Sports Massage Therapy

Can You Get a Massage Before Acupuncture?

Dr. Carl Clarkson
Dr. Carl Clarkson April 19, 2022
Sports massage on shoulder

At some point as a sports massage professional, you may come across clients that have received another intervention shortly before their appointment with you, in which case you might wonder whether or not you should actually go ahead with the treatment. Or, they may ask whether or not it is safe to have another intervention after their massage. This, of course, depends on the intervention at hand, but in this article, we discuss the consequences of having a massage before acupuncture. 

So, can you get a massage before acupuncture? Yes, some clients find that massage before acupuncture helps to relax the body, which is a great state to be in to begin treatment. However, if a client is sore after a massage, it may be best to recommend that they wait to have acupuncture. 

Read on to learn more about massage before acupuncture. 

Is it Ok to Get a Massage Before Acupuncture?

It is perfectly fine to have a massage before, and after, acupuncture. What clients need to ask themselves, however, is how they feel after a massage; this can have a knock-on effect to their acupuncture treatment, and may impact the outcome. 

Some clients find that having a massage before acupuncture helps the body to relax, essentially preparing them for their acupuncture appointment. A relaxed body will take better to acupuncture, and may reap more benefits. 

However, if a client typically leaves a massage feeling sore or stiff, it may be best to recommend that they do not go ahead with acupuncture immediately after. Alternatively, you could recommend having acupuncture first, then massage, in this case. 

Clients also need to account for their lifestyle when making the decision of whether or not they should have a massage before acupuncture. If they workout regularly, play sports, or just have a hectic life, a massage may be beneficial to help them wind down and relax. But, if they have a more sedentary lifestyle without a lot of stress, they may find that massage after acupuncture is more beneficial. 

Ultimately, the decision is completely down to your client; massage before or after acupuncture will not harm them, but it can somewhat impact its potential benefits.  That said, some massages are likely to have more of an impact on the body than others, making them more or less suitable to have before acupuncture. 

Regular Massage

A regular massage, and by that we mean not a sports massage or deep tissue massage, shouldn’t have too much of an impact on the body, making them a suitable choice to have before or after acupuncture. Examples include:

  • Swedish massage
  • Hot stone massage
  • Aromatherapy massage
  • Shiatsu massage 

Sports Massage/Deep Tissue Massage

Sports massages and deep tissue massages tend to leave clients feeling sore afterwards (a little like after a workout), therefore they may not be a good option to have before acupuncture, unless clients know that the onset of soreness will appear well after their acupuncture session. 

Can Clients Do Massage and Acupuncture at the Same Time?

It’s probably not wise to have massage and acupuncture in the same treatment as the needles may be (unintentionally) stimulated by the massage technique. However combining the interventions has proven to enhance the benefits of each individual treatment, especially in cases of pain relief. 

Combining treatments is also a great option for clients that have seen limited results from either individual intervention; the second treatment may enhance their received benefits. 

Can a Massage Therapist Offer Acupuncture Treatments?

If a massage therapist would like to provide acupuncture treatments as part of their service offerings, further training would be required. For healthcare professionals, including level 4 massage therapists, studying an accredited CPD course in acupuncture would allow them to safely and effectively practise acupuncture in their clinic. Level 4 massage therapissts would also need to agree to enrol onto the Breeze Academy register. 

However, those from a non-healthcare background would need to study a 3-year degree in a suitable subject, or a relevant course provided by a professional body, such as the British Acupuncture Council, the Acupuncture Society, or the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Learn more about routes to becoming an acupuncture professional in our recent blog

Sports Massage Courses at Breeze Academy

Healthcare professionals can now train in sports massage with Breeze Academy, one of the UK’s leading providers of CPD training. We offer Sports Massage training with Level 3 and Level 4 Sports Massage training courses available throughout the UK.

Upon successful completion of our Level 3 & 4 Sports Massage course, students will go from massage novice through to having the ability to effectively plan treatments, as well as providing and evaluating advanced massage techniques.

For existing massage therapists that wish to train in acupuncture, we also offer foundation acupuncture and dry needling courses in all major cities across the UK, which will give you everything you need to safely, confidently, and effectively deliver acupuncture to your clients.  

Check out our sports massage courses and acupuncture courses online now, or get in touch with us for more information.

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