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Comment about beach massages

As every year, it seems that it is not summer if the classic news of people who irregularly offer massage services on the beaches does not appear in the news. As always, there are usually two fronts: those who defend that nothing happens, and those who state that this type of Beach massages can be dangerous if you don't have certain precautions.

As a physiotherapist I am, you can imagine my personal and professional opinion on the subject. However, I do not want to write simply to tell what you can imagine that I think. Rather I want to write about precautions with beach massages mainly to give me your point of view. Surely we get something very helpful for everyone.

Relaxing vs. Therapeutic Massage

The dilemma of beach massages comes from the eternal controversy between the pertaining to relaxation and the therapeutic. At least in Andalusia there is no official title of masseuse, yes there is the economic activity of masseuse, and hundreds of courses and training in massages.

These relaxing massages, in theory, do not require a physiotherapist to apply them. As I say, in my autonomous community, Andalusia, there is no official title of masseuse, but there are massage therapists who work in spas or other centers applying massages for relaxing purposes only.

The problem is that the line between the relaxing and the therapeutic is really thin. Around 80-90% of the population has, has had or will have back pain, understanding the cervical, dorsal or lumbar region as back. Given this perspective, It is very likely that everyone, sooner or later, will end up with any of these pains, even being perfectly healthy. What do we need, a relaxation massage or a therapeutic one applied by a professional?

While massage is just a technique, and our illness may require a different kind of action, it is the best known of physiotherapy (well, maybe now it is the kinesiotape, which we will talk about). Therefore, only massage is likely to be insufficient if we have a pathology that really requires a specific treatment.

Precautions with beach massages

The problem with beach massages (at least in Spain) is that it is relatively common that the people who give them are usually in an irregular situation (without residence permit) and no permissions to perform the activity (They do not declare taxes, do not pay any type of liability insurance ...). They do not usually have a degree or physiotherapist nor any title endorsed in Spain.

Logically there are also cases where centers with their permits provide massage or physiotherapy services at the beach, paying their permits and carrying out the personal activity prepared. I don't want to generalize, and I want to emphasize that, in certain cases, things are also done well. Those who appear in the press are those who do not, but That does not mean that there is no good service with all the documents in order.

From experience lived by people I know who have received this type of massage, one of the problems is hygiene: the masseuses go from person to person, massaging arms, back, feet ... without washing their hands (or washing them improperly) at high temperatures, which is not uncommon appearance of skin infections of the people who receive the massage.

Another problem is intensity: these people usually apply short massages (10-15 minutes) of quite intense, which may harm some people who have some type of pathology. I have seen some cases of people with ailments after the holidays, for having received a massage in any way by non-professional people.


There are currently a large number of physiotherapy centers as well as relaxing therapies, where physiotherapists (if the treatment is a pathology) as qualified and prepared professional massage therapists can apply these treatments for really competitive prices.

In case we have a backache: as easy as going to the doctor directly, as well as the physiotherapist. Massage is a technique, but not the only one. Our pain may need another type of activity, such as exercise, stretching, selective muscle enhancement, changing harmful habits… in addition to medical treatment.

In case we don't have pain and we want a relaxing massage: As I say there are physiotherapy centers, as well as hotels, spas and others services offering professional relaxing massages, made by staff with their papers in order and with name and surname, with which we have the option to claim in case there is any action with which we are not satisfied.

In short, I have more or less expressed my opinion, which is what you could expect, but being Vitonica a very large community I think it is more interesting to read to you: What do you think about the subject?

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