

Do you have more Massage and the Flu questions for me? Ask away! I’m here to help!