Sensual massage can be an important part of building intimacy in a relationship. Not only can sensual massage enhance sexual arousal, but when done correctly, it can provide the same benefits of a regular massage such as muscle relaxation, stress relief and increased blood flow. It's important to understand that sensual massage is done only between consensual couples, and is not performed by professional massage therapists. Professional massage therapists practice certified therapeutic techniques, not sensual ones. It's also important to understand that sensual massage can come with health risks.
One of the first health risks of sensual massage involves contagious diseases. If your partner has a contagious skin condition, such as ringworm, scabies, hand-foot-and-mouth disease or certain fungal infections, these diseases can easily be spread between partners. If sensual massage progresses to oral, vaginal or anal sexual intercourse, you may also be exposed to other contagious diseases such as herpes, HIV/AIDS, HPV, hepatitis and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Giving a sensual massage to someone with an inflammatory condition, such as arthritis, bursitis or other condition that causes localized swelling, can cause the condition to worsen. According to the Massage Therapy Foundation, therapeutic (not sensual) massage can still be done to the affected area to help model scar tissue, but it should only be done by a certified massage therapist.
Varicose veins are another area of the skin that should be avoided when performing a sensual massage on your partner. Varicose veins are large, bulging veins that appear when malfunctions of the valves inside the veins occur. Direct massage to varicose veins can cause further damage, which can be painful to the person receiving the massage.
If your partner has a history of blood clots, or is currently being treated for clot-related problems, avoid engaging in a sensual massage session. Massaging a person with a possible blood clot can cause the clot to dislodge. A dislodged clot can travel to smaller blood vessels in the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.
The use of massage oils during a sensual massage can also cause health issues. Depending on the sensitivity of your partner, massage oils may cause an allergic reaction or other irritations to the skin, especially if the massage oil reaches the sensitive tissue of the genital areas.