Conditions When Not to Perform Shiatsu Massage – 8 Contraindications

Shiatsu massage is a renowned holistic therapy that offers a myriad of benefits, but it’s not suitable for everyone under all circumstances.

Just as with any form of alternative medicine or massage technique, there are specific contraindications.

In some cases, it’s advisable not to receive a Shiatsu massage.

In this informative guide, we will explore these contraindications, helping you make an informed decision about whether Shiatsu massage is safe and suitable for you.

Shiatsu Massage: A Brief Overview

Shiatsu massage, often referred to as acupressure, is a therapeutic technique deeply rooted in traditional Chinese medicine.

Shiatsu massage, often referred to as acupressure, is a therapeutic technique deeply rooted in traditional Chinese medicine.

It involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow (qi).

While it’s generally safe and beneficial for many individuals, it’s crucial to be aware of situations when it may not be advisable.

Shiatsu Massage Contraindications: When Not to Get a Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu massage is a beneficial therapy for almost everyone. But in some cases, it is advisable not to get it for certain reasons. Let’s have a closer look at some contraindications:

1. Recent Surgery or Injury

If you have undergone surgery or experienced a significant injury, especially one that involves fractures or open wounds, it’s essential to avoid Shiatsu massage until you have fully healed.

Applying pressure to these areas can hinder the healing process and may even cause further damage.

2. Serious Medical Conditions

Individuals with serious medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, or severe organ dysfunction should consult with their healthcare provider before considering Shiatsu massage.

In such cases, receiving this therapy without professional medical guidance can be risky.

3. Infectious Diseases

If you have an infectious disease or a contagious skin condition, it’s essential to refrain from Shiatsu massage until you have recovered.

This precaution helps prevent the spread of illness and ensures the safety of both you and the therapist.

4. Pregnancy

While some pregnant women find prenatal Shiatsu massage beneficial, it’s crucial to seek the guidance of a qualified therapist who specializes in prenatal care.

Certain pressure points may stimulate contractions, potentially leading to premature labor.

5. Recent Trauma or Burns

If you’ve recently experienced trauma, burns, or other acute injuries, Shiatsu massage may not be appropriate until you have sufficiently healed.

If you have recently experienced trauma or burns, Shiatsu massage is not for you

Sensitive or damaged tissues can be aggravated by pressure.

6. High Fever or Infection

When you’re running a high fever or suffering from an infection, it’s best to avoid Shiatsu massage.

The therapy can stimulate your immune system, potentially intensifying the fever or making you feel more unwell.

7. Severe Hypertension

Individuals with uncontrolled, severe hypertension (high blood pressure) should exercise caution when considering Shiatsu massage.

The therapy can lead to blood pressure changes, so it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional first.

8. Allergic Reactions

If you have known allergies to massage oils, lotions, or other products used during a Shiatsu session, inform your therapist beforehand to prevent allergic reactions.

Is Shiatsu Massage Safe for Me?

Before scheduling a Shiatsu massage, it’s essential to communicate openly with your therapist.

They will conduct a thorough assessment of your health history and discuss any concerns or contraindications.

This dialogue helps ensure that the treatment is tailored to your specific needs and is performed safely.

Shiatsu Massage Risks: Who Should Not Get a Shiatsu Massage?

Shiatsu massage, when administered by a qualified and experienced practitioner, is generally safe for most individuals. However, the risks associated with Shiatsu can increase when:

  • The therapist lacks proper training and certification.
  • The client fails to disclose relevant health information.
  • The therapy is performed without considering contraindications.

Final Thoughts on Conditions When Not to Perform Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu massage is a valuable holistic therapy with numerous health benefits, but it’s essential to be aware of its contraindications and limitations.

Always communicate with your therapist and seek professional medical advice when in doubt.

When administered correctly and with consideration of your individual circumstances, Shiatsu massage can be a powerful tool for enhancing your physical and mental health.


What Are the Disadvantages of Shiatsu?

Shiatsu, like any therapy, has limitations. It may not be suitable for everyone and can be costly, and time-consuming.

Accessibility to qualified therapists can also be an issue, and it may not replace medical treatment for severe conditions.

Is Shiatsu Massage Good for Arthritis?

Shiatsu can be beneficial for arthritis by easing joint pain and stiffness through improved circulation and reduced inflammation.

However, consult professionals to ensure it’s suitable for your specific condition.

Is Shiatsu Massage Good or Bad for You?

Shiatsu is generally good but depends on your health. Consult qualified therapists and healthcare providers to determine if it’s safe and beneficial for you.

What Are the Indications for Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is indicated for pain relief, improved circulation, stress reduction, better sleep, enhanced immunity, and mental well-being.

Discuss your specific needs with a qualified Shiatsu therapist for a tailored approach.

Conditions When Not to Perform Shiatsu Massage

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About the author

I am Dr. Arjun Patel. Sharing my 20+ years of experience in Massage & Physical Therapy. I am an active member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). To learn more about me and our team, visit the about us page. Click here to contact me for questions, concerns, and consultation






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