Depending on the severity of the condition, medical clearance may be necessary for some individuals. Once medical clearance has been obtained, the therapist should proceed with caution, particularly if it is the first time they are treating the person. Depending on their state, it may be necessary to offer a shorter treatment, use lighter pressure or avoid certain areas. Reactions should be monitored carefully.
The following conditions may require medical clearance before Indian Head Massage.
Serious cardiovascular conditions
These include thrombosis, phlebitis, hypertension, hypotension, and heart conditions.
Anyone suffering from phlebitis (inflammation of a vein) or thrombosis (formation of blood clots in blood vessels) is at risk of an embolism (a blood clot that becomes detached and carried to another part of body).
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People with very high blood pressure (hypertension) are susceptible to blood clot formation and drugs taken to lower blood pressure can make a person light-headed and dizzy after treatment – monitor reactions carefully. Since massage is said to lower blood pressure, those under medical supervision for hypertension should ensure their practitioner is aware they are having treatments so that medication can be monitored and altered if necessary. Advice regarding any alterations in medication should only be given by the medical practitioner.
Many people have naturally low blood pressure (hypotension) which causes no problems, so long as it is stable. However, since massage can lower blood pressure, a person with hypotension may feel lightheaded or dizzy after treatment, so allow them extra time to relax before standing up. In some cases a more vigorous massage can help prevent this. If a client with low blood pressure is prone to fainting, treatment is not recommended.
This is a hereditary disorder in which the blood clots slowly due to a deficiency of coagulation factors. The condition is almost exclusively restricted to males but females can carry the disorder without any effects. Deep pressure from massage could cause internal haemorrhage.
Oedema is swelling due to retention of fluid in the tissues. It is important to know the cause of oedema as it can be due to a serious medical
condition, such as heart or kidney failure, cirrhosis of the liver or acute nephritis (kidney disease). It can also be the result of an allergy or taking certain drugs. If oedema is simply due to a sluggish lymphatic system, massage is very beneficial.
This condition is characterised by a decrease in bone mass and density, causing bones to become brittle and fragile. If severe, medical advice may be required before treatment as deep pressure may cause fractures.
Inflammation of a joint (or joints) causing pain, swelling and stiffness. When clients present with arthritis it may require medical advice or it may be a local contraindication, depending on the location and severity of the condition.