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I want to know what other MTs think on this subject. This question has come up before and I have always said (after I tell them I'd rather they didn't) if you're going to drink, drink after a massage. I recently saw this question come up on FB. Drinking a glass of wine before a massage is okay, right? (my opinion, no) What do you think? Is there an article out there that can support this? I have looked and only found that being intoxicated and having a massage is contraindicated, of course. But what about one drink? and the things that are out there about a glass of red wine being good for you? How true is this?
Your opinions and advice are greatly accepted.
Hey Jacqueline, one again, great topic!
In most instances, it is best to view alcohol as a drug; a depressant drug.
Whatever treatment modifications you use for clients who are on skeletal muscle relaxants would most likely apply if your client ingested alcohol.
In professional arenas, if you plan on having the “no massage if you chose to drink beforehand,” rule, it’s prudent to let your clients know upfront how this situation will be handled so they can make appropriate decision (be proactive rather than reactive). A simple statement during the consent process should do the trick.
Also have a plan of action if you deny an intoxicated client a massage – have a way to get thim or her home safely, such as calling a cab. In these circumstances, many cab companies will provide this service free-of-charge.
In class, this is one of my favorite case studies because folks have passionate views on this subject (usually linked to personal history). I love to ask students to come up with list of objective signs and symptoms of intoxication. Many students state thing such as staggered gait, slurred speech, or slowed response time. When I show them signs and symptoms of Parkinson disease or hypoglycemia, they are shocking similar. The morale here is “don't be too quick to label someone.”