Should I cancel my massage if I’m sick?

Should I cancel my massage if I’m sick?

Short Answer: Yes, please.

Long Answer: Yes, please.

Massage is great. You know this. But it’s not always a great idea.

As cold and flu season approaches again, it’s important that you know when it may be necessary to cancel your appointment.


  • You need rest. When you are sick, your body needs rest. It’s strange to think about it this way, but receiving massage, especially a goal oriented medical massage, is an active task. Massage causes change in the body, and your body has to work to maintain stability, even if these changes lead to positive outcomes. Getting a massage when you are sick takes attention and resources away from infection-fighting. That’s not good.
  • It won’t be as soothing as you think. You’re not going to be cozy on the massage table.  Sure, it sounds like a warm squishy massage table would be great. But the moment you put your already-stuffy head into that face cradle, your sinuses will realize the error of your ways. Gravity and pressure are not your friend here.
  • You could get our team sick, and other high risk patients sick. Since most of the common winter viruses are contagious even before symptoms show up, we could pass the cooties along to more patients before we even know it’s happening. This is particularly dangerous for some of our elderly and immune compromised patients.
  • Time off work is tough for us. When our therapists get sick, they have to cancel clients and take an extended period off work.  As massage therapists, we do not get paid sick days to compensate for lost wages. Sure, as a responsible business owners we have a fund for these situations. But we would rather use that fund for a continuing education or  fancy new treatment tools and supplies for the clinic.

So it’s a deal. We’ll work together keep each other safe. You’ll cancel so as not to infect us and our clinic, and we’ll do the same for you.

When to cancel

  • If you have nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea in the past 24 hours, or are still feeling punky from a recent bout of such things.
  • If you’ve had a fever in the past 24 hours, or fever-related symptoms. This includes chills, aches, and fatigue. Even if you’re keeping the fever down with medicine, you’re still sick. The fever counts.
  • If you are itchy, runny, and/or sneezy, and you’re not 100% certain it’s seasonal allergies. And even then, allergies may leave you so miserable that the hour on my table would be wasted time and money for you.
  • If you are coughing constantly, or just a lot.
  • If someone in your household is ill and you are feeling at all funky, please cancel.

There is often some gray area here, especially if you are in the recovery phase of a virus or bacterial infection.  If you’re unsure about your situation, please call me before your appointment and we can make a decision together. We totally understand that these things can come up suddenly and in the case of sickness, we naturally will waive our short notice cancellation fee.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy Winter!


The Body in Context Team


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