If you’ve ever gotten a massage from me, you know that the paperwork you have to fill out includes information about your allergies. A couple years ago I had a client who didn’t list any allergies. No big deal, a lot of people don’t have allergies. So, I’m doing my massage thing and she starts telling me a story that involved her having an allergic reaction to a food she had eaten. Well… turns out the oil I had just applied to her body contained, among other things, an extract of that very food. YIKES! I immediately informed her about the oil, got a towel out, and wiped it off while checking in with her about whether she had any discomfort or felt any allergic reaction symptoms. She said she felt fine, and thankfully she was, but the whole thing gave both of us a scare
That prompted a discussion about allergies and the need to disclose all of them to your massage therapist. Turns out she didn’t think any of her allergies were important because they were to food and seasonal allergens. Once I told her what I’m going to tell you, she totally understood how important that information is to us.
Once the session ended, I checked her chart while she was getting dressed and found that she hadn’t even checked the box that would indicate that she had any kind of allergy. So, I brought her chart and a pen out to the front desk, made her check the allergy box, and had her fill in all of her allergy info, which she happily did.
Whew! I love a happily-ever-after ending don’t you? (I was gonna say happy ending, but we don’t say that in the massage profession for obvious reasons)
I promise you we don’t ask questions just to be nosy or because we like extra paperwork. Honest. We only ask about things that might have an impact on which techniques we use, the amount of pressure we use, or the products we choose to use.
And yes, when I say we need to know all your allergies, I do mean ALL.
Many products contain essential oils or herbal extracts of herbs, spices, or other foods. Your food allergy might be triggered by a topical application of a product that contains an extract of your food allergen.
A few food allergens that might be in products your massage therapist will use are:
Many essential oils are made from plants that cause outdoor or seasonal allergies. Sometimes extracts of those plants are added to products as well:
I hope this sampling of food and seasonal allergens that end up in massage offices and the products we use convinces you to tell us about ALL of your allergies. It truly is better to be safe than sorry.