What body parts should not be massaged?

When it comes to massage, many people assume that only certain parts of the body need attention. However, there are a number of body parts that should not be massaged. Massage is an essential part of maintaining health and wellness, but it’s important to know when to steer clear.

Index of contents
  1. Ear Notch
  2. Eyeball
  3. Axilla
  4. Bleeding Disorders
  5. Anterior and Posterior Neck Triangles
  6. Gluteal Muscles
  7. Legs
  8. Fingertips
  9. Buttocks

Ear Notch

The ear notch, located just behind the jawbone and beneath the ear, is the first area to avoid when it comes to massage. This area contains a sensitive facial nerve, and even gentle pressure can cause irritation or pain.


It may seem like common sense, but it’s also important to avoid poking your fingers directly into your massage partner’s eyes. Doing so can cause pain, irritation, and even damage to the eye itself.


Another area to avoid during massage is the axilla, or armpit. This area can be ticklish for many people, which makes it best to leave untouched.

Bleeding Disorders

It’s important to note that vigorous massage strokes should be avoided when working with people who have a bleeding disorder or those who may be taking a blood thinner. In addition, a massage should not be done in any areas of the body that have varicose veins, open wounds, recent surgery, or bruises.

Anterior and Posterior Neck Triangles

The neck is an incredibly sensitive and delicate area, and deep, sustained pressure here should be avoided due to the structures that lie beneath. The same caution should also be taken around other areas of the body such as the suprasternal notch, sternum, spinal column, umbilical area, inguinal triangle, popliteal fossa, and the genitals.

Gluteal Muscles

The gluteal muscles, or the butt, are another area that should be massaged with caution. Massage in this area may help alleviate certain conditions such as back pain or sciatica. However, if the recipient is not comfortable being massaged here, it’s best to avoid it.


When it comes to massage, the legs are another area that should be handled with caution. While it’s generally safe to rub or stroke the legs gently, deep tissue pressure should be avoided. This is especially true for pregnant women, as massage in this area can increase their blood volume.


While the fingertips are the toughest parts of the body, they are also much more sensitive and need more attention and care. Pressure techniques can be used to relax the nerve endings, making it an ideal massage for those who spend hours typing.


The buttocks are one of the most neglected areas when it comes to massage, as it typically stops at the thighs. This is unfortunate, as massage here can help improve circulation, reduce stress and anxiety, release emotional pain, and even reduce chronic back pain and joint stiffness.

When it comes to massage, it’s important to know which areas should be avoided to ensure that it is done safely and properly. Deep, sustained pressure and any area with open wounds, varicose veins, or recent surgery should be left untouched. Additionally, the ear notch, axilla, and eyeball should also be avoided. Lastly, care should be taken when working with the fingertips, gluteal muscles, legs, and buttocks. With that in mind, massage can be a great tool for maintaining health and wellness.

Nancy Crawford Smith

Nancy is a registered nurse who has trained in various energy therapies, including Reiki and Maya Abdominal Therapy. She uses a combination of body work, energy therapies, and spiritual healing to assist individuals in a holistic healing journey.

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