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     Cold and flu season is close at hand with children going back to school and those pesky bugs sure do throw all of us for a loop. The question we at Healing Spirit Touch hear this time of year is, “I have been dealing with something the last day or two. Should I come in to have my massage?”
     While massage has beneficial detoxing effects and enhances the immune system, getting a massage while in the early stages of fever and sickness could be too hard on your body. Here's what happens when you receive a massage while you're sick.
     Massage releases stored toxins in your body and flushes them out quickly through your circulatory system. Sounds perfect, right? Well, maybe not. When you are sick and dealing with the latest virus, your body is waging an all out war. Your immune system goes into overdrive to fight that nasty invader. If you get a massage, your body then then has to split it's resources to take on the newly released toxins. Compound that with your regular work schedule, and you could be out of commission a lot longer than you anticipated.
     Everybody is different depending on how they handle being sick, the preventative healthy lifestyle they lead (or not), and the state of their immune system. The difference between a nasty head cold and full-blown flu symptoms are listed on this table.

Illness and Massage 

If a massage occurs at the onset of a bad cold, hang on – the cold’s intensity will happen in 3-4 days vs. spread out over 7-14 days. Massage works wonders clearing out the lungs and sinuses from all the mucus and drains the body of toxins after your symptoms have abated.
     The other thing to consider is the spread of infection. Massage typically takes place in a small enclosed room that is generally warmer than usual. Virus Paradise! Aside from a small amount of building circulation, there are no open windows for ventilation. An hour session is a long time for a virus to spread not only to the therapist, but all the objects housed in the room. Clients coming in right after are then susceptible for being contaminated by the spreading of that same virus. Having said that, Healing Spirit Touch regularly uses anti-bacterial and anti-viral cleaning agents after EVERY client to quickly minimize the spread of infection before the next session begins.

General Illness Rules:
If you have a fever – stay home.
If you think you’re contagious or could be contagious – stay home.
If you’re already nauseous, even slightly – stay home.

What’s The Answer?
Be thoughtful of what you have and decide accordingly. If you have any of the symptoms listed above, be mindful of spreading your cold or flu to others. You love that your massage therapist makes your body feel great. Please be kind to her or him and stay home if you're sick. Help us help everyone stay happy and healthy.   
Barb Pickle, LMT OR#11011  November 26th, 2014