Contraindications for therapeutic massage: Do sources agree?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To explore the extent to which professional sources agree on contraindications (CIs) and precautions for therapeutic massage. Methods: Textbook and peer-reviewed journal sources containing CIs on therapeutic massage in English within the past 10 years were searched (January 1992-July 2002). Descriptive statistics and stacked bar graphs were employed to illustrate agreement of categorical data. Results: Twenty-one sources listed anywhere from 3 to 86 CIs and precautions for therapeutic massage. Over half of the sources failed to indicate a CI or precaution for the majority of patient conditions. Seventy-six percent of the sources failed to cite references to support CI claims. Conclusion: Sources markedly varied regarding what conditions were considered contraindicated for massage. Advisory panels and greater reliance on evidence-based data may help to enhance consistency when documenting future CIs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Adverse reaction
  • Contraindication
  • Massage
  • Precaution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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