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Medicating during lockdown

During lock down, many people are finding it difficult to get to a doctor or simply preferring not to, to take the strain off the NHS; so are taking medications from previous prescriptions. All medications affect your body and these can impact your massage and the way you are feeling.

It is so important that you read the information included with all medication and to let your therapist know the medications that you are using no matter how temporarily.

Here is a short list of the most commonly used medications:


This is a prescription medication as it is a form of morphine also known as an opiate.

It is used to treat mild to moderate levels of pain and can be useful in situation where paracetamol and ibuprofen haven’t been effective.

Codeine lowers blood pressure, has a relaxing effect on your body and can make you drowsy, however in high doses it can lead to respiratory failure especially when combined with alcohol or other Opioids. Long term use can lead to anxiety and depression.

Codeine works by binding to certain tiny areas called Opioid receptors in the Central Nervous System which leads to a decrease in the way you feel pain and your reaction to pain. Your therapist needs to know if you have been taking these medications as your tolerance for pressure will be increased and you will have a sensitivity to certain essential oils.


Paracetamol takes an hour to work and should not be used with other paracetamol containing products, with blood pressure medications, epilepsy, cholesterol medications or if you have liver or kidney problems.

Paracetamol should not be used with Warfarin as it can increase the risk of bleeding. It can also cause wheezing, itchy, red, swollen, blistered and peeling skin.

Paracetamol works by blocking chemical messengers in the brain that tell us we have pain. Paracetamol reduces fever by affecting the chemical messages in the area of the brain that regulates body temperature. Your therapist will need to adapt the massage techniques and depth of pressure to allow for your increased tolerance to pain and you will need to make your therapist aware of the reason for taking paracetamol however short term.


Sertraline is part of a group of medications called Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors. It is commonly used to treat depression and anxiety in adults and to prevent re occurrence of PTSD and to treat OCD in adults and adolescents. This is a common prescription for anxiety and depression.

Sertraline should not be taken with grapefruit as this may increase the level of Sertraline in the body; herbal medications containing St Johns Wort which is often found in arnica products can also have an effect on the way this medication reacts in your body so your therapist will need to be aware of this if you are having aromatherapy or pre-blended oils as part of your session.

Side effects can be Insomnia, dizziness, muscle tension, joint pain, numbness.

Your therapist will need to know if your aches and pains could be due to the medications so that the massage can be adapted accordingly.

These are just some of the common medications that people may be using and it is important for your therapist to be aware of is so that the session can be adapted for your comfort.

You should always read the packaging with any medication.

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