Massage Therapy Contraindication: Hemophilia

Massage Therapy Contraindication: Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a rare inherited bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot properly. This can lead to spontaneous bleeding as well as bleeding following injuries or surgery.  Hemophilia is caused by a mutation, or change, in one of the genes that provides instructions for making the clotting factor proteins needed to form a blood clot. This change or mutation can prevent the clotting protein from working properly or could be missing altogether.

Hemophilia can result in: 

  • Bleeding within joints that can lead to chronic joint disease and pain
  • Bleeding in the head and sometimes in the brain which can cause long term problems, such as seizures and paralysis
  • Death can occur if the bleeding cannot be stopped [i]

Bodyworkers/massage therapists should obtain physician approval and direction for massage or bodywork with a hemophiliac.  A simple bump or bruise could be a life-threatening situation for them. 

Range of motion or aggressive bodywork techniques should not be used.  Anything that would cause pressure on the skin (thus underlying blood vessels) could create potential damage.  It is always best to seek approval and/or direction for services from a medical physician regarding medical conditions where a client could easily bleed from any type of pressure.  

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#massage #massagetherapy #massageprecautions #massagecontraindications

[i] National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. “Hemophilia.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 Mar. 2017,



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